Handbook

Required Clothing & Gear

Outdoor Gear:

All students need appropriate outdoor clothing and gear, year-round. Students will need to be comfortable in and protected from heat, cold, rain, and snow in order to participate in outdoor experiential education. All necessary gear, in addition to a complete change of seasonally appropriate clothing, must be on site at all times to support planned and spontaneous outdoor learning experiences.

Footwear:

For outdoor learning, footwear is especially important. Only well supported, closed-toe shoes are appropriate for active movement. High heels, backless sandals, open-toe sandals, clogs, crocs, or flip-flops are not appropriate for school wear.

REQUIRED CLOTHING AND GEAR

At RVCS we go outdoors every day regardless of the weather.* What we wear and bring to school consistently affects our happiness, safety, and learning possibilities. Being properly dressed for time outdoors enables the whole community the freedom and confidence to explore the earth together. Something as simple as forgetting one’s hat can sidetrack a group’s experience for the whole day. The entire school community benefits from the attention and cooperation of parents, students, volunteers, and all staff.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT EVERY CHILD HAS THE PROPER GEAR EACH DAY AS OUTDOOR EXPERIENCES ARE AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF THEIR SCHOOL DAY. THE FOLLOWING IS THE REQUIRED, NOT OPTIONAL, GEAR FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE RIDGE AND VALLEY CHARTER SCHOOL CURRICULUM.

YOUR CHILD WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE IF HE/SHE DOES NOT HAVE PROPER GEAR.

If your family cannot afford to supply your child with the required items, it is imperative that you contact Nanci Dvorsky, Administrative Coordinator, so that arrangements can be made to offer financial assistance.

ALL CLOTHING/GEAR MUST BE LABELED WITH YOUR CHILD’S NAME.

Please send all general gear and indoor/outdoor clothing on the first day of school.

*unless it is deemed unsafe to be outdoors

General Gear:

  • 2 Reusable water bottles (1 to stay at school)
  • Reusable lunch box with reusable food containers: all meals are pack in/pack out
  • Backpack: size appropriate for each child’s books, gear, water bottle, etc. (PLEASE DO NOT BRING BACKPACKS WITH WHEELS)
  • 2 cloth hand towels with loops for hanging (dish towels with pre-sewn loops work well)
  • Bandana

Outdoor Clothing (all year round):

  • Weather-proof Hiking Boots
  • Hiking Socks (non-cotton socks, such as wool or wool-blend, for hiking)
  • Sun Hat
  • Fleece Jacket
  • Waterproof Rain Jacket (no ponchos) – to fit a fleece and layers underneath
  • Waterproof Rain Pants
  • Waterproof Rain Boots (at least mid-calf tall)
  • Lightweight Gloves (fleece, wool – no cotton, please)
  • Warm Hat (fleece or wool)

Indoor Clothing (a change of clothing is required for children of all ages.)

  • Complete Change of Clothing: pants, shirt, socks, underwear (to keep in school)
  • Indoor/Classroom Shoes (as determined by team): closed toe, closed heel and an outdoor sole (to keep in school)

Additional Gear for Winter:

  • Winter Coat or Parka (with an insulated hood attached!)
  • Insulated Snow Pants
  • Insulated Winter/Snow Boots
  • Long Underwear: top and bottom (polypropylene, wool, silk, light fleece, etc.)
  • Waterproof, Insulated Gloves or Mittens
  • Neck Warmer or Balaclava

“There is no bad weather, only bad clothing!” – Evonn Berube-Reiersen, Founding Trustee

ALWAYS DRESS IN LAYERS FOR SUDDEN CHANGES IN WEATHER

Helpful Hints:

  • Wear inside clothes to school and have the outdoor gear always ready in the backpack or classroom. PLEASE LEAVE GEAR AT SCHOOL, BUT IF YOU CANNOT, PACK GEAR DAILY.
  • Polypropylene, nylon and wool or wool blends are required for any lengthy time outdoors. While cotton is comfortable and desirable in many environments, it does not wick moisture away from the body and is not efficient in the heat or the cold.
  • ONLY sandals with closed toes and a back strap may be worn at RVCS.
  • Our goal is for children to be self-reliant in the outdoors, with their hands free while hiking and the ability to dress themselves without assistance. Please choose gear accordingly.
  • Sourcing Gear:
    • Try to find gear buddies; children with whom you can exchange gear when it’s still usable but outgrown (you’ll need one bigger and one smaller!)
    • RVCS has gear swaps during the year
    • Put a request on the RVCS-chat list forum
    • Try online sites such as Freecycle and Craigslist
    • Shop at thrift stores or consignment shops
    • Take advantage of off season sales
    • You can find gear in many places, including the following:

We appreciate your support in making sure that your child is safe and comfortable in all weather