Frequently Asked Questions
Which days are classes?
All courses are offered Mondays or Wednesdays. When you register, select the day that works best for you. Most courses are at capacity, and registration is for waitlist only.
Where do classes meet?
Nature Courses will take place at Mill Race Park in Grandville. Crafting and Outdoor Sports classes will take place at Wedgewood Park (just a short walk across the street).
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.
Do I register for the full day or individual classes?
We would love to have your child with us for the full day of classes. But you know what is best for him/her. When you register, select whichever courses are best for your child.
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?
We would love to have you join us! But it’s not required. Please sign up to be a parent helper if you can. We would like two parent helpers in each class throughout the year. Click Here for the sign up link. Parent helpers may bring younger babies or toddlers as well. Click here for more information about being a parent helper.
Will restrooms be available?
The park restrooms close November 1 and open again May 1. Weeks that the park restroom is closed, a portable restroom is available on site.
What are the student to adult ratios?
All classes will have a ratio of 1 adult per 5 students. Adults include the lead guide (teacher), the mentor (teacher aid), and the parent helpers. Class sizes are limited. See class descriptions for each class size limit.
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. Discovery Wilderness School has connected with the Niles and Hamilton Home School Partnerships for tuition payments. Click Here for more information about Partnerships. 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. We maintain a 5:1 student to adult ratio to ensure each child is directly supervised. 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.