GENERAL SCHOOL PROGRAMS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Visit our School Programs page for more information or to make a booking.
How are Calgary Zoo School Programs adapting for the COVID-19 pandemic?
In addition to the zoo-wide policies listed here, Calgary Zoo School Programs has implemented the following measures to ensure the health and safety of you, your students, our animals and our staff.
Virtual Programming: We have expanded our suite of virtual experiences that bring our animals into your learning space and offer a variety of customization levels. Learn more about virtual school programs here.
Adaptations for On-Site Programming:
For Fall, 2020 limited on-site programming will be offered by special request only. The bulk of our programming will be through virtual experiences.
Masks: Your educators and all zoo staff will wear masks. And as per municipal regulations, visitors are required to wear masks in indoor spaces.
Disinfecting: Classroom and high touch areas will be disinfected between each program.
Hand-sanitizer/Hand-washing stations: Increased access and requirements to use them.
Physical distancing: If required, programs that once used one classroom will now use two in order to maintain physical distancing. We will split your class in two and offer the program to each cohort concurrently.
Modified resource use: Limited, controlled or no touching of biofacts and other zoo resources. We will not be offering our Self-Guided Independent Tour Kits at this time.
Distanced animal encounters: For the safety of our animals and animal care staff, animal encounters may now be pre-recorded or presented virtually.
If a participant shows symptoms of COVID-19 while at the zoo, they will be isolated and their parents asked to pick them up.
Learn more about our on-site school programs here.
What can we expect from a Calgary Zoo School Program?
Our school programs are developed and taught by passionate and skilled conservation educators.
They last anywhere from 50 minutes to 4 hours and cost between $125 to $360. They may take place in one of our zoo classrooms, on grounds (even in the winter!), or virtually.
They are designed with 3 goals in mind:
Engage participants in learning experiences connected to our unique setting, our animal colleagues and their conspecifics, and our global conservation programs
Make connections that enhance Alberta Education curricular outcomes in subjects such as science, social studies, and outdoor education
Inspire compassion and action for wildlife and wild places
What kinds of school program experiences do you offer?
Our school programming includes:
Virtual programming brings the zoo to your learning space through unique online experiences. Learn more here. *New experience for 2020
On-Site programming immerses you in our zoo grounds through a variety of engaging lessons. Learn more here. *Limited programming for 2020
Multi-Visit programming is an inquiry-based field study that expands your exploration. Learn more here.
Self-Guided programming provides a backpack of biofacts and guiding questions for you to explore at your own pace. Can be booked separately to added on to any on-site program. Learn more here. *Not offered in 2020 (due to the high-touch nature of these kits)
How many students can be in a program and how many chaperones do we need?
Maximum student numbers depend on the grade and type of program. Check the program descriptions for specifics. In general, maximum students are as follows:
- K-3: 27
- 4-6: 32
- 7-12: 37
- Edu-Treks: 30
- Virtual Programs: 37
You are required to have as many chaperones as your school board policy states. All chaperones must be 18 years or older.
For on-site programs, our program fee includes all students, their teacher and the required number of chaperones. Any adults above what is required must pay admission.
How do we book?
Click the Book Now box in the description of the school program you’ve selected and follow the online directions.
Programs must be booked by the Friday two weeks before your program date. For example: if the program you want is in the week of October 19-23, please book by October 2.
To make payment by credit card, call 403.232.9353 or 403.232.7732 at least 2 weeks prior to your program. Please note that missing this deadline will result in the cancellation of your program. You will receive a booking confirmation email once full payment is received.
For Virtual Experiences, you will receive an email asking which theme you would like to have.
For on-site programs, bring a copy of this email with you but you do not need to print a ticket as it will be held at the Information Station inside the tunnel of the zoo’s North Entrance.
How do we cancel or change a program booking?
To cancel or request changes to a booked program, please call 403.232.9353 or 403.232.7732.
Cancellation or changes requested less than 2 weeks prior to your program will incur a $50 administration fee charge. No refunds are granted for no-shows.
How do we provide feedback on a school program?
We would love to hear what you and your students thought of our programming. This helps us ensure we remain as relevant and engaging as possible and is especially useful for now programs like our virtual experiences. Please let us know by filling out this quick questionnaire:
VIRTUAL EXPERIENCES FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Visit our Virtual Experiences page for more information or to make a booking.
What online conference applications can you use?
Our preferred applications are Zoom and Google Meet but we are able to use other applications as well, so please let us know.
What equipment do we need to connect with you virtually?
If you are in a classroom or shared learning space, you will need a computer, microphone, projector and something to project onto (screen, Smart Board, etc).
If your students are joining from their own homes, they will a device (computer, tablet, phone, etc.) they can view the session on.
How should we set up our learning space?
If possible, set up your camera to show us your students. It is much more engaging and interactive if we can see them!
What online etiquette to you expect from us?
We ask that you keep yourselves muted until you are asked for questions.
Use the chat function only if asking or answering questions with the educator.
The teacher is responsible for the behavior of your students.
Can we ask questions during the program?
You sure can! Your educator will ask for questions throughout the tour.
If you are in a shared learning space, the students can come to a microphone to ask the question or the teacher can facilitate.
If students are joining from their homes, we will ask you to unmute yourselves to ask the question and then mute yourself afterwards.
You can also use the chat function for questions.
Can we record a virtual session to share?
To account for asynchronous learning scenarios, you can record a session and share it only with members of class that has booked the program. You are not permitted to share recordings outside of your class or on social media.