Frequently Asked Questions
What's happening with DWS in regards to COVID-19?
See our COVID-19 Plan Here.
The class I want to register for is full. What should I do?
Please register for the wait list. We use the wait list to know when/if we should open another section for a class. You do not need to pay the deposit to register for the wait list. If a spot in the class opens up, you will automatically be sent an email that will allow you to join the class. An email will be sent to the next person on the wait list two days later, if you haven't claimed your spot in the class.
Which days are classes?
Classes meet once per week. When you sign up, you choose the day of the week that works best for your family- Wednesdays or Thursdays.
Where do classes meet?
Courses will be held at Little Pine Island Camp in Comstock Park.
Are classes per year or per semester?
All classes are one year long. Different topics are studied per semester, but all courses are one year. Registration is broken into fall and spring semesters so that payments can also be broken up that way.
Is there work outside of class?
There is no mandatory work outside of class. Each week, we will email out our newsletter with a few optional extension activities that you may choose to do at home. This is meant to support you in your schooling at home, not to burden you in any way.
Can parents come too?
The Juniors classes for ages 2-6 is a parent/child class. Babies are always welcome for no fee. For older student courses, Nature Explorers and Nature Connection, you are always welcome to join us.
Will restrooms be available?
At Little Pine Island Camp, we rent Cedar Lodge each week that has boys and girls restrooms. We ask younger students to "try to go" before we go out on our adventure. Along the trail, students are taught to go in the woods if they feel comfortable. Otherwise, they can be escorted back to the Lodge to use the restroom.
How can I receive help with tuition?
We do not want tuition to be a burden on your family. We believe every child should be able to participate in an outdoor education program. In certain situations, we can offer reduced tuition rates based on income level. Please contact us for more information.
Are snacks/lunch provided?
Students are asked to bring their own lunch, snacks and water bottles. On occasion, we might eat or drink tea from plants foraged from our outdoor classroom, under the direct supervision of our knowledgeable instructors. Please communicate with us if this is not something you feel comfortable with.
What gear is provided?
Students are asked to come dressed in layers, ready for a day outside. We do not provide gear, but do help guide parents in what to buy and how to dress for different weather. Here’s a link to the page with more information about gear.
Will my child be safe in an outdoor classroom?
Student safety is our number one concern. Even though we allow students much freedom to explore, children are never out of sight. In addition, we teach basic safety skills to students so they know how far they may go from an adult, how high they may climb, and what to do if they need help. Our staff members are certified in first-aid and CPR skills, and always have access to a phone in case of an emergency. Click here to read more about risks associated with an outdoor classroom.
My child has allergies /health /medical condition or disability. Can s/he participate?
Every child benefits from being out in nature. Often, being outdoors is a calming environment and students with special needs thrive in the outdoor classroom. We want to learn more about your child and find a way to make it work! Please contact us and we will make a plan together.