Guide Training Frequently Asked Questions

 How do I sign up to be a guide?
Each school has a River-Lab captain. You may contact your school office to get his/her name and contact information. You may also get this information at the River-Lab office (203) 259-1847 or on this website under “Contact Us.” Your captain will take your information and sign you up for guide training. He/she will also give you information you will need to be a guide for River-Lab.

Can I just show up for my child’s study-trip if I want to guide it?
No.  Although we appreciate anyone’s interest in the River-Lab program, our guides must participate in training sessions – one on line and one outdoor – in order to become a qualified guide.  The River-Lab program makes up one-third of Fairfield public school’s science curriculum and is designed to be CMT-compliant, so it is very important that our guides receive the proper training.  Each training session runs about one hour and information can be provided by your school captain.

Where are the study-trips?
Grade 3, 4, and 5 study-trips are conducted at the Perry’s Mill Open Space on Sturges Road in Fairfield.  You will find a map on this website.  Grade 5 includes both a study-trip to the Open Space and a classroom lab activity immediately following at your child’s school.  Guides should plan to attend both the study-trip and lab.  Grade 6 trips are held at the Ash Creek Estuary.  You will find directions on this website.

How many study-trips must I guide?
You are only required to guide one study-trip.  However, each school is asked to ensure that all classes at that school have sufficient parent guides.  You may be asked to guide for additional classrooms of students at your school if there are not enough guides.  In addition, you may choose to participate as a guide for as many other study-trips as you wish.  Each time that you guide, you become more versed in the information and often provide a better experience for the students.

What is a “Follow Study-Trip”?
You have the option of attending a study-trip and shadowing an experienced guide before you lead your first study-trip.  Some guides feel that this helps them to feel better prepared.  You can choose to schedule a follow study-trip through the River-Lab Scheduler

What is a “Back-up Study-Trip”?
You are asked to sign up to guide the required study-trips and to schedule yourself as a “back-up guide” for one study-trip.  The back-up guide is on call and available to guide that study-trip if a regularly scheduled guide has a last-minute illness or emergency.

What do I do if it turns out I can’t guide a study-trip for which I am scheduled?
Once you are scheduled for a study-trip, you are committed.   In the event that you must reschedule, it is your responsibility to find a trained replacement.  In the case of a last-minute illness or emergency, the back-up guide will take your place.  You will need to contact the River-Lab Scheduler about your situation.

What do I do if it rains on the morning of my scheduled study-trip?
We try our best to conduct our study-trips rain or shine. Please dress accordingly. In the event of severe weather, you will be called or emailed one hour in advance of your study-trip to reschedule. We are not able to update the website daily with study-trip cancellations, so please check your messages.

What if it starts raining while I’m out on a study-trip? If the weather changes during the course of a study-trip, the decision will be made by the study-trip leader to end the study-trip. In most cases, the buses wait along Sturges Road during the study-trip, so the bus can be flagged down. If not, please call the Fairfield Public School transportation office at 255-8385, or the River-Lab office at 259-1847 to locate your bus.