What does “scandent” mean?

Scandent is a term used in botany to describe plants, such as vines, that have a tendency to climb.


Inquiry Grove

Does the class meet in all weather?

The class meets rain or shine. It may be much colder in the woods (10-20 degrees colder, on some days). Even on non-rainy days, there may be water or mud, which children will be free to explore. Your child is almost guaranteed to get dirty or muddy. Please dress your child accordingly!
Class will be cancelled for extreme weather (lightning, high winds, etc.) or other dangerous conditions (smoke, etc.). Class cancellations will be announced by email and text message.

My child is older than 7 or younger than 4 – can they attend?

The class is designed for children ages 4-7. Children of these ages may attend on their own or their adult may stay with them for the class. If children ages 2-3 or 8+ wish to attend, they need to register and an adult needs to stay with them for the duration of the class. Children ages 0-1 may attend for free, and their adult must stay with them.

Do adults attend with the child?

Each child may be accompanied by an adult. Children ages 4-7 do not need an adult to stay with them. If you want to bring more than 1 adult with your child, to watch a class (like if the grandparents are in town), please contact me ahead of time. Adults may not attend without a child.

What abilities are children expected to have to participate in this class? Are accommodations available?

It is generally expected that children attending on their own, without a parent, will be able to do the following things. If this is not the case for your child and accommodations are necessary, please contact me in advance so that we can work together to make arrangements.
Children are generally expected to –

  • be potty trained
  • be able to follow simple spoken instructions
  • be able to communicate their needs through speech (Rae speaks English and a little Spanish)
  • stay in a designated area, with reminders
  • obey basic safety rules, with reminders (ex: don’t touch the fire)
  • move independently within the environment (the locations I use are not always wheelchair-accessible, but I can select wheelchair-accessible locations with advance notice)

If your child has other needs that require accommodations, please contact me in advance so that I can do my best to arrange for accommodations.
To ensure the safety of all participants and to enable the participation of children with medical issue that make them susceptible to communicable diseases, it is expected that participants have received their vaccinations.

Is it safe to let kids explore in nature?

The safety of participants is of the utmost importance. And, in play-learning and nature exploration, managed risk is part of the learning experience.
Scrapes, splinters, short falls, and small bruises may occur, and they will be treated as needed, with hugs, bandaids, and so forth.
We hope to avoid larger injuries, but if they do occur, they will be handled as necessary.
Rae is certified in infant, child, and adult CPR. She will have a first aid kit and an emergency plan to deal with an issues that arise.

Do I need to pack a snack?

Staying fed and hydrated is essential for outdoor play. To ensure that each child has food that meets their dietary requirements and is enjoyable for them to eat, each child is expected to bring a water bottle and snack, in a backpack. Please pack snacks that are easy to eat on the go and that have minimal packaging – your child will need to bring all trash back with them.
If your child has a food allergy that requires others to not bring a particular food, please contact me at least 10 days before the class. If there are limits on what kids can bring for snacks (such as no nuts), I will notify participants by email at least 7 days before the class.



Will there be food?

Students will eat during the course of the class. To ensure that each person has food that meets their dietary requirements and is enjoyable for them to eat, each participant is expected to bring their own dinner. Water and snacks will be provided.
If your child has a food allergy or other dietary requirements, please contact me at least 10 days before the first class. If there are limits on what participants can bring, due to a food allergy of one of the participants, I will notify participants and parents at least one week before the first class.

Do I need parental permission to enroll?

Currently, yes, each student needs the permission of a parent/guardian to enroll in the course. However, if you feel you need an exception to this policy, please contact me.

Will you tell my parent what I’m asking? Will you tell me what my student is learning?

Parents/guardians receive a list of topics covered in the class. Upon parent/guardian request, I’m also happy to provide access to copies of all materials, explanations of content and activities, and contact information for any guest speakers who visit the class. I will NOT disclose to parents/guardians (or anyone else) the specific questions that a student asks, comments/perspectives the student shares, or any other personal details shared, either in class or by email. The exception to this is if I have reason to believe that someone is being harmed or is likely to cause harm to themself or to others – in this case, I will contact the appropriate resources and authorities to help stop or prevent the harm. These cases are covered by California’s Mandated Reporter policies – and, of course, by ethics and the desire to prevent harm.

Students in the class are all asked to maintain confidentiality of any personal information that they learn from others in the class. And, since confidentiality in a group can’t be 100% guaranteed, the class will include regular opportunities for students to ask questions and offer comments anonymously.