NW Family Guidebook Summary
Northwoods Forest School Policies
Here you will find a summary of our policies, as well as contact information. For more detail, consult the complete handbook you received in your Family's Welcome Package.
Health: If a child is runnings a fever (100+), vomiting, having diarrhea, or unexplained rash- please keep them at home.
Allergies: please fill out medical form of all known allergies for your child. (food/wilderness)
Medications: pharmaceutical medications must be administered by parent, or a notarized consent form must be on file.
Over-the-Counter: Northwoods only applies/distributes natural herbal remedies. Parent permission must also be on file.
Sensitivities: If your child has sensory sensitivities (light, sound, activity), please make sure a Sensitivities Form is on file and current.
Bathroom Facilities: Please note we use composting toilets. We have seperate, boys & girl's restroom for the use of staff /students. The girls bathroom will have supplies for moontimes for unexpected situations and space for the students to keep their own personal supplies (which is encouraged.)
Your child will have wide open areas to explore, but our rule is that the child must always be able to see a Guide and a Guide must always be able to see the student.
Meaning, students will always be within sight of a Guide.
This is of the utmost importance. If this is disregarded by students repetitively, then that would be cause for a family conference for a solution.
Hide & Seek - games in which a student is "hiding," will be within boundary areas only.
Trails - some trails will be groomed and some will not. All trails will have game cameras for security and safety as well as observation of nocturnal wildlife!
"Off-Trail" is only available to students at designated and pre-surveyed forest areas. This is to prevent injury and keep the forest area and wildlife protected.
Foraging; wild foraging is discouraged without supervision and then only allowed after a student can correctly identify the wild edible consistently multiple times. Garden foraging will be available to all students in growing season. We also promote the rule of ten when on Guide-directed foraging hikes. This protects future harvests and pollinators food sources.
While we do our best to preview the forest areas that we frequent for things that may be bothersome (poison ivy, nettle, etc.), sometimes a student may encounter it - if this happens at school, we do have a "topical irritation protocol," but most encounters will need follow-up attention. Please make sure you note any allergies or known reactions to these types of flora.
Our full-time Guides have basic First Aid Training as well as Wilderness First Aid Certification and CPR certification.
We try to prepare for what we may encounter, and if we are experiencing something beyond our ability we contact the parent/guardian right away.
In the rare instance that there is a serious injury, 911 is called first, then the parent. Our location has a high number of registered First Responders in a 10 mile radius- so help is very quick, if or when needed.
Parent is called directly after, and the on-file protocol is then followed.
We have all procedures detailed in our Family Welcome Packet, so please make sure you make any changes or adjustments at the the time of registration.
Tuition options are available.
A small registration fee is due at enrollment to hold your spot.
After that there is a 9-month payment plan based on the option you choose.
When there are scholarships available, these will be calculated on a sliding scale to off-set a family's tuition based on need/income.
Food & Herb
At Northwoods we do provide your child with a hearty lunch. This will include a whole protein (not-processed), and whole vegetable and fruits. For drinks there will be available- water, almond milk (commercially prepared) or coconut milk (commercially prepared).
We will always have organic bread and gluten-free bread on hand for our "grain" if your family chooses to take advantage of that option.
If you would like your student to have other options, lunch food or beverages, please pack that for them daily.
Your child will need two snacks every day to keep their body fueled. Outdoor learning burns more calories than being indoors at a desk so lets make sure they are not running on empty!
Some suggestions would be snacks free of food-coloring, low in refined sugars and full of complex carbohydrates or full of protein. Examples would be: trail mix (a few chocolate chips, raisins, or cranraisins mixed in won't hurt it), meat-snack like jerky (watch out for nitrates- no nitrate brands are preferred for growing bodies), dried fruits, pretzels/crackers/puffedcorn etc. As always, whatever works for your family is always a good starting point!
Sometimes teas will be available to students.
These often are herbal and organic. If your child has any allergies or food sensitivities, this should be kept in mind when filling out the food allergy form.
Occasionally local edibles will be harvested for your child to try. This could include wild strawberries, wild mints, wild raspberry, young evergreen tips, dandelion, etc. These are all closely monitored and Guides are the identifiers/harvesters.
At Northwoods we also utilize herbal remedies for some first aid purposes. These can be clay, essential oil, teas, salves, etc. All these are mostly organic or mild, but if your family has preferences or allergies please let us know so we have that on file.
Northwoods would like to cultivate gratitude and mindfulness in our students.
This is beneficial in a number of ways and it helps keep our learning environment, our natural world, and our hearts in a positive and respectful space.
This area is where any discipline or behavior hurdles will be tackled.
When there is mindfulness, there is empathy. Where there is gratitude, there is respect.
Empathy and respect are the building blocks to creating our school community.
If students are encountering a difficult communication situation, Guides will facilitate if needed, to help the students problem solve and find solutions on their own with gentle guidance.
If a student continually disregards that respectful boundary, a conference with the parent will be scheduled.