Westcave’s Safety Precautions
With over four decades operating our Preserve, we have consistently prioritized safety and wellness as core elements of restorative health for both our property and the people who visit. We recognize the risks associated with COVID-19. To balance our children’s love for exploring and socialization with the responsibility we have to operate safely, we have adopted procedures and best practices that incorporate our experience in environmental education, public school nature-based education, best practices shared by those who opened camps on school campuses over the summer, and guidance from the CDC.
List of Safety Measures
- Experiences at Westcave Preserve will be outdoors; however in the case of a severe weather event (like a thunderstorm, or tornado) we will open our indoor Environmental Learning Center.
- Regular reviews of our safe practice procedures for students and staff;
- Special intake and checkout procedures that include daily wellness checks before kids enter Westcave. We ask all parents to remain in their cars during check-in and out procedures to ensure everyone’s safety. Thank you for your patience.
- Staff will encourage regular handwashing and/or sanitizing throughout the day.
- One student in the restroom at a time with required self-cleaning between use;
- Restroom doors propped open between uses to improve airflow for any airborne viruses;
- Masks are required unless eating and drinking, or if health risks require the mask to be removed temporarily.
- We encourage a 10-foot social distancing practice (instead of the recommended 6-foot).
- Groups will be restricted to pods of 10 kids . The kids will see the same instructors throughout the semester.
For additional general safety precautions Westcave is taking Click Here.
What do you mean “proven model of learning”?
- We have been a leader in environmental education for over forty years. And, before joining Westcave, our Executive Director was an internationally recognized outdoor-educator and administrator in Round Rock ISD where he completely transformed a public school’s learning model to be nature based. Scores and teacher satisfaction went up, and teachers reported fewer behavioral issues.
We are a homeschool family, does this work for us?
- Yes, we fit nicely into homeschool structures. If you build your own pod, we can tailor the experience to meet any specific curriculum objectives you might have. If you prefer a more “unschooling” environment, we can do that too. The experience is literacy based, outcome driven, and highly engaging.
We still want our kids to be enrolled in public school, does this work for us?
- Public school districts are still determining their path, and things might vary from one district to the next, so we can’t speak directly to how it will work with your particular district, but, we do a couple of suggestions to make E2 Outdoor School on Tuesdays and Thursdays a “best fit” for your public-school student(s):
- Flexible Days/Build in Time for School Work. With a limited number of students per “class,” and an opportunity to build your own “pod”, we can build in “public school time” for your students based on what your district might require.
- Coordinating with “Asynchronous learning”: if your district’s virtual learning model is asynchronous, “attendance” might be based on completion of assignments (i.e. – and not whether the student was “present” from 9-9:10 a.m. that morning). In that case, you can do your public school work in one of our learning blocks at Westcave, or work on it after hours.