After 25 years of teaching our popular school tours program, we have thoughtfully developed these policies to ensure the best possible educational experience. Thank you for your cooperation.
Payment in full is expected for all participant numbers as quoted on your invoice. Students who are absent on the day of the field trip can each be brought a pumpkin and apple. Absent students and chaperones will still be counted on the invoice and payment is expected, since spaces were reserved for them.
Please inform us by Wednesday, September 19th if there are any additional students or adults coming. There is a maximum capacity to our hay wagons for safety and insurance reasons; if more participants arrive than we are expecting for your group, we likely cannot accommodate them safely and they will not be able to ride the hay wagon. Extra chaperones may not walk alongside the hay wagon or walk out to the fields. After the field program, additional parents may join the class in the Harvest Yard for the self-guided tour. Also, please note that we cannot accommodate younger siblings on our tours, so other childcare arrangements should be made.
Our school tour program is geared towards groups of 20 or more total participants. If your group has less than 20 total participants, we do have a self-guided option for visiting the farm. Please click here to find out more.
We allow a maximum of 1 adult to 5 children for the Fall Harvest Education Program (the head classroom teacher is not included in this ratio), any additional parents must wait in the barnyard for the self-guided tour. With over two decades of experience of leading farm education tours, we feel this is the best ratio to maximize the educational experience for the students.
If a school cancels its reservation 3 days (72 hours) after it has been sent the confirmation email from the farm registrar, the school will be responsible for 50% of the total program cost as a cancelation fee. When a school cancels its reservation, it is difficult for another school on our waiting list to have enough time to schedule the field trip, so we cannot offer exceptions to this policy.
All classes are at our Pumpkinseed Hill Farm at 120 Beardsley Road in Shelton (not at our Christmas tree Homestead farm location). Teachers are encouraged to print the school fall tour driving directions and give them to the bus driver on the day of the trip. Upon arrival, your group will be greeted by our farm educator at the school tour entrance gate.
Please be sure to allow enough travel time to reach the farm for your scheduled appointment. Classes arriving late may miss the hay wagon tour. We suggest planning to arrive about 15 to 20 minutes early so we can take care of the bookkeeping details and so your class can get the full benefit of their reserved time on the farm.
Payment is required per school (not per class) on the first date the school visits the farm at the beginning of the tour. Payment by check is appreciated; unfortunately we are unable to accept credit cards. If you are paying by cash, please collect all the cash in one envelope and sort the bills so the registrar can quickly process your payment. Schools whose payment check is received in the mail one week prior to their scheduled tour will receive one complimentary teacher's kit per school, including a variety of winter squashes, gourds, and corn with information about the harvest and suggested activities to enrich classroom learning.
Our programs are held outside. Students and teachers should wear clothing and footgear appropriate for an active outdoor walk on farm paths. The farm is on a hill and it may be windy. Warm coats and hats are encouraged. Boots are also suggested, especially for the morning tours when the fields are wet with heavy dew. Please share our How to Prepare for your Visit handout with your students and chaperones for more information on how to dress.
Teachers should not cancel due to rain. In rainy weather, the program is held inside one of our barns. Our hay wagons are covered, so we can still offer wagon rides on drizzly days. On days of severe weather, school programs may be canceled by the farm at no cost to the school.
Our nametags act as your group 'tickets' to enter the farm. Nametags will be mailed to you once your tour date is confirmed. Before arriving, each child should put their Jones Family Farms nametag on his or her outer jacket so our farmers can identify your students. The nametag will also be used for labeling each child’s pumpkin bag at the completion of the tour. Teachers and chaperones are asked to also wear their Jones Family Farms nametag 'ticket' to help our farmers identify your group.
Food and Beverage:
Please leave coffee cups and food on the bus. Federal standards for good agricultural practices require us to keep food and drinks out of the crop fields.
Snacks are allowed on designated grassy areas, outside the Pumpkin Yard. Please note that no food (except apples) or drinks are sold and that there are no picnic tables. We have a Carry In/Carry Out policy; schools must carry back all their refuse as we do not have sufficient trash capacity on the farm. We can recommend local parks for children’s lunches.
Chaperones will be asked to refrain from taking photographs and videotaping during the education program. Please wait to organize any class photos until after we have returned to the barnyard at the conclusion of the program.