Wilderness Awareness School and COVID-19

Updated Sept 6, 2022

Our number one priority is the health and safety of our students, staff, and community. We will update this page regularly with new policy updates, guidelines, and FAQs. 

Health Precautions

We ask participants of Adult AND Youth programs to stay home if they have signs or symptoms of Covid-19. Please see the following Dept. of Health Guidelines for an updated list of symptoms. All students are asked to quarantine or isolate if they have symptoms or a Covid exposure per the most up to date state and county guidelines. Please see this DOH Decision Tree on what to do if you have any Covid symptoms or if you are a close contact with someone who tests positive for Covid. Let our staff know as soon as possible and we will help you decide the best path forward.

Masks/Face Coverings

As of March 7th, 2022, we are no longer requiring masks at our programs for staff, students, and volunteers. Masks are now optional and we will support anyone who chooses to wear one.

This policy may change depending on the state of the pandemic. When registering for a program, please be prepared to have masks be required OR for masks to be optional. As we have throughout the pandemic, we follow the respective guidance for our programs.

Tuition and Refund Policy

Our standard refund policy applies to all programs. See our full refund policy here.


School Year Youth Programs

Updated Sept 6, 2022

Health Guidelines

We have adjusted our safety policies and procedures based on the WA DOH K-12, Child Care, & Camp Guidelines, and have been safely running programs during the pandemic since June 2020. Please see this DOH Decision Tree on what to do if you have any Covid symptoms or if you are a close contact with someone who tests positive for Covid. Let our staff know as soon as possible and we will help you decide the best path forward.

If your child becomes sick, please have them get tested as soon as possible. We require a negative Covid test to return to program. At home tests are acceptable, but we recommend a PCR test since they are more sensitive. The UW Medicine Covid Testing facilities are reliable and have relatively fast turnaround (usually within 24 hours). If you choose not to test, please follow the guidelines in the decision tree as if you have Covid.

If your child tests negative, please continue to keep them home until their symptoms have significantly improved. If they test positive, please keep them home for at least 5 days. If they are symptom free on Day 6, they may return – but they need to wear a mask for Days 6-10.

Transportation

For our weekly programs, we are providing transportation from the town of Duvall to our 40-acre campus – a 15-minute drive – as well as the occasional field trip. For Wild Within, we will transport students on our away trips when we are not on our campus. Masks are no longer required while in school vehicles.

Overnights at Program

Overnight programs are allowed in Washington State and we look forward to running Wild Within again in the 2022-23 School Year! As with our other programs, we are not requiring masks at this time. There is no testing requirement to participate in overnights. Should anyone become sick during one of our programs, we have a series of specific protocols that we will be following – including potentially needing to send students home. We will do our best to help transport your child home, but you may need to pick up your child at our field trip location.

Please note that masking/testing guidelines may change during the year as they are updated by the state. We will adjust our overnight guidance as it is required and based on the current state of the pandemic.

School Year Frequently Asked Questions

What added safety protocols will you have in place?
Anyone who has Covid-19 symptoms will not be able to attend class until they are able to clear Covid protocols. Should your child become sick at program, we may need to send them home.

Are students and staff required to wear a mask?
At this time, we are not able to say whether masks will be required during the 2022-23 school year. We will follow State and County guidance as it continues to be updated. As of March 7th, 2022, our youth programs do not require masks for staff, students, or volunteers. The main exception is:

  • When someone has returned to program after testing positive and is in the Day 6-10 window (they should also be symptom free to return before 10 days)

We will continue to evaluate mask-wearing based on local Covid rates and may adjust this policy. Please be prepared for masks to be required OR to be optional.

Are your staff required to be vaccinated?
On Aug 18, 2021 Gov. Inslee made the announcement that all childcare providers, which our youth programs fall under, are required to be fully vaccinated or qualify for a medical or religious exemption, by Oct 18th, 2021. We are following this mandate.

What is your refund policy?
Before the start date, if a program is canceled by WAS, full refunds will be offered. If you cancel before the start of the program, you get a refund for any payments in excess of 25% of course tuition. See our full Registration Policy.


Youth Summer Camps

Updated June 15, 2022

Department of Health Guidelines

We have adjusted our safety policies and procedures based on the WA DOH K-12, Child Care, & Camp Guidelines, and have been safely running programs since June 2020. With programs running exclusively outside with low student-to-instructor ratios, our programs are very low risk for transmitting COVID-19. Please see this DOH Decision Tree on what to do if you have any Covid symptoms or if you are a close contact with someone who tests positive for Covid. Let our staff know as soon as possible and we will help you decide the best path forward.

Overnight Camps

Overnight programs are now allowed in Washington State and we look forward to running them again in the summer of 2022! As with our other programs, we are not requiring masks at this time. There is no testing requirement to participate in overnights (see expeditions below). We strongly recommend students be up to date with their Covid-19 vaccinations. Should anyone become sick during one of our programs, we have a series of specific protocols that we will be following – including potentially needing to send students home. Please note that these guidelines may change before the start of the program as they are updated by the state.

Expeditions (excluding Teen Survival Trek)

We are requiring a negative test immediately before camp for our Salish Sea and Wolf Tracking Expeditions. The impacts of getting Covid-19 in the backcountry are magnified and we want to do everything possible to avoid it. You have two options: Get a PCR test within 48 hours of the program start time OR take a rapid test within 8 hours of the start time (typically the morning that camp starts). Please bring a photo or pdf of the test results when you drop off your teen. We will also be wearing masks on the van ride to our expedition location.

Summer Frequently Asked Questions

What added safety protocols will you have in place?
Anyone who has Covid-19 symptoms will not be able to attend class until they are able to clear Covid protocols. Anyone who has been deemed a close contact of someone with Covid-19 will have additional requirements to return to class as well.

Are students and staff required to wear a mask?
At this time, we are not requiring masks in the summer of 2022. We will follow State and County guidance as it continues to be updated. The only exception to this is when being transported in school vehicles. We will continue to evaluate mask-wearing based on local Covid rates and may adjust this policy. Please be prepared for masks to be required OR to be optional.

Will the school be providing transportation?
At this time, the only summer programs that are providing transportation are our Expeditions. We will transport students from the Seattle area to our Expedition location. Staff and students will be masked and we will increase ventilation by having the windows down as we are able to.

Are your staff required to be vaccinated?
As of Oct. 18, 2021, we fall under the Washington state Covid-19 vaccine mandate. This applies to all staff and volunteers.

What is your refund policy?
If a program is canceled by WAS, full refunds will be offered. If you cancel 15 or more days before the start of the program, you get a refund for any payments in excess of 25% of course tuition. See our full Registration Policy.

Wilderness Awareness School