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Children participate in many first time learning experiences that are remembered for years. Most students excel in the hands-on learning environment. For many children it is the first time dipping their feet into a cool mountain stream, listening to the wind in the trees or watching a squirrel leap from branch to branch. Our Naturalist staff create a safe environment for students to learn about science outdoors as it happens. For example students learn about the food chain while watching a deer browsing and while exploring for signs of animals and digging in the dirt. On 4 and 5 day programs, classes will visit Calaveras Big Trees State Park and Moaning Caverns. In addition to learning science, students learn that they can depend on  their classmates and face challenges. These social and personal achievements lead our families to comment on how mature their child has become during a week at Foothill Horizons Outdoor School.

Our priority is caring for your child.


Outdoor School Information / Información Para La Familia

NEW!  Join us for our monthly Overnight Family Informational Sessions over Zoom- we will discuss COVID protocols, safety procedures, and preparing your child for their week of outdoor education.  Check our Facebook page or ask you child's school for more details.

WHO WILL SUPERVISE MY CHILD?

Your child will be supervised at all times.  All Foothill Horizons staff members have been carefully interviewed, referenced and fingerprinted. Below are the people who will be caring for your child.

  • Classroom teachers - your child's classroom teacher will attend with your child's class and participate in many activities with your child such as: hiking on the trails, eating meals, recess and they will make rounds at bedtime.
  • Naturalists - our experienced Naturalists provide the instruction on the trail and coordinates all activities. They are trained to create the most supportive environment for your child.
  • High School Counselors - these selected high school students will be helping your child in the dorms, such as getting ready for the day and arriving to hikes on time and prepared. They are trained and coached throughout the week to provide the best care for your child.
  • Bus Drivers - Foothill Horizons will be transporting most school groups (along with a classroom teacher) on our own buses driven by our own Foothill staff, who all know and live by our motto: kids come first.

WHERE WILL MY CHILD SLEEP?

Your child will sleep on a bunk-style bed in a heated and air conditioned dormitory building. The dorms are separated into a girls section and a boys section. Each section has its own individual bathroom and shower stalls. We take pride in the cleanliness of our facilities.
SEE PHOTOS.

WHAT IF MY CHILD TAKES MEDICATION?

  • If your child takes medication, you must fill out this MEDICATION AUTHORIZATION FORM  (Petición de permiso para la administración)  Upon arrival, our Registered Nurse reviews all paperwork and medications.  Your child will receive their medication at the times selected on the form.
  • Our Health Clerk and all of our Naturalists are trained in CPR/First Aid and can administer authorized medications.

WHAT IF MY CHILD NEEDS A BAND-AID?

  • We strive to provide exceptional care for every student who attends the program. On the STUDENT HEALTH FORM (Información de salud) please write down any medical needs, medications, and recent illness or injuries. Our health office staff is available to help students between 7am and 9:30pm; 2 trained staff members are on call all night.
  • Our Health Clerk and all of our Naturalists are trained in CPR/First Aid and can assist with caring for your child’s minor bumps and bruises.  We will contact the guardians who are listed on the Emergency Contact portion of the student’s health form if your child becomes ill or injured.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT COVID?

  • See our plan HERE

WHAT ABOUT THE MENU?  WHAT IF MY CHILD HAS A FOOD ALLERGY? 

Students generally rave about our food!  We serve well-balanced meals prepared by our dedicated kitchen staff. SAMPLE MENU If your child is allergic to any food, if they're vegetarian or gluten-free, please write the details on your child’s Health Information Form.  Refer to our  STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL DIETS (Estudiantes Con Dietas Especiales) for our detailed policy.

WHY SHOULD I SEND MY CHILD TO FOOTHILL? 

  • Skills for life! - Your child will be engaging in conversation, learning how to ask questions and make observations, working with others, sharing thoughts about the day over a meal, and overcome challenges.
  • Social and Emotional Growth! - Your child will make new friends, find a bit of independence by managing their time and decisions, and will get to try new things. 
  • Science knowledge!  Your child will get hands-on experience being a scientist by making observations, developing an argument based on evidence, and they will begin to see the ways all things are connected.
  • Self Confidence! - Your child will discover that they are a strong and capable learner.
  • Memories that last a lifetime!  Climbing through the boulder caves, visiting the creek, hiking to the top of the Sky Tower to see the stars, singing together at Campfire... the list goes on.
  • Experienced staff!  Many of our Naturalists have been part of the Foothill Family for decades, so we know how to make your child's week the best ever. 
  • ... and of course... Over 60 years of tradition!   (Do you still have your name tag!?)  

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE?

WHAT SHOULD MY CHILD PACK FOR THEIR OVERNIGHT STAY?

  • View a PACKING LIST (en Español)
  • Please DO NOT send:
    • Cell Phones
    • Electronics 
    • Money
    • Cough drops, vitamins, over-the-counter meds - unless you and your medical provider have filled out paperwork for them 
  • Check the weather!  It can be A LOT colder at Foothill than where you live - pack accordingly!

WHAT IF I NEED TO CONTACT MY CHILD?

  • In the event of an emergency at home, you can call us and ask to speak to your child.  Non-emergency phone calls can divert valuable staff resources, can increase homesickness, and are generally discouraged.  Students may not bring cell phones to Foothill during overnight programs.

DO YOU POST PHOTOS OF THE KIDS WHILE THEY'RE UP THERE?

  • Our staff is incredibly busy interacting with your child and giving them the safest and best experience they can have... but we will still do our best to try and take photos throughout the week and post them on our Facebook page.  
  • By signing the back of your child's STUDENT HEALTH FORM, you provide consent for us to photograph and/or record your child's image and voice.  If you choose to not give consent, you can simply cross that section of the paragraph out on the back of the form, and we will not include your student in photos.

I AM WORRIED ABOUT TINY CRITTERS LIKE BEDBUGS OR LICE... 

  • We are proactive and committed to doing our best to prevent any participant from dealing with these tiny pests, but we will be upfront and honest with you if an incident does occur.  The best thing you can do at home is to prevent anything from coming up with your child.  Read more about that here:

HOW ARE DISCIPLINARY SITUATIONS HANDLED?

  • Our number one priority is the physical and emotional safety of every child.  Though we look and feel like a camp, we are still a school and all school rules apply.  Because our classes are held outdoors - we have additional rules to ensure the safety of all.  Both you and your child will sign the back of the Health Form indicating to us that you have read and understand our discipline policy.  We will remind your student of that policy soon after they arrive.  Students will be guided by our staff and counselors to make healthy and kind choices, however, students who are not safe may not get to stay.  If after some warnings, your student continues to make unsafe or poor choices, we will contact you and inform you of the behavior.  If after that call home, your child continues to misbehave, we will call you and ask you to come pick up your child and take them home. 

WHERE CAN I BUY FOOTHILL MERCHANDISE?

  • If your child is attending with their 6th grade class, it is likely that there is someone at the school coordinating an advanced purchase.  All money is handled by your child's school and your child will receive their merchandise on the day they arrive.
  • You can also visit our online store for other Foothill Merchandise options.

 

QUICK LINKS

All Forms

Meet our Staff

Virtual Tour of Facility

Class Descriptions

Your child is home, now what?

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