Field Program FAQs

You’ve booked a program at one of our field sites or are considering submitting a request, and you have some questions. No problem, we’re happy to help! Below are some of the most common conversations we have but you can always call our office and speak with one of our super friendly and helpful staff at 1-888-421-1497

How do I access the busing subsidy?*

*Busing subsidies are applicable to Cooking Lake, Des Crossley, Huestis, Evergreen, Wood Buffalo forest programs and certain wetlands programs.

A busing subsidy is available for some of our forest and wetlands programs. The subsidy is made available by our program partners on an annual basis and schools must invoice them directly upon completion of the program. Please refer to your teachers guide or inquire directly with the Inside Education staff booking your program to see if your school qualifies!

If your program/school qualifies please read our Field Program Busing Subsidy Policy

I’ve submitted a request, when will I hear if I will get my requested date?

We book our programs a minimum of 1 month in advance. For September programming, you can expect to hear from us in June. We collect requests throughout the year, but will notify you when a program is full on our website.

It says it’s no-cost…what’s the catch?

There isn’t one! Inside Education along with our partners believe in experiential education and providing outdoor learning opportunities for all students. Our programs are offered at no cost. Schools are responsible for booking and paying for busing, however we even offer a busing subsidy!

What is expected of me as the teacher?

Your biggest role is to learn together with your students. We hope that you get just as much out of the day as they do! But there are a few other roles you’ll have too…

  • Communicator - Read through the booking package and communicate pertinent information to students, administration and parent volunteers
  • Liaison - Submit your online confirmation form and let Inside Education know if there are any changes
  • Traffic Controller  - Book the buses, ensure you have a parent follow vehicle, print the map so you know where you’re going
  • Safety Team Captain - Inside Education is your safety team, who can respond and assist in case of emergency. But you know your students best, have access to their emergency contacts and have responsibility to follow all of your schools safety protocols.
  • Translator - Help your students make the most of the day by reflecting and incorporating the experience back to your classroom learning objectives.

What should my students bring?

Smiles, enthusiasm, questions and most important appropriate clothing and footwear.

Download the Field Study packing checklist for students.

How can I best prepare my students for the day?

Ensuring students are prepared to spend the day outside and emphasizing that the field site will be the classroom for the day; all your typical classroom expectations should be maintained.

If you want to extend the learning into your classroom, check out Inside Education’s full suite of classroom learning materials for a hands-on introduction to some of the topics covered on our field programs. 

For forest field trips our "It's Our Forest" video series is great for both pre/post trip!

What should I tell to tell the bus driver? (MAPS)

All of our field sites are accessible by a school bus. At some site the bus may be required to travel a short distance on well-maintained gravel roads. Due to safety requirements the bus is required to stay on site during the entire duration of the field program and/or schools must have a follow vehicle on site. If your driver has any concerns they can call the Inside Education office directly - 1-888-421-1497.

Maps and directions can also be found in the teachers guide provided prior to the field program.

Cooking Lake: Edmonton & Area Field Program - cooking lake map

Des Crossley Demonstration Forest: Red Deer & Area Field Program - Des Crossley Map

Evergreen Centre for Resource Excellence and Innovation: Grande Prairie & Area Program - Evergreen Map

Huestis Demonstration Forest: Whitecourt & Area Field Program - Huestis Map

Jumpingpound Demonstration Forest: Calgary & Area - Jumpingpound Map

Wood Buffalo Forest Field Program: Fort McMurray & Area -Gregoire Lake Map

What about parent volunteers?

A field program is an excellent opportunity to get parents involved and learning alongside students and Inside Education has found that having parent volunteers helps makes the day run smoothly. During our field programs we often divide the students into small working groups of 4-8 students and we recommend 1 parent volunteer per small group.

What is the cancellation policy?

*Program Cancellation Fees are waived for the 2020-2021 school year

Inside Education field programs run rain or shine, with the exception of inclement weather resulting in hazardous conditions, or risks that threaten the safety of participants. Cancellation, re-scheduling or program modifications will be discussed between Inside Education and the school and efforts will be made to re-schedule the program to another mutually agreeable date. Field programs cancelled due to hazardous conditions will not be charged a cancellation fee.

If you are unsure of program conditions on the date of your field trip please contact the Inside Education Office at our toll free number 1-888-421-1497

Field trips may be cancelled or rescheduled where possible with a minimum of 14 days notice. Cancellations with less than 14 days prior to the scheduled field trip date will be charged a $150 cancellation fee will be invoiced to the school and payable within one month of the cancellation date. This cancellation fee reflects partial cost recovery for staff, time and resources that cannot be recuperated.

Safety and Risk Management

Inside Education values safe program delivery above all else. Inside Education strives to provide a high quality learning experience in a safe environment. No Inside Education program will put any staff member, participating student, teacher, or others at risk.  With this, Inside Education may modify or cancel a program without notice if site conditions threaten the safety of the staff, students, teachers and/or parent volunteers.

Risk Management

Safety of all program participants is of primary concern to Inside Education. As such, the following risk management measures are in place:

  • Inside Education field program staff have current first aid and carry first aid kits including a list of emergency contact numbers. Staff also carry air horns and/ bear spray as wildlife deterrents.
  • Staff carries cell phones/radios/spot receivers to ensure a link EMS in the event of an emergency. Radios and cell phone will be checked each day to ensure working condition.
  • Teachers are asked to inform Inside Education staff, prior to field trip, of any safety concerns and special needs i.e.) allergies, epi-pens, behaviour etc.
  • Students instructed on “safety in numbers” to avoid wildlife conflicts.
  • We suggest 4-6 parent supervisors per class of 30 and emphasize the importance of parent volunteers for safety and supervision in communications with the schools.
  • Field trips are cancelled in the event of poor driving conditions and severe weather.
  • Program participants wear high-visibility vests.
  • Inside Education field program staff perform seasonal and daily site assessments.
  • Students are never to leave supervision of an adult, and must always travel in pairs or groups.
  • Program signage is placed where required to notify public of education programming and children in the area.
  • Trail maintenance is coordinated annually with program partners.
  • Inside Education field program staff are trained in emergency procedures, and conduct annual emergency training drills; each permanent field site has and emergency action plan.
  • Inside Education requires the bus to remain on-site and/or schools provide a follow vehicle as an emergency contingency vehicle.
  • Inside Education reserves the right to modify or cancel a program without notice if, for any reason, site or travel conditions threaten the safety of participants.