the HISD Outdoor Education Center

at forest glen

The Houston Independent School District OEC at Forest Glen offers a unique outdoor experience for 5th-graders in the Sam Houston National Forest located in Huntsville, Texas.  Lessons in environmental science and social studies guide discovery and exploration that stimulate an appreciation and understanding of interdependence from: one person to another; one culture to another; people to nature; and nature to nature.

What should my child bring? 
The OEC provides three meals a day, afternoon snack, bed linens, and a towel. Your child needs to be prepared for inclement weather, as the majority of classes take place outside.  As a general guideline, shirts must have sleeves and cover the shoulders for both boys and girls.  Shorts should be between fingertips and knee in length.  If your child is in need of a change of clothes, for whatever reason, we do have extras on hand.  Click here for a comprehensive list of WHAT TO BRING.

What will my child do each day?
Click here to see the DAILY SCHEDULE. Click here to read an overview of the CLASSES WE OFFER.

Where will they stay?
All cabins at Forest Glen have restrooms, showers, and are equipped with AC/heat. Students sleep in bunk beds (linens are provided by the OEC) with an average of 10-12 other students in their cabin, and an OEC staff member.  You can see photos of a typical cabin layout on this website.  

What about safety?
Students will receive 24-hour supervision by Houston ISD staff whose highest priority is your child's safety and well-being. In addition, there is a registered nurse on duty who lives on campus during students' stay.  The staff engages in a yearly two-week training that focuses on safety, first-aid, student engagement, student management, teaching techniques, and emergency procedures.  At our facility, we use the Rule of Three, meaning that your child will never be unattended and will not be left alone with another child or adult (excluding nurse) during their stay.  

Should I send all of the medications my child usually takes? 
Yes. Students will be expected to focus during class and complete assignments that bolster their learning.  In our experience, if a child is on medication at school, s/he needs to have it at Forest Glen.  The nurse will keep track of and dispense all students' medications as prescribed by their doctor. Please make sure to indicate any medical conditions or special dietary needs of your child on the Parental Permission and Health Information forms.  All medication MUST come in the prescribed container in order for our nurse to administer the drug.  If you have questions, call our nurse at 936-295-2983. 

Can I telephone my child while they are at the OEC?
No, it is not possible for students to receive or make phone calls while they are at the OEC.  Your child is engaged in classes and learning experiences from sun up until 9:30P.M.  In an emergency, you may call the OEC Manager at 936-295-5548.  If after 5:00 P.M., please call the campus nurse at 936-295-2983.  

Is there transportation to and from the OEC? 
Yes. Your child's school will provide the school buses needed that will take students to the OEC. Students will depart from school in the early morning, accompanied by school chaperones. On departure day, students will eat lunch at 11:00 A.M. and leave our campus at 11:45 A.M.  They should arrive back at their school prior to regular dismissal time.  

What if they need to leave early? 
Parents/Guardians must make arrangements in advance with the school Principal and the OEC Manager.  Any visitor must be a VIP at the school.  The district does not provide transportation in such circumstances. 

How do I keep my child safe from the West Nile and Zika viruses while they are at the OEC?
Students are encouraged to bring insect repellant for their personal use. We also provide insect repellant during their stay on an as-needed basis. We have taken into account the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding mosquitos, and have made necessary adjustments on our campus to eliminate human-made breeding grounds, however please note that mosquitoes will still be present. It is recommended that you familiarize yourself and your family with these two illnesses and the CDC's RECOMMENDATIONS on mosquito bite prevention.