Learning Center FAQ

What is Elmwood Park Zoo’s Learning Center?

Elmwood Park Learning Center is a safe, monitored and guided space for your students to complete their virtual learning.

What are the Learning Center’s hours?

9:00 am to 3:30 pm

What are the ages/grades for this program?

The program is limited to students in grades 3 through 5. This will help us best manage their curriculum needs.

Who will be supervising the students?

Students will be monitored at all times by EPZ staff members and a selection of volunteers. All supervisors will have completed both the PA Child Abuse and the PA Criminal Background checks, and they will be trained in the zoo’s safety and emergency procedures.

What will the zoo staff be providing?

In addition to overall supervision, EPZ staff will be providing general support for the students during their lessons. Examples include helping them follow their schedule, or connect virtually with their teacher. They will assist with basic tech support. They will monitor mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing. They will facilitate walks through the zoo and provide short lessons during breaks. They are not a replacement for the teacher nor will they be teaching the schools’ curriculum as the students will be engaged in that virtually.

Will students be able to explore the zoo?

Yes! During any scheduled breaks in their school day, such as lunch or recess, students will be able to go outside to both stretch their legs and explore the zoo with a staff member.

Where will the program be held?

Students will be given their own desk in the zoo’s Canopy Gardens Pavilion. It is our large climate-controlled event space with glass doors and windows that fully open to provide maximum air flow through the space. 

How many students will you be accommodating at a time?

We are limiting our capacity to 35 students, which is well below the COVID-19-mandated maximum capacity designated for our Canopy Garden Pavilion by Montgomery County Health Department.

What COVID-19 precautions will you be taking?

In addition to limiting our capacity, we will provide students with individual desks that will be placed at a minimum 6 feet apart. Students will be encouraged to wash hands often and not share supplies. Each desk will be thoroughly sanitized each evening. Every student and staff member will be required to wear masks at all times. In addition we will be taking every student’s temperature as they arrive and asking parents to sign off that their child has no symptoms.

Will students and staff be wearing masks?

Yes. Masks will be required for all students and staff at all times.

What if my child has a temperature when we arrive?

If your student has a temperature of 100.4˚ or higher, they will not be able to attend the program that day and your registration fee for that day will be refunded

What if my child has one of the other symptoms of COVID-19 when we arrive?

If your child has any of the following symptoms they will not be allowed to stay for the program that day: 

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Unexplained muscle pain
  • Cough
  • Nasal congestion or rhinorrhea
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting

If your child has one of these symptoms they must remain out of the program until one or more of these criteria are met:

  • Been at least 3 days without symptoms 
  • Have received a negative result on a covid test
  • Have doctors note clearing them to return

Please note we will be erring on the side of caution regarding these symptoms for the well-being of all. Your registration for days missed under those circumstances will be refunded

Will my child need to bring their own computer or tablet?

Yes. Your student will need to bring whatever device they are required to use for their virtual lessons as well as a charger/power cord and headphones/earbuds. The device will need to have whatever program/platform is needed for the virtual learning loaded in advance. We highly recommend a trial run with your student so they are prepared to use the program/platform/device.

Are lunches provided?

Students will not have the option to purchase lunch nor is lunch provided, so they are required to bring a packed lunch. A refrigerator is available, but a microwave will not be available for use. Water coolers are available for refillable water bottles.

What should my child bring with them each day?

Students should bring the following each day:

  • Laptop computer/tablet (and charger) that are expected to use for their virtual lessons
  • Instructions from the school as to how to log on to their virtual learning platform
  • Schedule from the school for virtual learning
  • Headphones/earbuds so students will not be distracted by other students
  • Any pens, pencils notebooks or other supplies designated by their school/teacher
  • Clothes that are comfortable to walk around outside
  • Any medication required throughout the day. An Epi-pen and/or inhaler if applicable
  • A labeled water bottle (preferably a reusable water bottle)
  • A raincoat on rainy days, and/or a warm coat for cooler weather
  • Sturdy, close toed shoes. Flip flops and open toed sandals are not permitted as we will be walking through the zoo

Students must come with technology prepared for their virtual lessons

When will I hear about my application for enrollment being approved?

All applications will be processed/approved no later than 48 hours prior to the program. We will do our best to process applications received less than 48 hours before the program, but we cannot guarantee they will be processed in time. 

Can I reserve a single day or can I sign up for the week?

Reservations are made by the individual day, but can also be made for weeks or months at a time. A $5 per day discount applies for any reservations of 5 days or more.

What is your refund/cancellation policy?

Registration fees are not refundable except in the case the zoo is unable to deliver the program (i.e. severe weather) or the student is unable to attend due to one of the COVID-19 symptoms listed above.

What if it is raining? Is the program still held?

Yes. Unless the zoo is closed due to severe weather, the program will be held.

Is before or after care available?

Yes. Before care is available starting at 8:00 am for $15 per day. After care is available through our Go Wild Afterschool Program from 3:30 – 6:00 pm for $25 per day. Pre-registration is required for both.


For more information on EPZ’s Learning Center, contact the

Education Department at 610.277.3825 x236

or email education@elmwoodparkzoo.org