ZooSchool

The ever popular Caldwell "ZooSchool" is back! Now, more than ever, families need positive learning outlets that deliver exceptional education and safe social interaction. Our ZooSchool has a proven history of providing the perfect combination of focus, fun and productivity.

Program Information

Our programs are designed to ensure all activities and lessons are age appropriate and engaging for all types of students. We encourage exploration, curiosity and good study habits to get the best out of every lesson. Our classes are a mix of indoor and outdoor activities including experiments, games and crafts that share many important aspects of the natural world. Join us for some seriously, smart fun.

Fall 2020-Spring 2021 Season

ZooSchool classes meet once a month for a total of 6 sessions. Beginning fall 2020, classes will meet for three hours from 12:30 pm - 3:30 pm on select days. With the extended time at the zoo, we will provide a light snack for all students.
Homeschooling

Program Themes

ZooSchool engages school-age children by making learning entertaining and rewarding. We intertwine nature-based education to promote intellectual exploration and group interaction. Our experienced educators make sure every student gets the attention they need while making each lesson truly engaging.

Themes for the 2020-2021 semesters focus on the great power of water. We’ll explore subjects that illuminate some of the incredible wonders of our planet, from sea to shining sea. Every lesson is built to give students practical knowledge about how water is integral to our weather, landscapes, rivers and oceans while being absolutely essential to life. The lessons are constructed to be fun and on-target for each specific age group.

Pricing

ZooMembers: $100 for 6 sessions
Non-members: $115 for 6 sessions

Session Dates

 

Session A
4-6 year olds
7-9 year olds
Sep7, Oct 5, Nov 2, Dec 7, Jan 4, and Feb 1
Session B
4-6 year olds
7-9 year olds
Sep 9, Oct 7, Nov 4, Dec 9, Jan 6, and Feb 3
Session C
4-6 year olds
7-9 year olds
Sep 11, Oct 9, Nov 6, Dec 11, Jan 8, and Feb 5
Session D
7-9 year olds
10-13 year olds
Sep 14, Oct 12, Nov 9, Dec 14, Jan 11, and Feb 8
Session E
7-9 year olds
10-13 year olds
Sept. 16, Oct. 14, Nov. 11, Dec. 16, Jan. 13, Feb. 10
Session F
10-13 year olds
14-18 year olds
Sept. 18, Oct. 16, Nov. 13, Dec. 18, Jan. 15, Feb. 12

 

Frequently Asked Questions

We thank you for considering at Caldwell Zoo’s “ZooSchool”! We have worked hard to create a fun and safe environment for your children. ZooSchool will look a little different this fall due to COVID-19 guidelines. Please read the document in its entirety to be prepared for ZooSchool for your child.

The safety and wellness of our participants is our top priority this year and every year. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have put new procedures in place for the safety of your students, your family, Zoo staff, and the animals. If you have any concerns about our procedures for this fall, please contact us. You may ask for a refund up to two days before the start of your program. As usual, for the safety of all participants, do not send a sick child to class.

Specialized COVID-19 Changes

  • Staff will wear masks indoors and when appropriate in close contact
  • All class spaces and materials will be thoroughly cleaned at increased frequency
  • Groups will be kept separate throughout the program to minimize exposure risk
  • Pick up and drop off will be done in cars in order to minimize the interaction between family groups and to prevent non-program guests from interacting with participants
  • We will conduct health screenings during drop off and students exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or high temperatures will not be allowed to attend class
  • We will call parents to pick up their children from class within the hour if they begin exhibiting any symptoms of illness as listed on our Emergency Contact Information & Policy/Liability Release Form
  • In the event that a participant or zoo staff member tests positive for COVID-19, we will notify the guardians of other participants while following privacy policies.

Health Screening Procedures
The participant screening process will happen daily as follows: (1) guardians will be asked a series of COVID-19 specific health screening questions regarding their child, (2) participants will have their temperature taken, (3) participants will be observed for COVID-19 symptoms. Zoo staff will continue to monitor participants throughout the program for new symptoms. If participants display any symptoms, guardians answer yes to any of the questions, or their temperature is higher than 100.4 they will not be allowed entry to class until cleared by a doctor. Refunds due to the daily screening are not available.

How many students will be in each class?
We will have up to 10 students and two teachers per class.

What if my child is between age brackets?
All students must be at least 4 years old before the first date of their session. For students with birthday in the middle of the program, which would bump them into the next age bracket, you may register them for the older group if their birthday is on or before November 30.

What if something comes up and I need to cancel my registration?
Caldwell Zoo does not provide refunds for cancelled registrations. You are welcome to find another child to take your student’s spot for the entire season as long as the registration is transferred before the start of the first day of the program. To transfer registration to another child, you must notify zoo staff at least one month prior to the start of the session. Registration for the new student must be received two weeks before the first class, or else Caldwell Zoo holds the right to refuse participation.

Drop Off
For drop off please STAY IN YOUR VEHICLE if possible. You may get out of your vehicle in the space around your car for goodbyes or to get children out of car seats. We strongly request that you wear a facemask. We will meet you and your child/children at the bus parking lot each afternoon of class. The bus parking lot is on Gentry Parkway, right beside the Sonic. You will form a drop off line leading to the curb where zoo staff will greet you. ZooSchool begins at 12:30 p.m. The education specialists will open the gates to bus parking at 12:20 p.m. The entry on Gentry Parkway has a tendency to get congested with participant cars. We suggest arriving as close to 12:20 p.m. as possible to avoid being backed up on the street.On the first day of class, we will collect your paperwork including your Authorized Adult form, Emergency Contact Information & Policy/Liability Release Form. To expedite the check in process, we prefer that you print out and fill in these forms at home and have them ready to hand to zoo staff upon arrival.
After paperwork is filled out and the health screen is complete, guardians will stay in the car and participants will be sent to their designated group.

