Frequently Asked Questions
But, what if it rains?
As the forest school adage goes, there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing choices. If we're lucky enough to have rain, we require that children come dressed in a muddy buddy (or rain jacket and waterproof pants) and rain boots. In rare cases of extreme weather (lightning storms, severe wind and rain, etc.) class will be canceled and an emergency closure day utilized.
What curriculum is utilized? Will my child be prepared academically?
The Native School leverages emergent and creative curriculum, based on our well rounded, holistic approach to literacy. While our methodology and strong belief in forest school outdoor education may be different than a typical walled classroom, our program meets and exceeds state standards in literacy. This includes shared reading, shared writing, quality independent reading, and word study to name a few. These literacy components draw on the natural materials and inspirations of our outdoor classrooms. We do not simply bring reading or writing instruction outdoors; we pull from our students’ emergent discoveries, evolving interests, hands on outdoor classroom experiences, and choose meaningful “living stories” with topics that our students are interested in. In this way, learning is experiential and involved, and not reduced to a simple absorption of facts.
What about restroom visits? How does that work?
We have access to public restrooms, but if an urgent bathroom need arises teachers are prepared “Native School style” with portable sanitation supplies. We follow a carry in/carry out, leave no trace policy.
Why do you ask for a commitment for the September-June school year?
Our program is built on relationships and community. This is at the very heart of our school, and naturally, these things take time to build and cultivate. Annually, we have an 80% return student rate, which speaks to how valued our program is for families. We can only sustain this momentum when families are committed for the duration of the school year. Additionally, our forest school is focused on integration with nature. This includes the rhythm of the seasons, which can only be observed and felt by attending the full year cycle with us.
How do I best prepare and dress my child for forest school?
Once enrolled, The Native School provides a comprehensive Parent Orientation deck which reviews and recommends all clothing to best prepare your child for all seasons and conditions. It also goes over gear outfitting, as well as lunch and snack recommendations for phsically active forest schoolers.
How does your wait list work?
Our enrollment process is a three step process: