Good evening. Thank you for taking an hour out of your busy week to learn more about our exciting trip to Yosemite in March.
I’m Mary Enright, one of the coordinators for the Yosemite Science Trip at CMS. I hope you enjoyed the slides that highlight the activities of the week and gave you a glimpse of the areas where your children will be staying. We have organized this trip for over 20 years. This will be my fifth year attending and my fourth year coordinating the trip. I’m joined by Susan Holtzapple who has over 10 years of experience, and ee like to think that every year it gets better. Our primary job is to make sure that everyone is prepared for the trip; everyone is safe and cared for when we are on the trip; and lastly that everyone has an experience that they will remember for a life time. Tonight we will be going through the details for parents and we will start meetings for students in December where we will prepare them in much more detail. Our focus tonight is primarily logistical. We keep the meeting to an hour with a short question period at the end, but if you have more questions, we would be happy to meet with you afterward. After tonight you will be initialing and signing a Parent Essentials Agreement. We will review these items and mention them during the presentation.
Because we have to make initial deposits and payments to Yosemite Institute and the charter bus company, we ask families to pay a non-refundable deposit. This non-refundable check for $75 with your signed parent agreement is your reservation for the trip in March. The remainder of the payment, $595, is made in January when we must make our final payments to our vendors. Please note that there are a few other items that you’ll need to supply to prepare for the outdoors. We have some gear that has been generously donated (boots, socks and even a couple of sleeping bags for example), but most likely some additional items will need to be purchased. We will talk about equipment in more detail later. We do have some partial scholarships available for families; you can pick up the application from Mrs. Enright. We do encourage families to have their child earn part of the money for this trip. Collecting recycling, extra baby-sitting, chores, etc. help students to value to trip even more. We have just covered the Items 1 and 2 in the Parent Essentials agreement.
Refunds can be requested if a student withdraws from the trip before we leave. The $75 is non-refundable. If a student withdraws for ANY reason a refund of $446 can be provided upon request. If a student’s spot is replaced by an eligible student on the wait list, then a refund of $595 can be provided upon request. All refunds require that a form (picked up from Mrs. Enright) be completed and approved. Refunds are processed in the district office in April. April 9 is the last day to request a refund. It should be noted that if your student attends the trip and has to return early FOR ANY reason, then there are no refunds. We have just finished Item 7 on the Parent Essentials Agreement.
The forms packet has a bright goldenrod coversheet. The cover sheet is there to help you with the many places where names and signatures are required. The forms should be turned in by the student, not the parent. They can be turned into Mrs. Enright, the student’s science teacher, or Mrs. Holtzapple, rm 13. You can turn them in starting tomorrow, but they must be turned in by December 18. Review some of the forms: Pink form - CUSD and YI Behavior Contracts. (We’ll discuss this in more detail later.) Yellow - District Field Trip Release Form. Please note that we have an on-line location for entering parent emergency contact. We are trying to ensure that we have 100% accuracy in the data and a method to enter updates if necessary. Ivory - Yosemite Institute Registration and Health Form; This is the a very important health document that is used in the event that the child needs any medical attention. Be as complete and thorough as you can with medications, other health issues and insurance information. Should we need to take your child to the clinic, we first contact you, second we use this form at the clinic for admission. Please also note the special dietary requirements. YI can make accommodations for special food needs or allergies. Mrs. Holtzapple will be contacting parents if necessary to understand the full extent of any health issue so that we are adequately prepared. Lastly, White form (noted as blue) for volunteer service in the park.
We have reserved 270 spots for CMS this year. Last year we had about 259 students attend. The class size is approximately the same. All students who turn in the deposit and parent agreement by 3:00 p.m. tomorrow have an equal priority to attend. If for some reason we have more that 270 interested students, then we use the red lottery tickets to decide the students that will be placed on the wait list. The drawing is done in the office with the presence of student council officers, administration and ourselves. The wait list, if any, will be posted on Thursday outside of room 3. Any deposits received after tomorrow will be placed on the wait list. Students move from the wait list to the active list if: A student fails to continue to meet the eligibility requirements during the second quarter (Item 3 on the essentials agreement) A student chooses not to attend. A student becomes injured or sick before the trip. A student has several late requirements (forms, payment), unexcused absences from a meeting, not wearing the required hiking boots before the trip, (Items 9 and 10 on the essentials agreement.)
