ZooSchool

Homeschool at the Zoo, for Everyone

The ever-popular Caldwell ZooSchool is back! Now, more than ever, families need positive learning outlets that deliver exceptional education and safe social interaction. ZooSchool engages school-age children with hands-on learning that’s both entertaining and memorable. Our ZooSchool has a proven history of providing the perfect combination of focus, camaraderie and fun.

Program Information

We blend intellectual exploration and group interaction to deliver nature-based education your child will remember always. Our curriculum is designed to encourage curiosity and creativity. Children get the best out of every lesson through a mix of indoor and outdoor activities featuring age-appropriate experiments, games and crafts. Our experienced educators ensure every student gets personal attention while making each lesson truly engaging. This year we are offering a Fall/Winter Session and a new Spring Session. Join us for some seriously smart fun!

ZooSchool

You Can Register For The Following

Fall/Winter 2021-2022

(ages 4-6, 7-9, 10-13, 14-18)

ZooSchool classes meet once a month for a total of 6 sessions. Classes meet from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. on select days and include a light snack for all students.

Pricing

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

Spring 2022

(ages 4-6, 7-9, 10-13)

ZooSchool classes meet once a month for a total of 3 sessions. Classes meet from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. on select days and include a light snack for all students.

Pricing

ZooMembers: $50 for 3 sessions
Non-members: $60 for 3 sessions

Program Themes

For the 2021-2022 Fall/Winter Session, students will learn about the Caldwell Zoo’s animal family and what it takes to keep them healthy, happy and actively engaged. Your child is sure to enjoy close-up experiences with our menagerie, as well as behind-the-scenes views of our expert animal care!

Our Spring Session will explore animals’ unique characteristics, how special adaptations help them survive, and what we can learn from them. Whether students are studying tracks and scat, learning the differences between poison and venom or examining animal bones, they will be amazed at what distinctive traits tell us about the animals we admire and love.

Fall/Winter Session Dates

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

Spring Session Dates

Session A
4-6 year olds
7-9 year olds
Mar 1, Apr 5, May 3
Session B
4-6 year olds
7-9 year olds
Mar 2, Apr 6, May 4
Session C
4-6 year olds
7-9 year olds
Mar 3, Apr 7, May 5
Session D
7-9 year olds
10-13 year olds
Mar 8, Apr 12, May 10
Session E
7-9 year olds
10-13 year olds
Mar 9, Apr 13, May 11
Session F
10-13 year olds
14-18 year olds
Mar 10, Apr 14, May 12

Frequently Asked Questions

The Caldwell Zoo takes the health and safety of its guests, employees and animals seriously. The zoo follows the guidelines set by state health officials. We continually monitor any changes to state guidelines and make adjustments based on updated recommendations. For specific information, please contact the Education Department, education@caldwellzoo.org.

How many students are in each class?
We will have up to 12 students in 4-6 year old classes. For ages 7-9, 10-13 and 14-18, we will have up to 15 students in a class. There are two teachers in all ZooSchool classes.

What if my child falls in between two age brackets?
For 4-6 year old classes, all students must be at least 4 years old before the first date of the session. For students with a birthday in the middle of a session that would bump them into an older age bracket, parents may register the child for the older group if their birthday falls on or before November 30.

What forms are required before my child can participate?
During drop off on the first day of class, we will collect your paperwork including your Authorized Adult form, Emergency Contact Information and Policy/Liability Release form. To expedite the check-in process on the first day, print and fill out these forms at home and have them ready to hand to zoo staff upon arrival.

What if something comes up and I need to cancel my registration?
Caldwell Zoo does not provide refunds for cancelled registrations. Our programs are planned months ahead of time, so staffing is arranged and supplies are ordered based on reservations. However, we understand surprises happen, and we will try to accommodate requests for registration changes if your child cannot attend the ZooSchool session for which he or she is registered. You are welcome to find another camper to take your child’s spot as long as the registration is transferred before the first day of the camp session. To transfer registration to another child, you must notify zoo staff at least one month prior to the start of the session, and we must receive the registration for the new camper at least two weeks before the first day of the session. If these deadlines are not met, the zoo may disallow the other student’s participation. You are welcome to find another camper to take your child’s spot as long as the registration is transferred before the first day of the camp session. To transfer registration to another child, you must notify zoo staff at least one month prior to the start of the session, and we must receive the registration for the new camper at least two weeks before the first day of the session. If these deadlines are not met, the Zoo may disallow the other student’s participation.

