Are parents welcome to accompany their students on excursions?
Absolutely. We ask that you let us know of your intention to accompany us on the parental consent form, that you be comfortable with the degree of fitness required for the excursion and for overnight trips that you complete a Criminal Record Check (you can download the appropriate form here).
C.R.C. Form >>
Is this a new program? How long has the Mountain School been working with students in the outdoors?
The FCMS has been hiking with students from SD#78 for almost 20 years. During the 2008-2009 school year over 1000 students and almost 250 adults spent a full day in the backcountry with the Mountain School.
How are students prepared for their outings?
Students must attend a mandatory preparation meeting prior to their excursion. This session is conducted by Mountain School teachers or at the secondary school level by the students' P.E. teachers.
What issues are covered during the mandatory preparation meeting for students?
Although subjects might change depending upon the excursion, the season and the age of participants, most Preparation Sessions discuss safety issues - how we hike in formation (always behind the designated leader, always in front of the adult in sweep position); how to use the walkie-talkies; we go over the trip checklist with an emphasis on proper clothing and footwear; cougar/bear awareness is reviewed as is trail etiquette; we discuss the trip itinerary, we remind students what to do should they become separated from the group and we provide an opportunity for questions.
Are FCMS staff prepared to provide first aid?
All FCMS leaders carry current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and Wilderness First Aid. In addition we carry at least one full wilderness first aid kit with us on all excursions.
How are communications issues dealt with on excursions?
Leaders and sweep maintain contact using VHF radios on a dedicated Mountain School channel. This channel is also used to communicate with the school bus. In addition we carry an Iridium Satellite phone with us at all times.
Does the Mountain School offer summer programs for students?
Yes, a number of secondary based credit courses are offered during the summer months. Additional information about course offerings for next summer are available from firstname.lastname@example.org
Is signed parental consent mandatory before students can participate? Can I just give verbal consent?
Signed and informed parental consent is required. Verbal consent will not be accepted.
Is there a desired adult-student ration on excursions?
Yes. School District policy requires at least 1 adult for every 10 participants. Mountain School practice is to strive for a 1:5 ratio (during the 2007-2008 school year we maintained an average of 1:4 ratio on all excursions).
Are other School Districts and Private Schools welcome to participate in Mountain School programming?
Yes, and they do.