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NATURE CLASSES- SMALL GROUPS  & HOME SCHOOLS

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OC Habitats (OCH) provides environmentally driven educational programs for students ages 8 to 12 years.  Our program is designed to have students experience nature directly by visiting a variety of local habitats within Orange County and giving an in-depth and hands-on lesson.  Student participation is of the utmost importance to fully engage each student. “A growing body of research links our mental, physical, and spiritual health directly to our association with nature” (Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods) and OCH programs develop curriculum with free play and unstructured exploration as an integral part of our habitat programs. The student to teacher ratio is 12:1.  Our programs are themed by local Orange County habitats and we fully explore all aspects of the habitat from its history, the plant and animal species, human impacts, and conservation.  

OCH Homeschool programs are offered as individual classes or by semester (Fall and Spring).  Our program will not cover the same topic within the two semesters of the same school year (September through May) so a student that signs up for both semesters will have a continuity of topics covered as well as an opportunity to build a stronger and more meaningful experience.  Each class will be independent of each other but our educators may reference other courses when making habitat correlations so the maximum benefit to the student is to attend the whole series.   

These are not drop-off programs; all classes are mandatory parent inclusive.  

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CURRICULUM

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Student Assignments:

Before each lesson, students will be given an assignment in preparation for the upcoming exploration.  This assignment will be sent via email to you and/or your student directly.  Although these assignments are not graded, we do ask that every student attempt to complete the assignment so that the instructors can give feedback to each student and help them connect to the concepts. Your child can contact us anytime they have questions.

Student Projects: 

During the first class we review the whole semester and outline the project proponent of our program.  Each student  that participates in both semesters in one school-calendar year will be required to complete a project and will be able to build on this project as we proceed through the classes each semester.  The project will help your student connect all the pieces of their OCH learning experience as well as help them to see the "bigger" picture in the world and nature.

Required Materials and Parking Fees: 

All students will need to have a notebook, pen, and pencils for our program.  Each student will be asked to use their notebook at each class so they need to have it on the first day and bring it to all classes thereafter.  We meet at a variety of locations throughout the county and some may not provide free parking and charge a parking fee.  OCH does their best to find alternatives but in some cases it isn't possible and parking fees may be required to enter a field trip location.  These fees will be included in the emails sent from OCH with each class assignment.  

Areas of Study:

  • Habitat Exploration and Ecosystem Overview

    • Estuaries and Wetlands

    • Coastal Dunes

    • Tidepool, Intertidal Zone, and Marine Protected Areas

    • Ocean Habitats

    • Riparian

    • Oak Woodland

    • Coastal Sage Scrub & Chaparral

    • Mountains

  • Species Identification (plant and animal)

    • Animal Tracking and Animal Awareness

    • Native v. Non-native species

    • Edible and Poisonous Plants

    • Species Anatomy and Adaptations

  • Navigation Skills and Outdoor Adventure Tools

  • Nature Journaling/Field Notes

  • Cultural History and Native Americans

  • Citizen Science Opportunities

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CLASS DAYS AND TIMES

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2021-2022 OCH Program Schedule

10am-12pm, unless otherwise noted.

Min: 5 Students, Max: 20 Students

Ages 7-17 years

Wait list and Additional Classes: If one class fills and at least 5 students are able to attend another date, we will open another section on another day of the week. If we are unable to provide this, we will place you on a wait list and notify you of our next available opening.

Fall 2021 Programs will be created for specific groups by request. Please inquire at info@ochabitats.org to discuss educational program opportunities for your group.

Topics Include: Habitats: Estuaries, Coastal Dunes, Coastal Sage, Tide Pool and MPAs and Species: Shorebirds and Wetland Species

We offer both remote learning and in-person programs or a combination of both. 

Classes happen RAIN or SHINE.  Weather can allow an opportunity for a different type of exploration.

2020-2021 OCH Program Schedule

Wait list and Additional Classes: If one class fills and at least 5 students are able to attend another date, we will open another section on another day of the week. If we are unable to provide this, we will place you on a wait list and notify you of our next available opening.

1) Are you currently accepting Field Trip bookings? (Note: We’re booking from September - December)- Yes, we schedule as requested and coordinate with the group/school.

2) Does your venue require masks, COVID Tests, temperature readings, etc. before students can attend? We ask that students/parents/teachers follow CDC guidelines. Currently outdoor events do not require masks or taking temperatures but we will adjust if requirements change. We do ask that everyone is carrying a mask with them.

Event Information

1) Is there an attendee limit? 5 student minimum and 25 person maximum (including parents/chaperones). 

