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Non-Traditional Students

Teaching students with special needs

Forest Preserve education programs and resources are a great fit with special needs classes. Non-traditional learning environments and hands-on engagement are proven methodologies to connect with alternative learning students. Additionally, the District offers sites and accommodations for all audiences. Experienced educators are trained and eager to teach audiences of all abilities. Contact us to explore opportunities for your special education students.

Field trips and in-classroom presentations

Organized home school groups of 10 or more age-appropriate students may register for field trip and in-school programs. In-school programs may be presented in public buildings. They may not be presented in private residences. Visit the School Programs page to see the programs available and how to submit a school program request.

Home School Days

Home School Days allow individual home school students to register for pre-selected field trips days.    Registration is required for each participating student. Only students of the grade-equivalent age for programs offered will be registered. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Plum Creek Nature Center

Grades: 4th-6th
Fee: $3/student
Program: Hands-On Herpetology & Taste of the Wild

Introduce students to the amphibians and reptiles of Will County. Explore the habitat of several species that call Goodenow Grove home. Learn fun facts about the differences among snakes, lizards, frogs, and turtles.

Ready to tantalize your taste buds? Learn to safely identify and sample berries, seeds, nuts, leaves, flowers, stalks, and roots, depending upon the season. Hike through different habitats and discover how plants are adapted for survival.

Registration required by Friday, April 5, 2019.



Thursday, April 11, 2019, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Plum Creek Nature Center

Grades: 4th-6th
Fee: $3/student
Program: Earth Day Safari & H2-WHOA! Exploration

Join a naturalist as we pick up an adventure pack and begin our journey through the forest! Together we will explore hidden gems using our official safari gear, including binoculars, critter containers, magnifying lenses, journals, reference books and more. Let’s discover all the forest has to offer!

Learn what lies below the surface of our local water resources while exploring H2-WHOA!, an exhibition on loan from Purdue University’s Agriculture Exhibit Design Center. Learn how flora and fauna, such as fresh water mussels and lichens, serve as indicator species. Discover how pollution and sediment negatively impact fish and other animals, and then “Take the Pledge” to protect our water resources. Indoor facilities are accessible; outdoor activities may take place on natural surfaces across uneven terrain.

Registration required by Tuesday, April 9: 708.946.2216.



Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
Four Rivers Environmental Education Center

Grades: 4th-5th
Fee: $3/student
Program: Animal Signs (Spring)

Students are introduced to the various signs that local animals leave behind and learn about the important reasons that both humans and animals track others. Observe, investigate, and identify tracks, scat, and other animal signs through a guided, exploratory hike through woodlands and restored prairie.

Registration is required by Wednesday, April 17: 815.722.9470.



More Resources for Teaching at Home

Visit the Educator Resources page for print-ready activities and lessons, information on how to take home one of our 11 resource loan kits, and regional resources for teaching.

Have your students checked out Willy's Wilderness for nature-themed learning and engaging activities?

all are welcome

Contact the Education Office at 815.722.2025 to explore all we can do for your students.

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