We have two behavior contracts that parents and students should review carefully and sign.(Pink Forms) For parents, you are responsible for picking up your child in Yosemite if they are too ill to hike, if they are injured, or they are being sent home becomes of a behavior violation. For minor issues, the adults meet with the student about behevior that is not acceptable. If the problems persist we contact the parents to warn them that they might have to pick up the student. However, there are some zero tolerance items that will be an immediate trip home. These are focused on safety and well-being of all students involved. We review these in detail with the students before we leave “the longest car ride home” meeting, and students need to be attentive to the rules that YI discusses upon our arrival. They are required to follow the rules at all times, no exceptions. We ask that students leave all electronics at home. They cannot be used, even on the bus ride. Cell phones are not permitted. Any electronics that are found will be confiscated and returned when we get back to Cupertino. Note that this can be a violation that will immediately send a child home. We discourage parents and students from checking in regularly, although there are pay phones. This can make home-sickness WORSE. Visit the web site or follow us on Twitter to get the latest. (If your child needs to speak with you we will provide them a cell phone to use to contact you.) We have covered items 4, 5, and 8 on the parent essentials agreement.
Additional communication will be provided in short messages via Twitter. These will include reminders before we leave, and updates when we are in the park, Additionally, we will be sending the details of our arrival so that you won’t be waiting at CMS. For those of you that have children that have gone before, one change is that we will not be having a phone tree to announce our arrival. We think Twitter is more efficient and accurate. We do have all the phone contacts in the event that we will need to reach you by phone. We arrive between 6:00 p.m and 9:00 p.m. on Friday evening. You can use Twitter to receive updates via your cell phone if you like, or you can see the updates via the web. If you have questions or need assistance with this, please let us know. If necessary we can arrange some time at school to assist.
The equipment list from Yosemite Institute is attached. Additional copies are on the web site if this is lost. From generous donations of prior families we have some gear that students can borrow and return clean. (Boots, socks, hats, gloves, ponchos, gaiters.). We even have a couple of sleeping bags for smaller students. There are many places to shop for equipment (sporting goods stores, Army Surplus, Goodwill). If you are unfamiliar with the equipment you can visit REI at Saratoga and Propect. They work with us to make sure that there are enough items to outfit the close to 1000 students that go to Yosemite from our district. They can provide assistance and in the past they have provided a discount coupon. Many times, there are great holiday/Winter discounts in January and February as the season winds down.
We prepare for Winter Conditions, but we do so in layers should we have a warm spell. As you see in the last four years we have an some extremes in temperature. Curry Village is shady and tends to hover around 32, but in the sun, the temperatures can be much warmer.
Layers that are discussed in the supply list are essential. Because we can have precipitation, students should have at least one set of clothes that ARE NOT COTTON. Synthetic materials do a much better job of wicking moisture away from the body and therefore are much better at preventing hypothermia if it is cold. Wind and Waterproof outer layer is essential. We will be checking for rain gear at at noon meeting before we leave. Gaiters are required for deep snow activities. Sometimes that are used just once for cross-country skiing, and sometimes they can be used every day.
Students should use the clothing and equipment list to PACK THEMSELVES. Students will have to unpack and repack their gear at least once, sometimes three times. They need to know if it is theirs or their roommates, and where everything is located. (Stories of kids who can’t find clothing, underwear, etc.) They will have to carry their bag from the bus to their tent through the mud and snow. It is best to pack a bag that the student can carry. A sleeping bag and pillow can be packed separately in a LABELED well sealed garbage bag. Again these will be placed on the ground during when we move from one place to the other. Make sure everything (socks, shirts, sleeping bag, etc.) is labeled in case something is lost or misplaced. Students will carry their regular school backpack during the day, so the total is: 1 daypack(on back), 1 bag with sleeping bag (hand one), one duffle bag (hand two).
There is a pad in the front where you can add your name if you would like to assist with the trip preparations. We can use help will the excel database, copying of forms and checks, and assembly of paperwork packets closer to the trip. If you think you might like to chaperone a group of students we have more information for you. (You should know that you won’t be with your own child, in fact you may see your child very occasionally during the trip.) We take many chaperones that have been before(your students will be with a group with loads of experience) but we are always looking for new blood. You can pick up an informational letter and an application at the end of the meeting.
