Two kids in creek

Schoolhouse FAQ

If you don’t find your answer here, please send an email to museumschoolhouse@lifeandscience.org for more information


What do I need to make a reservation?

To register for class, you need an UltraCamp class account. Please visit Create an Account. We recommend setting up your profile ahead of the registration date so you can sign up for class as quickly and easily as possible. Once your registration is complete, add details for every student in your household. Just choose “Add a person…” It’s that easy! On the day of registration click the Purchase button below and start a reservation to purchase classes for each of your students.

If you are experiencing trouble with registering or do not have access to a computer, please call our Reservations Staff at (919) 220-5420 ext. 313.

When can I register for Museum Schoolhouse classes?

Registration for this winter/spring will open mid-November. Registration closes the weekend before classes begin. Make sure you are notified by signing up at our listserv.

Which age group should I register my child for?

Register for the class that corresponds to your child’s age on September 1, 2020. We recommend the following ages for each grade. Exceptions must be approved by the Program Coordinator and the class teacher and can be requested by emailing museumschoolhouse@lifeandscience.org

Grade Age
K-2nd 5-8
3rd-5th 8-11
6th-8th 11-13

Five-year-olds must reach their 5th birthday by September 1, 2020. Proof of age may be required. All students must be potty-trained prior to starting class.

We understand and expect that many of our students have extensive knowledge of particular subjects and may be intellectually gifted. We design our curricula with a wide range of abilities in mind for each developmental stage. Our curricula are also designed so that educators can vary their lesson plans based on the interests and levels of student and class.

Is there a waitlist for full classes?

Yes, a waitlist will become available once a class has been filled.  To sign up for the waitlist, first sign into your UltraCamp account and then go to “Make a Reservation.” You will find the waitlist sign-up at the bottom of the list of available classes. If a space becomes available, you’ll receive an email from UltraCamp with further registration instructions.  You will have two days to make the reservation or the spot will move on to the next person.

Is there a cancellation policy?

The Museum can grant refunds and perform session changes only when received five weeks before the class begins. There is a $50 cancellation fee for each class and a $30 fee for session changes. After the dates above we are not able to process any changes or refunds.

Do I pay in full or can I pay a deposit?

A $50 non-refundable deposit is required at the time of registration. Payment in full is due two weeks prior to the first day of class.

Are you able to accommodate my child with medical allergies and/or special needs?

Yes! The Museum is committed to full and equal opportunity for children to enjoy the class experience and reasonable modifications will be considered. If your child has serious behavioral, physical, or psychological considerations, please discuss student readiness with the Program Coordinator directly at museumschoolhouse@lifeandscience.org. We are also happy to work with you to accommodate food allergies/intolerances.

What should my child bring to class?

All students need to bring a face mask (and a spare if possible), a water bottle, a snack, and an extra change of clothes. All classes have snack time, which will also be indicated in your welcome email the week before class starts. Please label all items. Students should dress in comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes for indoor and outdoor Museum exploration.

Is there a way for me to know what my child will do in their class?

The week before class, you will receive an email with your class name, location, and other information about the class. During the semester you will have access to a Google Classroom that provides information on the content covered in class and homework, if applicable.

What should I expect on my first day of class?

Parents can begin dropping of their student 5 minutes prior to your class start time. Parents are expected to walk their student to the picnic table area for check-in. When checking in, you will have a chance to review your child’s roster information and add any additional people for pickup. All adults are required to show an ID to sign out their student, every day of class, so please have your ID ready to show a staff member when you arrive.

You will receive a Welcome email at least a week before class starts which will give you more information about your specific class.

What do I do if I need to pick up my child early from class?

If possible, please let your student’s teacher or the Program Coordinator know ahead of time so they can have your student ready to go. However, we understand that plans sometimes change. You can always call our Coordinator directly at 919-391-9279 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. When arriving outside normal pickup times, please go to the front admission desk and have them radio your class since they may be in the exhibits or out learning in the Museum.

