Living Earth COVID-19 Policies

The safety and well-being of our community and staff is our first priority.

View the full LES COVID-19 Program Protocols

As life with COVID-19 continues onward, we know that people need the vitality that comes from being outdoors with a learning community. We also know that our beloved LES families have many different personal experiences, beliefs and priorities regarding the virus. We have appreciated all of the kind communications we have received over the spring and summer sharing your thoughts, praises and frustrations with how we have proceeded with both online and in-person programming. As a business and as non-medical professionals, we are following the guidance put forth by the governor and the VA Department of Health. Summer gave us a chance to try different strategies for following these guidelines. We tweaked and we learned. What we do know for certain is that since our programs are 100% outside, they offer a safer, more supportive environment than indoor activities.

I felt that my son was safe and that drop-off and pick-up procedures were spot on. I appreciate that you adapted and found ways to host outdoor camp in this unprecedented time. – Summer 2020 parent

What do LES programs look like during this time?

In-Person Programing with Precautions

Covid policies were handled extremely well! -Laurie

Our program capacity keeps us well within the guidelines outlined for schools in Virginia. We are committed to following state guidelines as closely as we can, while maintaining our core values of caring interactions and healthy boundaries with your kids. We make sure to frame this to participants as a new habit that will take reminders and practice. Here are the main differences in what programs will likely look like, based on the VA Department of Health guidelines for childcare and camps:

  • All homeschool staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Students will be in small age-based groups, generally with a 7 to 1 student to instructor ratio, sometimes with as many as 16 people per group.
  • Wearing a mask will be optional at programs starting March 21, 2022. Participants who wish to continue wearing masks at programs will be fully supported in their decision. Participants will be responsible for making that choice.
  • Participants will be encouraged maintain distance from one another at programs
  • We will minimize games that involve close contact between students such as tagging
  • We’ll use hand sanitizer at various points throughout the day
  • Drop off will include symptom and packing list checks
  • We will tweak and change our policies as we get more info from state, local and health authorities

For a more thorough explanation of our policies, please read our

COVID-19 Program Protocols Document HERE

Thank you for being there for my boys. It means a lot to me, especially during the pandemic. – Rebekka

Distance Learning

If Virginia is put back into Phase 1 or lockdown, the Living Earth School will cease in-person programming. Some programs have an online/outdoor distance learning option. After much learning and success with spring virtual programs, plus virtual summer camps in June 2020, we are confident we have an awesome online option for your children to stay connected with their mentors, friends, and nature if we aren’t able to meet in person for a period of time. For the refund and distance learning options for the program you are registered for, please see that program’s web page. Please go here for our full financial policies.

In general, the online/outdoor hybrid versions of classes will happen the same day as regular class. “TeleHowls”, as we call them, are a short zoom call followed by a longer period for students to go outside to accomplish a mission. Then there is a zoom call to share stories and discoveries. Rinse, wash, repeat (sometimes there are two or three such zoom calls over the course of a class day). Sometimes there are “home fun” assignments that bring the learning home.

If you have any further questions, please contact us at

Updated March 17, 2022