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PARENT HANDBOOK

We are delighted to welcome you and your child to The Wild School community. Our Parent Handbook is designed to provide you with a comprehensive overview of our programs, policies, and the everyday operations of our school. Whether you are new to our community or returning for another exciting season, this handbook will serve as a valuable resource to help you navigate this program successfully.

 

At The Wild School, we are committed to fostering an environment where children can explore, learn, and grow within the nurturing embrace of nature. Our unique educational approach emphasizes outdoor learning, hands-on activities, and community engagement, all aimed at enriching your child's development in meaningful ways.

Communication & Policies

Communication

Upon enrollment in one of our classes, you will receive the contact information for your child's teacher, allowing for direct and necessary communication when needed.

  • General Inquiries: For initial questions or concerns before enrollment, please contact us at info@thewildschool.org.

  • Direct Communication and Important Updates: Please email or text/call us if you need to share any important information

 

Sick/Absent Child Policy
  • Our outdoor setting reduces the likelihood of germ transmission. Refer to our detailed Sick Policy on our website for guidelines about when to keep your child at home.

  • Notification of Absence: If your child is ill, please inform us via text or call to ensure we are not expecting them at class.

  • Planned Absences: If you anticipate your child missing a class for any reason, such as a vacation, please email us in advance.

Class Cancellation Policy
  • The Wild School adheres to local school district weather closures. If the local district closes due to severe weather, our classes will also be canceled.

  • Makeup Policy: If classes are cancelled due to weather related emergencies, makeups are not offered at this time.

  • Communication of Cancellations: We will notify families of any cancellations as quickly as possible through email or text message.

  • Extreme Temperatures and Class Cancellations: This is a rain or shine class, however, in the event of dangerous weather (i.e. temperatures below 20°F or over 100°F for extended periods, hazardous driving conditions, thunderstorms, etc.), we will notify you of a canceled class via email at least 30 minutes prior to class.

Location
  • Our classes take place in various natural settings. Please visit the Our Locations page on our website for specific addresses and details for each class location.

Inclusivity Policy
  • The Wild School promotes outdoor learning for all children. However, the nature of our programs requires participants to manage well in outdoor settings. We expect families to appropriately prepare children for the weather and follow safety guidelines.

Pricing policy
  • Refund and Cancellations: We do not offer refunds. Once you are committed to a semester you must pay the entire semester amount-even if you opted to pay in a payment plan. For membership pricing, we require a 30 day notice to cancel. 

  • Sibling Discount: We offer an 8% sibling discount for all programs for additional siblings. 

Risk Management and safety

At The Wild School, the health and safety of our students are our foremost priorities. We implement rigorous safety measures and training to ensure a secure environment where children can explore, learn, and grow with confidence.

Preparedness and Prevention
  • Certified Staff: All teachers in our programs are CPR certified, background-checked, and First-aid certified and carry fully stocked first aid kits. They are equipped with cell phones for emergency communications at all times.

  • Safety Education: We proactively teach our students comprehensive safety rules to prevent accidents. This includes practical risk assessment skills that help them understand and navigate their physical limits safely.

  • Continuous Supervision: Our staff are trained to maintain vigilant supervision. They avoid distractions and perform regular headcounts to ensure that every child is accounted for throughout each session.

Benefits of Outdoor Play
  • Enhanced Motor Skills and Self-Awareness: Children who play regularly outdoors typically experience fewer injuries. This is attributed to their ongoing practice in real-life situations where they assess risks, hone gross motor skills, and learn about their physical boundaries.

  • Development of Safety Skills: By allowing children the space and time to engage with the natural environment within safe boundaries, we help them build a foundation of self-awareness and precaution that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Freedom Within Boundaries

Within the structured safety guidelines of our programs, children have the liberty to play and explore, maximizing their learning potential. Our approach not only safeguards them but also enriches their experiences, making outdoor learning both enjoyable and beneficial.

