Courtyard at Brielle Elementary transformed into outdoor classroom

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Brielle Elementary School is finishing up construction of the new courtyard classroom so kids can have class, lunch, and other activities outdoors in nice weather. It has patio, tables, benches, etc. (MARK R. SULLIVAN/THE COAST STAR)

BRIELLE — As the weather warms, students at Brielle Elementary School are taking advantage of a new fresh-air learning option – attending class in the new outdoor classroom located in the central courtyard between the building wings.

“It’s almost fully completed. We’re so excited,” said Danielle Palmisano, treasurer of the Brielle Education Foundation, which is bringing the project to fruition.

The courtyard has new amphitheater seating, as well as 10 patio tables and several benches.

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Still to go are the installation of a canopy, landscaping and planter boxes for the students to cultivate vegetables and flowers.

A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for May 20. The work is being completed by the Torsiello Landscaping and Site Development Company.

Students have been using the courtyard already, even in cooler weather with their coats on, Superintendent Christine Carlson said.

“It’s really magnificent. We’re going to be out there a lot. To be outside is such a nice thing. The kids and teachers are so happy to be there,” she said.

Each year, the Brielle Education Foundation raises money for special projects for the school, usually in the form of new classroom technology, Ms. Palmisano said. But this past year, during the pandemic, the decision was made to upgrade the courtyard, which was previously just grass.

“Now, more than ever, we wanted to make use of the outside as much as possible,” she said, with the courtyard providing an option for holding socially distanced activities in the fresh air. 

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