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To:            Sixth Grade Teachers     
Subject:  Nature’s Classroom Field Study
                

Your Nature’s Classroom Contact will provide you with a copy of the three-day schedule for your students.  Important Tips for Teachers (attached) in preparation for Nature’s Classroom.  Review these pages and make every effort to prepare yourself and your students in advance for the field study.

*****************************PLEASE REMEMBER***************************

1.  There MUST be two School District Employees with each class during all activities. One will be a Nature’s Classroom staff and the other from your school.  If necessary, please make prior arrangements with another participating teacher to cover classes where there might be a special need.

2.  REMIND students and adults of the rules, procedures and guidelines found on the “Important Tips for Students / Teachers and Chaperones” form listed below.                      

3.  Follow School District dress code.  Watch the weather and wear appropriate clothing.  Closed- toed and -backed shoes are required for everyone.


Please have an emergency contact list for each student on the field trip.  

We do not have a full-time Health Assistant at Nature’s Classroom.  Prepare for this trip as you would for other off-campus educational experiences.  Arrangements must be made with your Health Assistant/teacher/parents to provide any care for students with special needs.

Upon arrival at Nature’s Classroom on the first day, please remain on your bus.  A Nature’s Classroom staff member will greet you and show you to the shelter and tables that are to be used by your class during the three-day field experience.  

As part of the accountability to the Southwest Florida Water Management District, we will be administering the pre/post assessment to your students here on campus.  

For more information regarding responsibilities of students as well as teachers, please refer to the list of Important Tips for Teachers provided in this packet.

IMPORTANT TIPS for STUDENTS / TEACHERS and CHAPERONES

Please stress that the Nature’s Classroom Field Study is a learning experience.  As we are a Hillsborough County school, all School District policies apply.   

NAMETAGS:  All students should wear a nametag with FIRST name in LARGE print (masking tape or “sticker type” is sufficient and most comfortable for students).  Please, NO straight pin or safety pins used with nametags.  Students should have these prior to exiting the bus.

CLOTHING:  Students and adults should be aware of the weather and wear appropriate clothing for spending the entire day outdoors.  School dress codes should be followed.  Closed-toed, closed-backed shoes are required to be worn by students and adults.  No flip-flops, sandals, clogs, crocks or slings.  Those with inappropriate footwear will be asked to choose a pair of dipping shoes from our collection to wear for the remainder of the day.

LUNCHES:  Follow your school’s standard field trip procedures for providing lunches.  Please make sure to verify your lunch count before leaving your campus.  We do not have lunch facilities for students or adults without food.  It is preferred that school lunches are either separated by class in boxes or have each child carry their own.  Large coolers must fit in bus seats – maximum size:  38” X 16”

Teachers need to supervise their class during lunch.  Nature’s Classroom teachers will provide a break for teachers prior to the lunch period, if requested.  If a teacher needs to be away from their class, please provide for supervision with a neighboring teacher.  Students are to remain seated while in the shelters.

GENERAL TEACHER RESPONSIBILITIES:  SDHC guidelines require three copies of the participating students’ names and parent/guardian phone numbers be given to the bus driver before they are able to leave your site.   Drivers are instructed not to leave your site until they have received these phone lists.

Be familiar with and provide to the Nature’s Classroom instructor, in advance of the program, any information regarding medical or special accommodation needs for students with 504 or IEP plans.  

Take responsibility for the general welfare and maintenance of discipline of your class.

Field trip permissions should be acquired for this field study.  They may be housed at your school.

Students that need to be dropped off or picked up for the Nature’s Classroom site by a parent or guardian will need to be signed in and out at the Administrative Building.  

Though not an expectation of Nature’s Classroom, your school may choose to utilize chaperones.  Clearance should be received from your administrator for use of chaperones.  Your teachers are asked to set the expectations of these individuals prior to attending.

Adults are asked to model the expectations given to the students.  Please refrain from use of cell phones or other electronics, chewing gum or eating during the activities.

Remind students to bring a hand towel to dry feet on the appropriate day for shoreline sampling.   Nature’s Classroom has a supply of dipping shoes for students’ use.  Those students wearing less than 5 or greater than 13 might want to bring their own closed-toed/backed shoes to use in this activity.

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES:  (Review with students before trip)
Be gentle and quiet – refrain from noise or loud play in the shelter area or woods.
Be kind to plants – do not pick or pluck them so others may enjoy them.
Keep up with the group.
Stay on the trails for your comfort and safety.
Be kind and courteous to each other for a pleasant three days at Nature’s Classroom.

MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION:  Bug spray is to be applied prior to coming to school.  Please do not allow students to bring bug spray to Nature’s Classroom.     
Water (only) may be carried to most of our activities.  There are water machines in each shelter ($1.50). We are not able to give    refunds or make change. Quarters work best in these machines.   
T-Shirts may be purchased through your Nature’s Classroom teacher. They will collect student’s money at the beginning of the day. ($15.00/ Cash Only).  
Ice cream, cookies and various chips will also be sold during lunch for $2.00/Cash Only.

If you have any questions regarding your Nature’s Classroom experience, please don’t hesitate to call 987-6969.