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«OKC Zoo Parent Handbook for Camps and Preschool, Updated May 2016 NATURE Nature Explorers at the Oklahoma City Zoo PARENTAT THE EXPLORERS HANDBOOK ...»

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OKC Zoo Parent Handbook for Camps and Preschool, Updated May 2016


Nature Explorers at the

Oklahoma City Zoo









OKC Zoo Parent Handbook for Camps and Preschool, Updated May 2016 Contents Summer Camp Description…3, 8 Animals…6 School’s Out Day camp Description…3, 9 Parent Resources…6 Nature Explorer Preschool Description…4, 10 Guidance, Discipline, Behavior…7 Arrival and Pick-Up Procedures…4 Emergency Procedures…10 Field Trips…5 Health…12 Clothing and Personal Belongings…5 Food and Nutrition…15 Bathroom Accidents…5 Child Abuse Information…15 PURPOSE To inspire passion by connecting people to the natural world.

Through positive, professional interactions, our guests can learn to care about nature as much as we do. Our goal isn’t to fill them with facts, it’s to fill them with good feelings and happy memories. In turn, they might choose to learn more or make a conservation-friendly choice. What we do as educators changes the future for everyone. U


Thank you for choosing the Oklahoma City Zoo for your child’s education! The Education Department is permitted by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) as Nature Explorers at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Camp and preschool programming is held in the Rosser Conservation Education Center, but usually includes visits into the zoo.

This Parent Manual covers the procedures for children attending our preschool and camp programs.

For questions regarding zoo programming, contact the Education Department at 405-425-0218. A DHS compliance file is accessible to parents in the office of the Education Administrative Assistant.


Summer camps meet Monday - Friday. Snack is provided, but ALL campers (half day and full day) need to bring a lunch. Current immunization and Child Information Sheet must be on file to start camp.

Cost for one week, per child.

OKC Zoo Parent Handbook for Camps and Preschool, Updated May 2016  Half Day (8:00 am - 12:30 pm): $125(member), $140 (non-member)  Full Day (8:00 am - 5:15 pm): $280 (member), $315 (non-member) After the morning session ends at 12:30 pm, children enrolled in Full Day camp will enjoy a variety of activities including zoo play, exhibit tours, animal visits, keeper chats, enrichment, water play, as well as rides and attractions at the zoo.

We will also visit the Science Museum of Oklahoma each week. Daily snack is provided. Extended day officially ends at 5:15pm, and late pick-up fees of $1/ minute will apply. Advanced Registration and Payment is required.

Sample Camp Schedule available on Page 8


School’s Out Day Camps are fun-filled days for your child while school is taking a break. Half Day Camp runs from 8:00am to 12:30pm and Full Day runs until 5:15pm. Cost per child per day: $25 half day/ $45 full day. Ages 4-11. Advanced Registration and Payment is required.

School’s Out Day Camp Dates 2016:

September 5 October 20, 21, 24 Additional Dates Pending (visit okczoo.org) Sample School’s Out Camp Schedule on Pg 9


Using the Zoo’s natural setting, Nature Explorers Preschool focuses on developing the “whole child” through cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and creative development. Curriculum increases direct contact time with the outdoors through discoveries about the Zoo plants and animals. Children ages 3, 4 and 5 will have daily zoo explorations, interactions with “animal ambassadors” in the classroom, and participate in special events.

Dates  2016-2017 open enrollment begins April 15  Must be 3-5 years on or before September 1, 2016  Classes run September 6, 2016- May 26, 2017 Enrollment Options  Option 1- Monday and Wednesday from 9am to 1pm; or  Option 2- Tuesday and Thursday from 9am to 1pm  Option 3- Add Friday to either option 1 or 2 Fee Information  A $50 non-refundable enrollment fee is required to reserve your child's spot  $195/month for two day preschool  $245/month for three day preschool

Tuition OKC Zoo Parent Handbook for Camps and Preschool, Updated May 2016

 Tuition is due the first Tuesday of each month.

 If monthly deadlines are not met, a fee of $2.00 will be added each day until paid.

 Each family is responsible for tuition regardless of their child’s attendance. There will be no reduction in tuition for days missed or days that the zoo is closed.

Paperwork  A packet of enrollment information, current immunization record, and birth certificate will need to be on file prior to your child attending preschool.

Closed on:

 November 24th-25th, 2016  December 19th, 2016 to December 30th, 2017 Sample Preschool Schedule & Notes on Pg 10erarocedures


The following pages cover general procedures for zoo preschool and camps programs.


Preschool  Arrival: 9:00am and Departure 1:00pm Summer Camp and Schools Out Camp  Arrival: 7:45am-8:00am  Departure: (Half Day) 12:30pm (Full Day) 5:15pm DAILY SIGN-IN An adult must bring the child to the classroom and sign in. Sign-in sheets are located on a table near the entrance of each child’s classroom. Make certain your child’s teacher acknowledges the arrival of your child before you leave.


If a child arrives late and the class is already in the zoo make sure to check in at the office and sign your child in. Staff will contact the teacher and deliver the child to them in the zoo.


We will release your child only to those authorized to pick up listed on the child information sheet. We will ask for a photo ID to verify who is picking up your child each day.

OKC Zoo Parent Handbook for Camps and Preschool, Updated May 2016 In the event you or whomever is picking up your child does not have a photo ID, the child will not be released until proper identification is verified and/or verbal contact with the parent is made to assure that the appropriate person is picking up the child.

Preschool: Parents should pick their children up from the classroom, unless directed otherwise.

School’s Out Day Camp: Parents should pick their children up from the classroom, unless directed otherwise.

