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Workshop Fee

What is included in my workshop fee?
Where does my workshop fee go?
Are there taxes on top of the workshop fee?
Since EcoSpark is an environmental charity, can I get a tax receipt for my workshop fee?
Do you know of any funding available to help cover my workshop fee?
Do you cover release time for teachers if the workshop falls on a school day?
Do I have to pay for the course in full and right away?
My department/school is covering my workshop fee. Can my school be invoiced directly?
Do you ever discount the cost of your workshops?

Workshop Registration

Do I have to register online?
How far in advance can I register for a workshop?
Can I get a refund if I am not able to attend a workshop that I have registered for?
I have registered for a workshop. What happens now?
Can I register for a workshop “at the door”?
The workshop I want to register for is sold out. Can I go on a waitlist?

Workshop Attendance

What should I bring to the workshop?
Is the workshop guaranteed to run?
Can you attend a workshop only if you are a teacher?
I would like to attend a workshop but I am unable to find a sitter for my child. Can I bring him/her along to the workshop?
How can I keep/get in touch with other Nature Academy participants?

Workshop Locations

Can you hold a workshop at my school or outdoor centre?
Do you offer private workshops?
Do you offer workshops outside of Toronto?

Workshop Fee

What is included in my workshop fee?

Your workshop fee includes all equipment/materials; coffee/tea, a delicious snack; a take-away guide that covers workshop content; materials to bring back to the classroom; up to two hours of personal coaching after the workshop; an invitation to join the Nature Academy Network and a certificate to prove you have completed the workshop. You will also receive a promo code entitling you to 10% off all future Nature Academy workshops.

Where does my workshop fee go?

Your workshop fee covers your workshop expenses (e.g., equipment/materials, printing guides); space rental and small stipends for special guests’ time. Any and all profits from workshops help EcoSpark run its education programs like Changing Currents, which reaches nearly 3,000 students each school year, more than half of whom attend schools in priority neighbourhoods. Thank you for your support!

Are there taxes on top of the workshop fee?

No. There are no taxes on top of the listed workshop fee, currently. This may change in the future, as Nature Academy grows through your support and participation.

Since EcoSpark is an environmental charity, can I get a tax receipt for my workshop fee?

No. Since you are receiving something in exchange (the educational experience of a lifetime!), your workshop fee is not considered a charitable donation. However, EcoSpark issues tax receipts for donations of $10 or more; you can visit our Donate page to make a gift at any time. Thank you for your support!

Do you know of any funding available to help cover my workshop fee?

Yes. There are various sources of funding to help cover your workshop fee. In addition to approaching your department head and principal for funding from your school budget, there may also be professional development funding at your school board. For example, the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) supports teachers’ PD and travel costs. Funding is also available through teacher associations. For example, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) offers grants and bursaries for PD  on an aggregate and district level. The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) also supports PD funding through their chapters (e.g., Toronto Secondary Unit). If you are taking a Nature Academy course in relation to a Specialist High School Major (SHSM) in the Environment, you are also eligible to receive PD support. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. Please contact us to let us know if there are opportunities that we’ve missed!

Do you cover release time for teachers if the workshop falls on a school day?

We currently do not cover release time if the workshop falls on a school day. We are working with various school boards to cover release time for their teachers on a first-come, first-served basis. If you require release time please contact natureacademy@ecospark.ca and a Nature Academy staff person will be in touch. Help us help you! The more great things administrators hear about Nature Academy from dedicated teachers like you, the stronger our case for release time coverage.

Do I have to pay for the course in full and right away? I have applied for/requested funds and am waiting for approval, but I ’m worried the workshop will sell out.

Sorry! The fee must be paid in full in order to guarantee your place in the workshop. However, workshops are typically offered more than once during the school year. If the workshop you wish to attend is sold out, it will likely be offered again soon.

My department/school is covering my workshop fee. Can my school be invoiced directly?

Yes, in special cases. However, this creates extra work for our tiny staff team. We would appreciate it if you could register online and use your receipt to get reimbursed by your school.

Do you ever discount the cost of your workshops?

Workshop fees are set thoughtfully to cover the hard costs associated with holding the workshop. However, fees will be discounted on new workshops (i.e., the first time a workshop is offered). This is our way of saying thank you for allowing us to test new material on you! We are always working for you to keep costs to a minimum and we are regularly building partnership to add value to our workshops. However, if you have attended a workshop before, you are eligible to receive a 10% discount on all future workshops. You can also extend this discount to a friend or colleague; please share the appropriate promo codes with those you are referring to Nature Academy. Teachers who have not taken a Nature Academy course before, but who know someone who has — get in touch with them and ask to use their friend/colleague promo code!

Workshop Registration

Do I have to register online?