Drop Off
Each afternoon before class begins, we will meet you and your child at the bus parking lot for drop off. The bus parking lot is on Gentry Parkway, right beside the Sonic. Please form a car line leading to the curb where zoo staff will greet you and help your child get to the right location inside the zoo. The bus lot gates open at 12:20 p.m. We suggest you arrive as close to 12:20 p.m. as possible to avoid backing up traffic on Gentry Parkway. ZooSchool begins at 12:30 p.m. or everyone’s safety, please stay in your vehicle during drop off if possible. You may get out of your car if doing so is necessary to get your child out of a car seat. For the safety of our staff and your family, please wear a facemask while zoo staff are interacting with you or your child in carpool line. We ask that parents not walk their child into Summer Camp as this delays the drop off process for others.

Please have your child’s registration paperwork filled out and ready to hand to zoo staff upon arrival.

Pick Up
Class ends at 3:30 p.m. The bus lot gates open at 3:30 p.m. Please form a car line leading to the curb just as you did during drop off. All adults must show their ID each day. We will use the Authorized Adult form to verify who is authorized to pick up each child. Please remain in your vehicle, and we will bring your child to your car.

What does my student need to bring?
Each child should bring the following items to class every day:

  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • Closed-toed Shoes
  • Weather-appropriate clothes
The following items also may be useful, depending on daily weather conditions:
  • Rain jacket/umbrella
  • Winter coat
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
What should my student not bring?
The following items should be left at home:
  • Toys
  • Stuffed animals
  • Weapons
  • Perfume or make-up
  • Money
  • Pets
  • Parents
  • Bad Attitude
The following items may sometimes be appropriate, but your student will be asked to put them away during certain activities:
  • Cell phone
  • Digital camera
  • Backpack

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. Most likely you will be asked to bring your student to the main entrance of the zoo when you arrive.

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

What if my student will be absent?
We understand that things happen that may cause a students to miss a day. If your student will be absent, please let us know. We would like to get class rolling rather than wait around for someone who is not coming that day.

What if I need to cancel my registration after a session begins?
ZooSchool is non-refundable, and registration cannot be cancelled or rescheduled after a session has begun.

What if rain is predicted?
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 lightning or other weather poses a health risk, we will stay inside and modify our activities.

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

Can I stay with my child during class?
ZooSchool is designed to be a drop-off program, so parents may not stay with a child during class. There is not enough space to accommodate both students and parents, and students can be distracted when their parents are around. 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 students are in class. If you know you will be remaining at the zoo during your child’s class, feel free to park in the main parking lot as soon as you arrive and walk your child through the zoo to the bus parking lot for drop off. If you prefer to use the drop off line, you must exit the bus lot and park in the main lot, allowing you to enter the zoo using the main entrance. To enter the zoo, members must present their Member ID, and non-members must pay admission.

What if my child has food allergies or dietary restrictions?
Please notify us during registration about any allergies your child has so that we can take protective measures. We will try to provide alternate snacks free of major food 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?
We would love to celebrate with students who have a birthday or other special event during the program! Please let the Education Staff know in advance if you will be bringing group snacks. Group snacks must be store bought and sealed. For the safety of all students, if these guidelines are not followed, we have the right not to serve the group snacks brought by a parent.

Is my child old enough to enjoy the program?
To attend ZooSchool, your child must be 4 years old before the first class. To fully enjoy the program, your student should be able to play cooperatively and sit and listen for 10 minutes. Students must be toilet trained and able to take restroom breaks independently. If you have questions about this policy, please contact us! We can be reached by phone at 903-593-0121 ext. 228 or by email at education@caldwellzoo.org.

What about my child who needs special accommodations?
We welcome students with special needs! We do ask to be informed at registration so we can make appropriate 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 as long as this arrangement is scheduled at the time of registration.

Reservations are only valid for the registered child and the session booked. ZooSchool is non-refundable. Reservations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis; many sessions are likely to fill. Caldwell Zoo may cancel any session or class at any time without prior notice. If this occurs, the zoo will provide a full refund for a cancelled session or a pro rata refund for a cancelled class. Participants must follow all camp rules and the instructions provided by ZooSchool teachers. Any child who jeopardizes the welfare of an animal or the safety of anyone in the group will be removed from the program without a refund. All participants must be within their program’s age bracket on the day of the first class. Ages will be verified on the first day. Students registered for a program outside their own age bracket may be removed from the program without a refund. Please call 903-593-0121 for more details on program policies. 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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