2) Is there a student-to-chaperone ratio requirement? If so, what is the ratio?  Yes, 5:1 student to chaperone ratio.

3) What’s the cost per ticket? (students/adults) $15/student per event for field trips. Please see our website for more information: https://www.ochabitats.org/natureclassroomprograms

4) Are there any additional taxes or fees? Administrative Fee (flat rate $25)

5) Do you provide a complimentary ticket for our teachers/chaperones? If so, how many? Teacher/chaperones are free, 5:1 ratio of student:chaperone (these will be included in the max limit for programs)

6) What is the availability? (Certain days? Certain times?) Programs are available Tuesday through Thursday from 9-3, Fridays and Saturdays available according to staff availability and program.

7) How early in advance will you need a final headcount of our attendees?. One week prior to field trip.

8) Do we need to sign a contract to book an event? No contract is required but an invoice will be provided.

9) Will participants need to fill out any waivers? When will waivers need to be handed in? Yes, all attendees need to submit a waiver on behalf of adults and children. These can be turned in via email before the event or on the day of the event. Students will not be able to participate without a signed waiver.

10) Will we need to request a Certificate of Liability Insurance (COI)? This is not necessary, but we are happy to have more coverage.   If so, do you need to be listed as additional insured? Also not necessary, but happy to have more coverage for unexpected issues.

Payment

1) Is a deposit required?.$50 deposit regardless of headcount at time of booking

2) If a deposit is paid, will we receive a full refund on canceled trips? Yes, if made by 72 hours before event.

3) When will the final payment typically be due? (Day of the event, 1-week before, day of booking, etc.) One week prior to field trip when the final headcount is given. We will provide invoice and you can pay directly through paypal or with check as long as it arrives by due date.

4) How would we pay? (Credit Card or Check) Payment through our Paypal system on our website or through invoice. Payment can also be made by check but needs to arrive 72 hours prior to event date.

5) If Credit Card - can we pay over the phone or online? Online through our website or paypal account.

6) If Check - Would you be able to provide an invoice? Can the check be mailed directly to the venue or should it be provided in person? An invoice will be provided for all programs regardless of payment type. Check can be mailed directly to OC Habitats at 15333 Culver Drive, Suite 340-763, Irvine, CA 92604 but must arrive one week before event (final).

7) Are cancellations allowed? If so, how far in advance would we need to cancel a trip? 72 hours before event.

 

Additional Information

1) How early should we arrive before a scheduled event? 15 minutes

2) Is there specific attire that attendees should wear? Students/Teachers/Chaperones need to wear appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear depending on location. OCHabitats will provide this information prior to the field trip but appropriate hiking and outdoor gear includes but is not limited to:  long shorts/pants, short or long sleeve shirts, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, closed-toed athletic shoes or hiking boots  

3) What restrictions do you have (strollers, food, liquid, age limit, etc.)? The location and activity of the field trip will dictate restrictions. Most of our field trips are on natural uneven terrain, hills, narrow pathways, sand. Strollers would not be appropriate. OCHabitats will provide information regarding any age restrictions prior to the field trip. The minimum age of the student should be 7 or older. These programs are not suitable for children under 7 or children in strollers.

4) How much parking does your venue have? Is there a need for parking elsewhere? Parking depends on the location of the field trip. Some locations offer free parking others require a fees. We try to inform of free parking options to avoid paid parking options but this is not always an option. Any parking fees required are paid by individuals and are in addition to our program fees.

5) Are there any additional documents or information that would simplify the booking process? We will provide a booking form that will ask for specific information of the group with details on participants planning on attendance.  

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PAYMENT OPTIONS AND POLICY

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We accept cash, checks, or PayPal. Please use buttons below for direct PayPal payment.  Checks should be made payable to OC Habitats and mailed to 15333 Culver Drive, Suite 340-763, Irvine, CA 92604. Additional fees could include parking and/or entry fees to program specific locations, these fees are not included in the class price but are separate and in addition to our student class fees.  If you have any questions about our fee schedule, please contact OC Habitats at 949.697.8651 or info@ochabitats.org.

Program Fees per Student

 

 

Per Class Fee (one student)

Sibling Fee (per sibling)

Price

 

$20

$5

  • OCH runs all programs rain or shine but in the event a class is canceled for any reason, participants can choose to attend a rescheduled class, receive a credit toward a future program, or a full refund for canceled class at the rate they purchased their program. 

  • OCH does not provide makeup classes for absences and has a no refund policy except in extreme cases, such as serious illness or family emergency.  If student misses due to these reasons, they will be given class credit for missed classes. 

  • OC Habitats (OCH) accepts cash, checks, or Paypal.