We are excited to announce that we will be offering a new in-person program for grades K-6 (approx. ages 6-12) called Audubon's Forest Classroom. We integrate the outdoor classroom with rigorous academic concepts, conservation-based themes, and connection with nature. This program is designed to provide students supplemental learning to their homeschool or in-classroom education, as well as routine during this uncertain time.
Every Wednesday from January 20-May 26 the same small group of students will meet with two of Audubon's Teacher-Naturalists to give us the flexibility to work in age-appropriate small groups or come together as one big class. This program will follow the model of our Forest Playschool, where children are given the opportunity to lead their days with inquiry and are supported by our Teacher-Naturalists with seasonal topics and nature mentoring. No two days look the same, but themes of cooperation, curiosity, and phenology will prevail throughout our sessions.
Check our our Forest Classroom Blog for insight on how we spent our Fall session and how we our spending our Winter/Spring session!
Grades: K-6 (approx. ages 6-12)
Dates: NEW: We have created an April start date for those interested in joining us once it warms up! April7th- May 26th, 17 weeks (There will not be a program during April 4/21.)
Time: 9am - 1pm
Location: Audubon Vermont's Clubhouse (accessed by the sugarhouse parking area on Main Road). This program will be entirely outdoors. We will spend our days hiking and playing outside at the Green Mountain Audubon Center. In the event of unsafe weather (driving rain, thunderstorms, high wind, etc) we will cancel and refund your program fee.
April Start, member: Audubon Vermont members $210, April 7 through May 26
April Start, nonmember: Non-member $245, April 7 through May 26
Full-Term, member: Audubon Vermont members $510 for 17 weeks, January - May
Full-Term, nonmember: Non-members $595 for 17 weeks, January- May.
You can become a member of Audubon Vermont and the National Audubon Society with a donation of $20 or more. Consider a $35 Membership for your Family: vt.audubon.org/join
Forms: Health and Liability Release Forms are required for all drop-off programs (parents leave their students in our care). Download these forms at the bottom of the page "Downloadable Resources"
Refund/Cancellation Policy: Full refunds will be issued up until the Friday before the program (Friday, January 15). NO refunds are available after this time.
**COVID + Cancellation policy for 2021**
Our small program does not have the same risk tolerance or support system as our local schools. As such, we might decide to push back the start date, cancel a meeting, or stop programing if COVID numbers spike in our county. If we have to cancel for COVID, you will be refunded for any affected sessions through this online system to your card on file. You can also choose to make a donation to Audubon Vermont and not claim your refund.
Because this program is entirely outdoors for the winter, we might have to cancel for single-digit temperatures or temperatures below 35 degrees F with wet weather. We will give families as much advance notice as we can. We normally do not refund for weather, but in this case as we are restricting indoor time in close quarters, you will be entitled to a refund in the form of an Audubon Gift Certificate, good towards an Audubon Program (partner programs may not be eligible) or maple syrup.
We will make these refunds at the end of the session in May. To request a refund, contact Debbie Archer.
We are committed to our community's health & safety.
Please read carefully and let us know of any questions.
We are so excited to welcome children back to our programs. However, things will be different during this program as we implement precautions to keep you, your children, and Audubon staff safe in the face of COVID-19. We are following precautions from the Department of Health and Agency of Education in addition to recommendations from the National Audubon Society. All of this means things will be a little different in practice, but our mission of high quality outdoor learning remains. This list is subject to change and we will let parents of registered children know of any changes.
Children may not attend when they:
- Have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
- Have symptoms, been tested for COVID, and are awaiting results
- Are sick for any reason
- Show symptoms of COVID-19, such as a cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell
- Have a fever
- Have a significant new rash, particularly when other symptoms are present,
- Have large amounts of nasal discharge in the absence of allergy diagnosis
- If symptoms begin while at Audubon, the child will be sent home immediately ➢ Individuals with a temperature greater than 100.4 F will be sent home until they have had no fever for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications (e.g., ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol
Healthy children and/or staff with the following symptoms/conditions are not excluded from in-person activities:
- Allergy symptoms (with no fever) that cause coughing and clear runny nose may stay if they have medically diagnosed allergies and follow medical treatment plans.
- Well-controlled asthma
This inclusion does NOT require a medical clearance note from a healthcare provider when the child's allergy and/or asthma condition was known by the childcare program/provider prior to COVID-19. If you are new to our program OR have a new diagnosis of asthma or allergies, that will require written confirmation from the child's healthcare provider. A signed doctors note or copy of well child exam that documents well-controlled asthma or allergies is fine.
** We would love to talk to you about your child if they are at high risk due to underlying health conditions to determine if our program is a good choice for them, your family, and our staff.
Drop-off and pick-up. The Agency of Education suggests the same person do drop off and pick up. This person and child must wear a mask and will be asked COVID screening questions and have their temperature taken with a forehead scanner during the sign-in and out process. After screening questions (contact with COVID-19 case and symptom checker) and temperature check, you and your child(ren) will sanitize your hands and be allowed to sign in and join the group. We are keeping a record of who does drop off and pick up.
Masks are required by program participants, with a few exceptions.
We will be outside while the program is operating to be able to maintain social distance. According to the Governor’s Mask mandate and the Department of Health, "Cloth facial coverings can be removed during outdoor activities where children and staff can maintain physical distancing; they need to have ready access to put them back as needed when activity stops."
Our staff will wear masks when they need to interact closely with your child or when indoors, but may take them off outside when socially distancing. Likewise, your child will be asked to wear a mask when they interact closely with another person. We are coming up with fun games to avoid masks, but understand that sometimes, kids just want to be close to others! We need your help in explaining to your child the importance of masks and that we wear them to keep each other safe.
- Children under 2-years-old should not wear a cloth facial covering
- Help your children to understand the importance of wearing cloth facial coverings to prevent the spread of germs
- Cloth facial coverings are developmentally appropriate for children when they can properly put on, take off, and not touch or suck on the covering
- Children with medical reason for not wearing a cloth facial covering must not wear one
- Children should not wear a cloth facial covering while sleeping, eating, swimming, or other times when they would get wet
- CDC: Talking with Children about Corona Virus https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/talking-with-children.html
- CDC: Helping Children Cope https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/for-parents.html