Teacher FAQ


May a teacher with a special health condition attend ECOS Institute?

Although some accommodations can be made, the teacher is expected to take an active role in leading and supervising students. Teachers should be able to walk at least a mile on uneven terrain in all types of weather. Teachers with special health conditions (e.g., pregnancy, diabetes, heart condition) that wish to attend need to fill out a Release for a Teacher with Special Needs form (obtain online or from the coordinator).

What if I have a special diet?

ECOS can provide vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free meals. Please contact our office directly at 949-298-3267, 6 weeks in advance, to arrange a special diet. All meals at ECOS are nut-free. Also, teachers may bring their own food to supplement the menu (snacks and sodas must be consumed away from the students). A refrigerator and microwave are available for use.

How many teachers from each school should attend ECOS?

There should be one (1) certificated district employee for every 25-35 students. It is preferred, but not required, that the students’ own teachers attend. If your school cannot provide the required number of teachers, one classified employee can serve as a substitute. The designated substitute would have the same on-site responsibilities as a teacher. If you would like to send more staff than the required ratio, please call the site to make sure that accommodations are available.

Will I need to teach an academic trail?

No, you are not required to teach an academic trail talk. However, there are two options for teachers participating in ECOS academic trails: Teachers can choose to lead a Geology, Wildlife Biology, or Forest Ecology lesson, or choose to provide additional supervision on trails led by ECOS staff.

Will I have phone and internet service while at ECOS?

Most cell phone carriers have service at ECOS. Wi-Fi is provided in the teacher’s cabins and lounge, as well as most of the ECOS campus.

Will I have an opportunity to check in with my students during the week, to see how they are doing?

You are a very important part of your students’ experience here at ECOS. In addition to dining with students at meals, you will see them on morning and afternoon trails, and during any other activity that you choose to join. Also, there are two formal “Classroom Teacher Check-In” sessions, during which the students give you their thoughts about their experience in writing.

Can we order ECOS “Spirit Wear” for our students?

Yes. You can contact the ECOS office at 949-298-3267 for more information. Kindly note that orders need to be placed at least 3 weeks prior to your school’s visit!