 

At The Wild School, we are dedicated to maintaining a safe, supportive environment where children can thrive outdoors. Our commitment to safety and well-being is integral to nurturing their development and fostering a lifelong appreciation for nature.

General Class Guidelines

At The Wild School, we prioritize the safety and well-being of all our students while fostering a respectful and engaging learning environment. We adhere to the following guidelines to ensure consistent boundaries and safe practices, and we ask that parents support these standards both onsite and at home.

Toys:
  • Nature itself is our playground and provides all the necessary materials for creative outdoor play. Therefore, personal toys from home are not needed during class. We will provide all required art supplies and learning materials. If your child needs a comfort item, please ensure it is suitable for outdoor use and easy to clean.

Boundaries:
  • Children must stay within the designated areas set by their teachers at all times. It is crucial that they remain within both earshot and eyesight of their caregivers or teachers to ensure safety.

Climbing Trees:
  • Tree climbing is allowed under strict adult supervision. Children are permitted to climb no higher than twice their own height and only if they have shown they can do so safely and competently.

Sticks:
  • Sticks must be shorter than the child’s arm unless used as a walking stick, a tool for activities like digging, or for building projects under adult supervision. Children are not allowed to run while holding sticks to prevent accidents.

Ingestion:
  • Students should not eat or drink anything found in nature without explicit permission from an adult. This rule helps prevent the ingestion of harmful substances and ensures all dietary actions are safe.

Social & Emotional Safety:
  • Respect for the earth, its creatures, and each other is a cornerstone of our philosophy. We strive to model and teach respect for self and others at all times. Outdoor learning naturally incorporates cooperative play, and our teachers are dedicated to guiding children in positive, collaborative activities. We maintain a zero-tolerance policy for hitting, grabbing, pushing, name-calling, aggressiveness, or any demeaning behavior. Such actions are addressed immediately to maintain a supportive and safe learning environment.

Parental Cooperation:
  • We believe in the power of consistency between home and school settings. Reinforcing these guidelines at home enhances learning and behavioral outcomes for all children. Your cooperation and support in upholding these standards are greatly appreciated.

By adhering to these guidelines, we create a structured yet flexible environment where children can explore and learn safely. These practices not only protect the physical well-being of our students but also enrich their social interactions and emotional health. If you have any questions or require further clarification on any of our policies, please do not hesitate to contact us.

What to Bring to Class?

Welcome to The Wild School! To maximize your child's experience in our outdoor classes, we have compiled a list of essential items that should accompany them to every session. This list is designed to ensure they are prepared for all activities and weather conditions they might encounter.

Basic Gear for All Seasons
  • Blanket, tarp, towel, or yoga mat for your family to sit on during circle time.

  • Water Bottle: Refillable and durable.

  • Sun Protection: Hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen (applied at home).

  • Insect Repellent: To keep bugs at bay during outdoor activities.

  • Snacks: Healthy and nut-free options for energy during class.

  • Change of Clothes: In case of mud, water play, or accidents.

  • Closed-Toe Shoes: Sturdy and comfortable for walking and playing.

Seasonal Items
  • Spring/Summer:

    • Light Rain Jacket: Waterproof and breathable.

    • Cool, Loose Clothing: To stay comfortable on warmer days.

    • Extra Water Bottle: To stay hydrated in hotter weather.

  • Fall/Winter:

    • Warm Jacket: Insulated and water-resistant.

    • Layers: Thermal shirts, fleece jackets, or sweaters that can be adjusted with temperature changes.

    • Waterproof Pants and Boots: Essential for rainy or snowy days.

    • Gloves and Beanie: To keep warm during colder months.

Note on Seasonal Items:

As the seasons change, so do our outdoor experiences. It is important to adjust your child’s gear accordingly. For colder months, ensure that warmth is a priority with insulated layers and waterproof outerwear. In warmer seasons, focus on sun protection and hydration. This proactive approach will help your child enjoy their outdoor learning experience comfortably and safely.

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