Summer Camp: Parents may choose to use Drive-By- Pick-Up at 12:30pm and 5:00pm. You will receive a Picking Up a Zoo Camper pass to place in your front window, so that security will allow you to enter the parking lot even if the lot is full. Drive along the front of the Rosser Conservation Education Center, and your child will be delivered to your car.


The Rosser Conservation Education Center is the base of operation for camp and preschool programs.

Weather permitting, the children are escorted onto zoo grounds most days. These excursions are considered on-site “field trips” and are part of the regular programming.

Children attending full-day Summer Camps will be escorted to the Science Museum Oklahoma every Wednesday afternoon. The Science Museum is within walking distance. The Oklahoma City Zoo does not provide transportation.

CLOTHING The best clothes for the child to wear are comfortable play clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty and that the child can take care of themselves. We will go outside every day (except if there are weather watches, warnings, extremely heavy rain, lightning, and freezing conditions) so please dress for the weather. Comfortable tennis shoes are recommended, because we will do a lot of walking. No flip flops!


 Each child may store his/her belongings (bags, lunch, jackets, change of clothing) in an individual basket. Note: these are not in a locked location—so please don’t send anything valuable.

 Children are asked to refrain from bringing toys or unnecessary personal items.

 Car seats that need to transfer to another adult may be left in the same location.


In the event a child has a bathroom accident that requires a change of clothes, two staff members will assist, wearing gloves. Extra clothing is available to change into, and as a courtesy, the parents will be notified.

Soiled clothing will be bagged and return to the parents. Bathroom accidents will be handled with privacy and professionalism.

OKC Zoo Parent Handbook for Camps and Preschool, Updated May 2016 REST TIME Children who attend all-day programming are offered the chance to rest on a mat. All 4yr-olds will have a required rest time.

ANIMALS The Education Department has a collection of small animals that are used regularly in children’s programming. These animals are contained in a separate area of the building. Your child may have the chance to see these animals up close or touch the animals under trained supervision. Children will not hold animals or be left with an animal unsupervised.

After touching animals, children are discouraged from hand-to-mouth activities until their hands are cleaned, which occurs right after an animal visit. Children under five will not touch reptiles, due to salmonella risk.

In addition to seeing animals on-ground, on occasion, children may have to opportunity to visit a behindthe-scenes area. Zoo staff will monitor these situations closely and follow regulation safety procedures.

WATER PLAY In the event your child will participate in water play at the Children’s Zoo stream or with water sprinklers in the Education backyard, you will be notified ahead of time. Dress your child in clothes and shoes that can get wet (swim suits not necessary) and send a towel marked with your camper’s name so that your child can dry off quickly afterward. Camp and Zoo staff will be carefully observing children in the stream and during water play to make sure that the session is a safe and fun experience.


A parent resource area is available on the Parent Bulletin board located in the main hallway. Parents can learn more about our programming by looking on the zoo’s website www.okczoo.org. Zoo members also receive a copy of the ZooSounds magazine, which lists upcoming educational programming. Parent input is sought through various avenues, including verbal feedback and formal evaluations. Additionally, preschool parents are scheduled for conferences in the fall and spring.

OKC Zoo Parent Handbook for Camps and Preschool, Updated May 2016


A positive guidance approach in which each child can develop a good self-concept will be the basis for maintaining the classroom atmosphere. Children are in the process of learning a lot about themselves, others, and group situations. Misunderstandings will be handled on an individual basis as a “Learning Experience.” When a child chooses not to or can’t cooperate in a given situation, he/she will be redirected to another area or activity until able to “try again.” The teacher will ensure that the child understands the nature of the problem.

Children who are extremely disruptive or exhibit unsafe behavior that causes physical harm to themselves or others will be given a written warning, called a Behavior Incident Report. Parents will be asked be asked to sign the paperwork. If extreme behavior continues and results in three written warnings, a meeting with parents will be called to discuss the issue further and seek resolution, but which could result in dismissal or temporary exclusion from the program until the conflict is resolved. All names will be kept confidential.

Please note that zoo staff do not have specialized training for working with children who have extreme physical, psychological or behavioral needs. Parents may hire their own assistant, at their own cost, but the assistant cannot be alone with any other children in the program.

TOUCHING For the protection of children and staff, no zoo staff should ever tickle children, grab them, carry them, spank them or touch them near “private parts.”


–  –  –

OKC Zoo Parent Handbook for Camps and Preschool, Updated May 2016


Below are sample schedules for Summer Camp, School’s Out Camp, and Preschool….



–  –  –

At Least Two Times A Week  Game or Movement Activity  Live Animal  Playground time  Nature Play (not playground) At Least Once A Week  Special Extra; such as special guest/activity/ride/show  Animal Enrichment


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SUMMER CAMP THEMES, 2016 June 6-10: Habitat Safari (4-5, 6-7, 8-11) Marine Biology Bootcamp (12-15) June 13-17: Bug Off (4-5, 6-7) Future Vet Camp (8-11) Zoo Vet Camp (12-15) June 20-24: Bear’s Best Friend (3) Backyard Safari (4-5, 6-7) Why So Angry Birds (8-11) June 27- July1: Vet McStuffins (4-5, 6-7) Saving Animals from Extinction (8-11) Zootastic Careers (12-15) July 11-15: Old McDonald (3) Scales, Tails and Claws (4-5, 6-7, 8-11) July 18-22: Jungle Trekking (4-5, 6-7) Rainforest Rundown (8-11) Living the Night Life (12-15) July 25-29: Paw Patrols (4-5, 6-7) Zoo Craft (8-11) August 1-5: Zoolympics (4-5, 6-7, 8-11) August 8-12: Zoo Friend, Zoo Friend, What do you see (3) Let’s Get PreZOOstoric (4-5, 6-7) Animal SENSE-ations (8-11)


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