Pick Up
Class ends at 3:30 p.m. The bus lot gates will open at 3:30 p.m. Please form the same line of cars leading to the curb as you did during drop off.

All adults are required to show their ID daily to verify that they are listed on the Authorized Adult form to pick up that child. We will bring your child(ren) to your car.

What does my student need to bring?
The following items are necessary for class every day:

  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • Closed-toed Shoes
  • Weather-appropriate Clothes

The following items are useful some or all of the time:

  • Rain Jackets/umbrellas
  • Winter Coat
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses

What items are likely to become distractions?
The following items may sometimes be appropriate, but your student will be asked to put them away during certain activities:

  • Cell Phones
  • Digital Camera
  • Backpack

The following items are unnecessary, and should be left at home:

  • Toys
  • Stuffed Animals
  • Weapons
  • Perfume or make-up
  • Money
  • Pets
  • Parents
  • Bad Attitude

What if I am running late for drop off?
Please let us know if you are running late! Call the Visitor Services office at 903-593-0121, and we will coordinate with you. You will likely be asked to bring your student to the main entrance of the zoo.

What if I need to pick up my student early?
If at all possible, communicate this need with your student’s teacher at drop off. If something comes up that requires you to collect your child unexpectedly, call our Visitor Services office at 903-593-0121, and we will coordinate with you. You will likely be asked to come to the main entrance of the zoo to collect your child.

What if my student will be absent?
If your student will be absent, please let us know! We understand that things happen to make a camper miss a day, but we would rather get camp rolling than wait around for someone who is not coming.

What if I need to cancel or reschedule my registration?
ZooSchool is non-refundable. If you are aware in advance that you will no longer be able to attend your program, you may find another child to take your student’s place. To transfer registration to another child, Education Staff must be notified at least a month prior to the start of the Homeschool program. The new student’s registration must be received two weeks prior to the start of the program, or else Caldwell Zoo hold the right to refuse participation.

What if it’s supposed to be rainy?
The class will go on, rain or shine! Please send your child in weather-appropriate clothing, as we will still be outside on rainy days. If there is lightning or any other weather that poses a health risk, we will modify our activities and stay inside.

Who can I contact in case of emergency?
If something comes up during the class, contact our Visitor Services Department at 903-593-0121, and they will coordinate with your student’s teacher.

Can I stay with my child during class?
Because this is a drop-off program, we cannot have parents staying with students. We do not have space to accommodate parents remaining with the group. Having family around can be distracting for students, and we want all participants to get the most out of every class.

Can I remain at the zoo while my child is in class?
Parents and siblings are welcome to enjoy the zoo while are in class, but each parent and sibling must exit the bus lot and enter through the main entrance in order to walk around the zoo. If you are a member, you will have to present your Member ID to enter. If you are not a member, you will be required to pay admission if you wish to stay in the zoo. If you know that you are planning to walk the zoo during your child’s class, you are welcome to walk them to the bus parking lot through the zoo to drop them off, so that you can avoid having to move your car.

What if my child has food allergies?
Please notify us during registration about these allergies. We have alternate snacks that we will provide that are free of the major allergens. However, if your child has a combination of allergies, or is allergic to something uncommon, you are welcome to send separate snacks for your student.

Can I bring group snacks?
If your student has a birthday or other special event during the program, we would love to celebrate with them! Please let us know in advance if you will be bringing a group snack, as some students may have allergies. Any group snacks must be store bought and sealed. If Education Staff does not know about snacks in advance, they have the right to turn away any group snack.

Is my child old enough to enjoy the program?
Your child must be 4 years old before the first day of their program to attend. In order to fully enjoy the program, your student must be able to cooperatively play and sit and listen for 10 minutes. Campers must be toilet trained and must be able to take restroom breaks independently. If you have questions about this policy, please contact us! Reach us by phone: 903-593-0121 ext. 228; reach us by email: education@caldwellzoo.org.

What about my child who needs special accommodations?
We welcome students with special needs! We do ask to be informed of these needs at registration, so that we are able to make accommodations as needed. If your child requires the assistance of an aide, the aide is more than welcome to join the child free of charge, but this must be arranged at the time of registration.

Reservations are only valid for the session booked. ZooSchool is non-refundable; however the reservation can be rescheduled or transferred when possible (as long as the request is make two weeks in advance of the first class). All programs are subject to availability. Be sure to read our ZooSchool information and policies thoroughly. Caldwell Zoo has the right to cancel these programs at any time without prior notice for full refund. If your student jeopardizes the welfare of an animal or the safety of anyone in the group they will be removed from the program with no refund. All participants must be the age of their program at the start of the first class. Any campers that are registered for the wrong age group risk their reservation to be cancelled for no refund. Age will be verified on the first day of class. Please call 903-593-0121 for more details on limitations. Prices are subject to change without notice.
Please feel free to contact our Education Department at education@caldwellzoo.org or by calling us at 903-593-0121 ext. 228.
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