Registering online is super safe and super simple! But if you’re really averse to registering online, or your internet connection keeps dying, give us a call at 647.258.3280 x2003 or contact us and we can arrange to invoice you or your school. We do not have a fax machine.

How far in advance can I register for a workshop?

Once a workshop is posted online, you can start the registration process! As spaces are limited, we recommend that you register for your workshop as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Workshop registration closes two business days before the workshop is scheduled to run. This allows us to gather a set of materials for you, prepare your workshop completion certificate and prepare for dietary and mobility concerns as necessary.

Can I get a refund if I am not able to attend a workshop that I have registered for?

No. Since all our workshops require a minimum number of participants to run, your cancelled fee might result in the cancellation of the workshop for everyone. However, we will allow you to transfer your registration to a friend or colleague (not already registered) so long as you alert us to the change at least five business days before the workshop is scheduled to run. We can also transfer your registration to a future workshop of equal or lesser value, but you will be charged based on the date and fee of the workshop for which you initially registered.

I have registered for a workshop. What happens now?

Yay! We can’t wait to meet you. You should receive two automated emails immediately. The first email confirms your registration and the workshop’s location, date and time; the second email serves as your official receipt. If there are any problems (e.g., you selected the wrong workshop or date or you forgot to tell us you were vegetarian) please contact us right away. There can be no changes to your order after five business days. About one week before your workshop is scheduled to run, you will receive a third email outlining more details pertinent to your workshop (e.g., how to get there, what to bring). If you’ve registered less than one week before the workshop’s scheduled date, you will receive the third email right away. (It’s not automated, though, so give us until the next business day.) 

Can I register for a workshop “at the door”?

No. You must register for a workshop online at least two business days before the workshop is scheduled to run. This allows us to gather a set of materials for you, prepare your workshop completion certificate and prepare for dietary and mobility concerns as necessary.  

The workshop I want to register for is sold out. Can I go on a waitlist?

Sorry! Because we have a no cancellation policy, a sold out workshop is sold out. We try to offer enough workshops to meet demand, though. If you’ve been disappointed by a sold out workshop, please contact us! We’ll try to offer that workshop in your area again soon.

Workshop Attendance

What should I bring to the workshop?

We will provide all specialized equipment and materials as well as snacks and drinks. It is very important to dress for the weather, as we will be spending ample time outdoors. We do not provide basics like hats, rain jackets, hiking boots, etc. You should bring something to write with, a camera, a reusable bottle or mug and a willingness to get those boots muddy.

Is the workshop guaranteed to run?

All workshops require a minimum number of participants in order to run. Since all of our workshops involve ample time spent outdoors, EcoSpark also reserves the right to cancel a workshop due to unsafe or miserable weather conditions. If we do have to cancel a workshop, you will receive a full refund swiftly, or we can transfer your registration to another workshop.

Can you attend a workshop only if you are a teacher?

Our workshops are designed for teachers in Ontario, but they are open to all who wish to attend. If you are a concerned citizen, pre-service teacher, another type of outdoor educator, live out of province or are just plain interested in our fun and fascinating workshop topics, we hope to see you at a workshop soon!

I would like to attend a workshop but I am unable to find a sitter for my child. Can I bring him/her along to the workshop?

No. We take pride in offering high quality workshops; we provide a focused and nurturing learning space and limit the number of participants to maximize the learning and training experience. While we are sure that he/she is absolutely adorable, you will have to make alternate arrangements for your little one.

How can I keep/get in touch with other Nature Academy participants?

Through Nature Academy, EcoSpark is striving to build a supportive community of environmental educators. We encourage all Nature Academy alumni to join the network for continued learning and sharing.

Workshop Locations

Can you hold a workshop at my school or outdoor centre?

Maybe. Nature Academy does not have a physical location; we move our workshops around to make them accessible to more teachers and show teachers how different types of sites can be used for outdoor learning. That being said, we do look for a few features in the sites that we choose: first, that the site is easily accessible; second, that it allows us to deliver workshop content indoors (meeting space); third, that it is representative of the nature teachers would typically be able to access without busses and fourth, that there is enough of a demand for a workshop in that area (14 person minimum). Please contact us if you think your site might be suitable.

Do you offer private workshops?

Yes. We can offer workshops tailored to your site for a private group (e.g., all staff on a PA Day). Pricing and availability is on a case-by-case basis and is determined by the complexity of your request (e.g., location, number of people, content to cover). Please contact us to find out more!

Do you ever offer workshops outside of Toronto?

Yes! We currently offer workshops in Toronto, Peel and York regions and are always looking to expand. We are a small staff based in Toronto, but our goal is to expand Nature Academy across Ontario. If you attended a Nature Academy workshop in Toronto, but would like to help us bring Nature Academy to your hometown, please fill out the form on our Volunteer page. If you represent a school board that would like to support Nature Academy’s migration somewhere else in the province, please contact us. We’d be grateful for your support!

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