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School Program Request
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Program reservation for the 2015-2016 school year is now open. Processing of reservations will begin on August 10, 2015 for Will County schools, and August 17, 2015 for out-of-county schools. Please review the important information below prior to requesting a program.

Reservation Procedures

The Forest Preserve District does its best to accommodate all requests. However, due to a high demand for school programs, submission of a request form does not guarantee a reservation. Request forms are processed in a first-come, first-served order.

Teachers may need to be contacted for additional details or regarding date availability. When contact is needed, requested program dates are held for three business days to allow contacted teachers time to respond. If contact is not made within the three business days, requested program dates are made available to other parties.

Reservation requests are required two weeks in advance. Once a reservation is made, a program permit packet is sent via email. This packet includes:
  • Map and directions to the site (for field trips).
  • Tentative program schedule.
  • Program permit.
  • Pre-/post-site classroom materials.
If you have any questions regarding a program or the reservation process, please call the Central Booking Office at 815.216.0535.

Proceed to Online School Program Request Form

Field Trip Program Guidelines

Field trip programs are offered at the Environmental Learning Center in Mokena, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon, Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville, and Plum Creek Nature Center in Beecher.

Programs are offered Tuesdays through Fridays during the months of September, October, April, May, and early June. Programs can start by 9 a.m. and must conclude by 3 p.m.

Interpreter and Child with TreeA field trip day is typically 3 hours 45 minutes in duration (4 hours at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center), unless other arrangements have been made. Duration includes the length of two programs, plus one hour for site introduction, lunch, bathroom time, and program wrap-up. Use of Forest Preserve District picnic facilities is included as part of your program permit.

Chaperones play an active role in program activities, group management, and field trip logistics. The ratio of one chaperone to ten students applies for field trip programs. For fee-based programs, chaperones are free of charge.

Student capacity varies for each site. Additional field trip days may be required to accommodate larger groups.
In-School Program Guidelines

In-school programs are offered to Will County schools during the months of November, December, January, February, and March, Tuesdays through Fridays. Programs may start at 9 a.m. and must conclude by 3 p.m. Multiple dates may be required for multiple classes. A teacher or school staff member must remain present throughout the program presentation.

In-school programs are designed for the classroom and for 10 to 35 students. As many as three classrooms may receive in-school programs per day. Include independent start times on the School Program Request Form when requesting a second and third program on the same day. Build in a 5-minute transition time to allow Forest Preserve staff to relocate to multiple classrooms.

Program Fees and Payment

Field Trip Programs:
In-School Programs: $20 for the first program per day; additional $10 per program for second and third programs on the same date.

Payment is due ten working days from the issuance of the program permit packet unless other arrangements are made with the Central Booking Office. Payment may be made by check or credit card (Visa or MasterCard). Checks should be made out to the Forest Preserve District of Will County and mailed to the Central Booking Office, 17540 W. Laraway Road, Joliet, Illinois 60433. Credit card payments are taken over the phone at 815.216.0535. A receipt is emailed once payment is received and processed.

The Forest Preserve District reserves the right to invoice schools after the program date for balance due for unanticipated student count.

In the event you need to cancel and do not elect to reschedule for another date, the following refund policy applies:
  • Over 30 days notice prior to program date: 100% refund
  • 8-30 days notice prior to program date: 50% refund
  • 7 days or less notice prior to program date: 0% refund
If you have questions about program fees and payment, please contact the Centralized Booking Office at 815.216.0535.

Pre- and Post-Site Program Materials

 DrawingAs educators, we know that content retention, real-world connections, and achieving critical thinking are greatly increased with content reinforcement and repetition. The Forest Preserve District has developed pre- and post-site materials for many of our most popular programs. These materials are program-specific and unique to the field trip or in-school program for which you are registered. Materials link directly back to the program objectives and are grade-appropriate.

Pre- and post-side material packets consist of a collection of three to seven different resources. The collection varies for each program. Materials may include:
  • Recommended student text for reading
  • Detailed Common Core correlations
  • In-class activities
  • Glossary of program-related terms/vocabulary
  • Loan Kit recommendations
  • Student worksheets and activity pages
  • Outdoor activities for school grounds
  • Student reference key and copy pages
Teacher pre- and post-site materials are provided to the permitted teacher approximately one week prior to the program date. Materials are available to any educator upon request for use an an educational resource. Materials are in pdf format to be user-ready. For more information or to request materials, please contact the Centralized Booking Office at 815.216.0535.

Photographs Courtesy of Glenn P. Knoblock
Copyright © 2016 The Forest Preserve District of Will County
17540 W. Laraway Road, Joliet, IL 60433
815.727.8700 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Weekdays
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