New Berlin teen creates outdoor COVID classroom for Eagle Scout project

With some kids in quarantine or isolation amid the coronavirus pandemic, we are seeing an increase in schoolchildren testing positive for COVID-19. A New Berlin boy came up with a creative way to try to help slow the spread.

Jonas Siebert

"What I have here is the outdoor classroom," said Jonas Siebert. "I have stumps for the kids to sit on. I have a whiteboard for the teachers to use."

Siebert, a ninth-grader who went to Heritage Christian Schools, wanted to give back.

"You have to lead a service project," said Siebert.

To fulfill his Eagle Scout service project, this Life Scout in Troop 23 decided to build a space that can benefit students and teachers navigating the pandemic. 

"We took the area and measured out 4 to 5 feet," said Siebert.

About 30 volunteers helped.

"I'm pretty proud of how it turned out," said Siebert.

Siebert's outdoor classroom allows kids to practice social distancing and get fresh air. 

"They come outside and learn outside without their mask on for a little bit -- get a little mask break," said Siebert.

As COVID-19 creeps into schools, with 14 active school investigations in Washington/Ozaukee Counties and 16 school districts with active cases in Waukesha County as of Monday, Sept. 14, this laborious task was welcomed. 

Chris Couillard

"Everybody was on board very quickly to do this," said Chris Couillard, Heritage Christian Schools elementary principal. 

Principal Couillard felt the idea was conducive to education while mitigating risks. 

"In-person, we feel, is the most effective when learning for children," said Couillard. "We have a lot of protocols and procedures in place, and we work really hard to manage those." 

They now have one more measure, thanks to Siebert.

"Just a very intelligent young man, very empathetic toward others," said Couillard.

Siebert said he was grateful for the project and thanked WeatherStone Church for providing the space. He also thanked those who helped raise $1,500 for the materials.