Parent Meeting Slides
Tonight’s Agenda 7:30 - 8:30 <ul><li>Trip Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Financial Business </li></ul><ul><li>Forms and Essential Information </li></ul><ul><li>Clothing and Packing </li></ul><ul><li>Parent Chaperoning </li></ul><ul><li>Question & Answers </li></ul><ul><li>Wrap up </li></ul>
Financial Information <ul><li>Total Cost $670 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>$75 - deposit is non-refundable. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Accepted this evening or by 3:00 p.m. tomorrow in the office. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$595 - due by January 14, 2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If you would like to make full payment tonight, you may. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Checks are not deposited while on the wait list </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$670 does not include additional items that must be obtained such as appropriate clothing and boots. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Partial Scholarships available </li></ul><ul><ul><li>See Mrs. Enright for an application </li></ul></ul>
Refunds <ul><li>$75 is non-refundable </li></ul><ul><li>If a student withdraws before the trip for any reason then a refund of $446 can be provided upon request. </li></ul><ul><li>If a student’s spot is replaced by an eligible student on the wait list then a refund of $595 can be requested. </li></ul><ul><li>Once a student departs on the trip, then there are no refunds if they return early. </li></ul><ul><li>All refunds are processed in April. </li></ul><ul><li>In all cases a refund request must be completed. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>April 9 is the last day to request a refund </li></ul></ul>
Forms - Due by December 18 <ul><li>Students are responsible for turning in all forms. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not leave forms in the office. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Turn in the forms as a packet with the cover sheet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Please check that all information is complete </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note Health Issues and complete all insurance Info </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Special Dietary Restrictions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Turn in Locations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Science Teacher </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mrs. Holtzapple - Rm 13 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You may turn in starting tomorrow. </li></ul>
Essentials for Parents <ul><li>There are 270 spots for students. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Additional students placed on the waiting list. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lottery tickets from this evening are used for this purpose. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Thursday lunch meetings are mandatory for students. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Please pack a lunch since the doors close at 12:40. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attendance is taken, and students with unexcused absences are moved to the waiting list </li></ul></ul>
More Essentials <ul><li>You are responsible for picking up your child in Yosemite if they are too ill to hike, injured or they need to be sent home because of a behavior violation. </li></ul><ul><li>Behavior is all important </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students are expected to follow all rules outlined in the Behavior Contract. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No Electronics - watches & cameras okay </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No cell phone (use calling card if necessary) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No games, iPods, MP3 or CD players. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hair Dryer used only at Curry Village </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One alarm clock per cabin </li></ul></ul>
Information Locations <ul><li>Yosemite Web Site </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://tinyurl.com/vjj6t </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regular Newsletter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Copies of Forms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Calendar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Daily Reports when we are in Yosemite </li></ul></ul><ul><li>District Letter has phone contact information while in Yosemite </li></ul>
Follow us on Twitter - yotrip <ul><li>http://twitter.com/yotrip </li></ul><ul><li>Open a free Twitter Account </li></ul><ul><li>Follow on the web or </li></ul><ul><li>Follow on your cell phone </li></ul><ul><li>Reminders </li></ul><ul><li>Updates while we are there </li></ul><ul><li>Details of our arrival. </li></ul><ul><li>(No phone tree; however we have </li></ul><ul><li>Emergency contacts if necessary) </li></ul>
Equipment Overview <ul><li>Equipment List attached to Letter (Green) </li></ul><ul><li>Some equipment may be borrowed for the week and returned clean. </li></ul><ul><li>REI provides the district special services starting in February </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Special area for suggested items with assistance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10% discount on items </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Holiday/Winter discounts </li></ul>
Be Prepared <ul><li>Be prepared for weather from Spring to Winter. </li></ul>Extreme Max: 80 Two years ago: 75 Three years ago: 32 Average Max: 60 Average Min: 35 Extreme Min: 20
Clothing <ul><li>Layers are important - not too hot or too cold. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Extra clothes for the day are packed in the day pack (school pack) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wind and waterproof outer layer is essential. </li></ul><ul><li>Gaiters will be required in the snow. </li></ul>
Packing <ul><li>The students will have to pack up and move everything at least twice. </li></ul><ul><li>They will need to carry their clothes and sleeping bag by themselves. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The dirt, mud or snow can make rolling suitcases impractical. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is best to pack the essentials in a bag they can carry. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t pack a suitcase you can’t carry! </li></ul></ul>Sleeping Bag In labeled Garbage bag .
Parent Chaperones and other Opportunities <ul><li>Office Assistance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Familiar with Excel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Copying forms and checks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assembly of paperwork </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Parent Chaperone Applications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>See Mrs. Holtzapple after the meeting </li></ul></ul>
Key Dates <ul><li>Deposits and Parent Essentials agreement due before 3:00 p.m, tomorrow 12/2. </li></ul><ul><li>Scholarship applications due 12/11. </li></ul><ul><li>Lunch Meetings start 12/17. </li></ul><ul><li>All forms due by 12/18. </li></ul><ul><li>Full Payment due 1/14 </li></ul><ul><li>Departure 3/14 </li></ul><ul><li>Return 3/19 </li></ul><ul><li>Last day to request refund 4/9 </li></ul>Before Holiday Break After Holiday Break
Wrap Up <ul><li>Verify your child’s first and last name is on your $75 deposit. Payable to CMS. </li></ul><ul><li>Complete the label on the outside of the envelope </li></ul><ul><li>Complete the red ticket </li></ul><ul><li>Complete the Parent Essentials Agreement. </li></ul><ul><li>Insert the check, Parent Agreement and ticket in the envelope and seal. </li></ul><ul><li>Deposit in the bins as you leave or </li></ul><ul><li>If you need more time, drop off by 3:00 tomorrow </li></ul>Thank You