Frequently Asked Questions:

Does my child have to attend an entire Terra Summer session?
Yes. Terra Summer is an academically-based program. It has a sequential curriculum, and children explore concepts and learn about food and related issues in a continuum throughout the duration of the program. Therefore, children benefit the most from attending the whole time, particularly if they are at risk of falling behind during the summer months. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Is transportation provided to and from Terra?
Yes, we will provide transportation for children who do not have a way to get to and from Terra. If you are interested in enrolling your child in Terra but transportation is a problem, please call or e-mail program director Sybil Fix as soon as possible and explain your situation, location, and difficulty. We will provide transportation to and from specific convenient drop-off and pick-up locations.

Can I drop my child off early if I need to?
Yes. You may drop off your child as early as 8:30, however no earlier. Also, children can be picked up as late as 4 p.m.

Can my child attend the program half-day?
No. The richness of Terra comes from the relationship between all activities and from participating in all activities.

Does the session cost cover everything or will there be incidental costs to me?
Yes. The session cost covers all program activities, lunch, snacks, field trips, and supplies including work gloves, journal, water bottle, and small backpack.

Do I have to pay the fee in one lump sum?
No, payment arrangements can be made. Credit cards are not accepted.

If I cannot afford the entire program, is help available?
Yes. Partial and full scholarships are available. Do not let cost deter your child from applying.

If I think this is an interesting program but I am unsure about something or I cannot provide transportation or I think it will be expensive, what should I do?
Please call or e-mail the director, Sybil Fix, at 828-782-7842. We cannot answer your questions if you do not contact us. The fun and benefit of Terra could be a mere phone call away! Do not hesitate to contact us.

Are staff members at Terra required to pass background checks?
Yes, all Terra staff must pass background and drug tests.

What is the ratio of staff to children during program activities?
Adults supervise children at all times and during all activities, most of which are conducted in small groups or teams. For that reason enrollment is capped.

Do different children participate in different activities? What will my child be doing all day at Terra?
All children participate in all activities equally. Sometimes they may be divided in teams, but they will still participate in everything. All children farm, cook, discuss academic topics related to the history of food, do art, journal, and work on a portfolio project. Please see A Day at Terra under the Program section above to learn more about the daily schedule.

Will I receive information about my child’s performance at Terra Summer?
Yes, you will receive weekly evaluations from staff.

Will children engage in dangerous activities?
Cooking and farming are the most dangerous things we do – no more dangerous than home activities, really.

Is there full-time medical staff on the premises?
No. However, several staff members are trained in First Aid, Emergency Response, and Wilderness First Responder. The nearest hospital is eight miles from the farm.

Will there be field trips, and who will drive the vans?
Yes, there will be a field trip a week. Hired drivers or staff members who are safe drivers will drive.

Are parents welcome to visit?
Yes, you are welcome to visit, but on a limited basis. We want the time at Terra to be a time for children to bond with their peers and be fully immersed in their activities. Please contact Sybil if you wish to visit.

Are there events for children to meet staff and other parents and children?
Yes. There are two Open Houses (see home page for dates) and a picnic will be scheduled for all parents and children enrolled at Terra.

If my child has already attended Terra Summer once, may she or he attend again?
Yes. Because in 2011 Terra Summer offers three sessions that are different from each other, please call Sybil to discuss which best suits your child. We try to accommodate all children, and all children are free to attend any session; however, one may be better suited than another.

Is there conduct that would warrant my child’s being sent home and/or expelled from the program?
Yes. There is a conduct agreement in the registration packet given to children after they are admitted to the program. The following offenses could warrant expulsion from the program: Any criminal or unlawful act; causing damage to person and/or property; behaving in an irresponsible manner in any activity; gambling; possessing inappropriate literature; acting in an intimidating or disrespectful manner; engaging in indecent or sexual behavior; using inappropriate language; using drugs and/or alcohol; repeated offensive or disruptive behavior. Terra Summer is a voluntary program and a privilege. All conduct should be respectful of one’s self and others.

If my child has been disruptive in his or her regular school program or has had academic difficulties, can he or she attend Terra?
It depends. Such decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Do not hesitate to apply for fear of not being admitted.

If my child has special needs, can he or she attend Terra?
Because of the farming and cooking components of Terra, it may not be the right program for all children. We request that all special needs be specifically discussed with Terra staff in advance to ensure that we can serve all children adequately and that the program is the right fit for everyone.

If my child has a disability, can he or she attend Terra?
The Terra School and its programs, including Terra Summer, do not discriminate against applicants for admission on the basis of race, color, gender, national origin, religion, disabilities, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. However, because activities such as farming and cooking are essential to the purpose of the program, it is important that all children be able to participate fully in a positive and safe manner. We must ensure that Terra is safe and beneficial for all participants. All admissions decisions are made on an individual basis. Again, do not hesitate to apply or call us with questions.

What is my child going to eat at Terra Summer?
Cooking in all forms is a main component of the Terra Summer program. We will cook, eat, and share delicious food prepared by our chef together with the children. We will also have guest chefs. The Terra Summer kitchen is vegetarian. No meat will be served. We will eat healthy, mostly vegetable-based, locally sourced and grown foods, as free from preservatives as possible. We ask that all children be willing to try new foods and be open to new culinary experiences.

Do I need to send lunch for my child?
No. Cooking and eating together are at the heart of the Terra Summer program. Children are provided snacks in the late morning and lunch.

Are special meals available?
Because we cook everything ourselves on-site, we will have the ability to tailor meals to specific medical needs (allergies, for example). A medical disclosure form is included in the student registration packet.

I know Terra Summer is vegetarian and you discuss issues related to animal rights. How does that impact my child and my family?
At Terra Summer your child may be exposed to discussion of topics that are new to him or her and new to your family. He or she may want to change eating habits, may question past food choices, and may bring those questions home to you. It is part of learning and growing. Please feel free to call Sybil if you have questions or concerns, but please do not be afraid! Learning is good!

What should my child wear for Terra Summer?
Children should wear comfortable pants or long shorts and T-shirts that are appropriate for work in the fields and in the kitchen, that are lightweight and can get dirty. Shoes should be closed-toed. ALL CHILDREN MUST BRING A WIDE-BRIMMED HAT TO PROTECT THEM FROM THE SUN! We will provide gloves for the farm work and smocks for work in the kitchen.

Should I provide sunscreen and bug spray?
The school will have sunscreen and bug spray on hand in case children are in need. However, we appreciate if children also bring their own.

Can I have someone else pick up my child?
Yes, with a signed approval form listing the names of others designated to pick up your child. Those persons will have to show I.D. when they come to pick up your child.

Can staff administer medication to my child if necessary?
Yes, with a signed approval form from you and the prescribing doctor.

Can my child bring a cell phone to Terra?
Yes, but he or she may not have it on during program hours. Terra is supposed to be an oasis of fun and learning!

What if I need to reach my child in case of an emergency?
Please call the Terra office number -- 828-891-2226 -- or the director’s cell at 828-782-7842.

Terra Summer empowers, builds knowledge, and heightens awareness of our world.

© Terra Summer 2009-2011

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