COVID-19 Guidelines for In-Person Programs

Attention: Masks and/or face coverings are required for all in-person school and group programs regardless of vaccination status.

No participant should attend any in-person program(s) if they have experienced one or any combination of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 within the last 72 hours, and/or any of the following statements apply:  

  • Fever of 100.4⁰F or greater 
  • Chills 
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
  • Fatigue 
  • Muscle or body aches 
  • Headache 
  • New loss of taste or smell 
  • Sore throat 
  • Congestion or runny nose 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Participant has tested positive for COVID-19, and has not completed their mandated quarantine period
  • Participant previously tested positive for COVID-19, but still has symptoms mentioned above 
  • During the past 14 days, the participant has been in contact with someone who has exhibited symptoms as listed above and or tested positive for COVID-19 
  • During the past 14 days, the participant has been advised to self-quarantine by a doctor or other health authority 
  • The participant has travelled internationally within the last 30 days. 

SCHEDULING A PROGRAM

Advance reservations and payment of any fees are required for all programs. (See below: section B “To Schedule,” numbers 3, 4 and 5.)

Please plan your schedule carefully, since it may be difficult to reschedule if your plans change. Please note that Zoo education programs are quite popular and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

A. BEFORE SCHEDULING

• Review the programs appropriate for your grade level.

• Please note: Groups may register for only one classroom program and/or one guided tour per day.

• Check your school calendar. When is your spring break? Do you have special testing days?

• Consider your travel plans. What time can you arrive at the Zoo? What time will you need to return to school? Groups arriving late will forfeit part or all of their program without a refund.

• Please note: A minimum of one adult chaperone per eight students is recommended for your Zoo visit. This is required for all educational tours. All adult chaperones, students and teachers are required to wear a mask.

• Adult group supervisors must remain with the students throughout all education programs, and are strongly encouraged for your entire visit. Please do not make student discipline our job.

• Please note: A maximum of two adult chaperones (one of whom must be the student's primary teacher) will be permitted in the classroom(s) with any given group, unless you reported that a student will be bringing an aide or paraprofessional with them.  All adult chaperones, students and teachers are required to wear a mask. All other adults will need to wait elsewhere.  If you have questions, please contact the registrars at (314) 646-4544, option #6.

• The minimum age for preschool programs is 3 years of age.

B. TO SCHEDULE

1. Education Department Phone Numbers

2. Scheduling Hours

Program reservations can be made by phone, Monday - Friday, from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

3. Scheduling Dates

Programs for Fall/Winter (Labor Day - December)
Scheduling on or after the first Monday in May.

Programs for Winter/Spring (January - Memorial Day)
Schedule on or after the last Monday in October.

4. Amount of Notice Required

A minimum of two months' notice is required for all programs if you want to pay by check. Programs scheduled between one to two months in advance, require full credit card payment at the time of scheduling. We are unable to schedule programs less than one month's notice. Please see E for information about refunds and transfers.

5. Information Needed When You Call

• School name, address, phone number

• Teacher or other adult in charge of the group

• Grade level and number of students

• Program choice and alternative choices

• Date and time requested and alternatives

• Credit card information if paying by credit card

• Teacher e-mail address (optional) if you would like to receive e-newsletters and postcards or participate in post-program online evaluation.

C. NEW: COVID-19 SAFETY CONTRACT

Prior to receiving your program confirmation, an authorized school representative will be required to sign a Covid-19 safety contract acknowledging that you and your group will adhere to the Zoo's regulations regarding in-person programs.

D. PAYMENT

Fees
For groups scheduling at least two months in advance, an invoice will be sent promptly. Full payment is due one month from the invoice date. If your payment is not received within one month, your program may be canceled. For groups scheduling with less than two months' notice, (with a minimum of one months' notice), full credit card payment is required at the time of scheduling. Your reservation is not confirmed until complete payment is received. We are unable to schedule programs with less than one months' notice.

E. AFTER PAYMENT

Confirmations

After your payment is processed, we will email confirmation materials to you. It will include the date, time and program reserved for your group. 

Please double-check all information when you receive your confirmation.

Bring confirmation with you on the date of your program. Forward, if necessary, to other teachers and chaperones.

Please ensure that you are abiding by all Zoo Education COVID Safety guidelines, outlined in the COVID contract that was signed.

Bus transportation guidelines will be emailed with your program confirmation. Please note that there is no bus parking on Zoo parking lots!

F. CANCELLATIONS/REFUNDS

Please notify the Education Department at (314) 646-4544, #6, immediately if you need to cancel. Another group may be able to take your place.

Refunds

One Month Prior to Program:

A refund will be issued minus a $5 cancellation fee if you notify the Education Department at least one month prior to your program. There is a $5 cancellation fee per program.

Between ten business days and one month Prior to Program:

You are entitled to a 50% program fee refund if you notify the Education Department between ten business days and one month prior to your program date.

Less than ten business days Prior to Program:

There is no refund for groups that cancel with less than ten business days' notice.

Please note: In the event that your school and/or the Zoo is closed the day of your program due to weather, we will try to reschedule your program or issue a full refund. That decision will be made the day of your program.

If you have ordered group tickets, please contact the Group Ticket desk separately from the Education Department, at (314) 646-4718 with any cancellations or questions regarding your group. Please note that Group Tickets does not provide refunds on any pre-paid tickets.

Transfers

Program transfers must be requested a minimum of one month in advance and will be subject to availability. Transfers are determined by resource (space, instructor, etc.) availability. A $5 transfer fee will be charged per program for the first transfer date. A $10 transfer fee will be charged for additional transfers. Transfer fees must be paid with credit card at the time requested. We cannot accommodate same day or next day transfers.