Can I stay at the Museum while my child is in class?

While your child is in class, you are welcome to stay in our picnic area. You may explore the Museum and Sprout Cafe during your child’s class by purchasing a ticket through the Museum’s website the Thursday before your child’s class.

What do I do if I need someone else to pick up my child from class?

Authorized pickups are entered through your UltraCamp account and can be adjusted up to the week proceeding class. After that time, authorized pickups can be entered manually into our class rosters. On the first day of class, please be sure to check your child’s roster for the names of individuals authorized for pick up and add anyone else. You can also speak with or contact staff with changes during the week.

Changes to Drop off and Pick up

We have changed our drop-off and pick-up policies to mirror guidelines from the American Camp Association and the NC DHHS during the coronavirus pandemic. Where possible, the same person should drop off and pick up the same student each day. Avoid designating those considered at high risk, such as elderly grandparents who are over 65 years of age.

Our goal is to limit direct contact with parents and caregivers as much as possible and only allow students and Museum staff inside the buildings. This will be done by using a check in table on the south side of campus for both drop-off and pick-up. You will be emailed ahead of class with information on exact drop off and pick up locations and timeframes.

Drop off will start 10 minutes before class begins and take place at a clearly marked table near the picnic tables. Masks will be required for caregivers and students during the check-in process. The child will then walk to the designated picnic table to meet their educator. While you are waiting to check-in, please keep a 6 ft. distance from the family in front of you. On the first day of class you will have the opportunity to double-check the registration information for your child.

Students will wash their hands before beginning class, throughout the class as needed, and wash again before pick-up.

Pick-up will start 5 minutes before class ends. The educator and other staff will be checking students out at the end of class from the same table as check-in. Remember to wear your mask, bring an I.D., and keep 6 ft. distance from others.

What will happen if the Museum must close again?

Each in person class will have a continued virtual option at a discounted rate should the Museum need to close its campus. If you do not wish to continue the class virtually, you will receive a partial reimbursement depending on the number of classes completed.

Who will be required to wear masks?

In keeping with Durham’s current protocol, all Museum staff will wear masks indoors, as well as outdoors when working in close proximity to our colleagues, learners, animals, and guests. Students will be required to bring masks. They will be required to wear masks throughout the day.

What will cleaning procedures entail? What products do you use?

We sanitize spaces daily and will sanitize any shared materials between uses.

What happens if someone in class displays symptoms of COVID-19?

If a student demonstrates COVID-like symptoms (fever, cough, GI issues, etc.) in class, they will be moved to an isolated location, and we will notify caregivers for immediate pick-up.

Any student who is sent home with COVID-like symptoms will be asked to stay home until receiving a negative COVID test from a health professional, OR at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

If someone is sent home from class for COVID-like symptoms, we will follow the Health Department’s guidance for contact tracing and inform families from all groups who may have been exposed.

If a student or staff member develops COVID-like symptoms, we will inform the families of the other participants of that class that a child showed symptoms.

If there are indications that a staff member or student with COVID-19 (symptomatic or asymptomatic) has attended class, we will notify families immediately.

We request that families remain in contact with us post-camp and let us know if they find that their child may have been COVID-19 positive during class. If this is the case, we will notify all students and staff who may have been in contact with the student.

As medical information is updated, this policy is subject to change.

What should I do if I have symptoms or test positive after attending class?

Please let us know if you have a fever or if anyone in your household tests positive for COVID-19 within the two weeks after attending class.

What if my student or someone in my household is at a high risk for contracting COVID-19?

If you are not sure if you should attend class, please discuss it with your medical provider. Anyone who is at higher risk for severe illness if infected by COVID-19, including people with moderate to severe asthma, diabetes, or are immunocompromised, OR anyone who shared a household with one of these underlying conditions should seriously consider not attending class this fall.

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