Teachers are a vital resource at Pali Institute. Please join our staff of professional leaders in ensuring a positive learning experience for your students.
Teachers are welcome to attend classes, participate on the ropes course and, of course, take photos. Your involvement in activities is encouraged, while keeping in mind that the students’ experience is the first priority. Although the expected requirements of classroom teachers are minimal, we ask your help in supporting our program.
Preparing for the trip
- Use the Teacher Checklist to help you plan and prepare for your trip.
- Cabin and activity lists must be received by Pali Institute via email at least two weeks prior to arrival. Health forms must be completed online at least one week before your school’s arrival. Please make sure that all forms are filled out completely.
- Cabin lists need to be gender specific. Please inform Pali Institute of your boy/girl student breakdown at least 4 weeks prior to your visit and your Trip Coordinator can assist you in determining the number of cabins needed.
- Activity groups are coed with 16 students per group. If you have any questions regarding cabin and activity groups, please contact your Trip Coordinator at (909) 939-0888.
Our team is available to host an online webinar for your parents to help prepare them for the trip. If you’re looking to host a parent meeting in person, we have a seven-minute video that can be shared and then a Pali Institute Staff member can be available by video chat to help answer any questions!
We can also provide you with materials and resources to do the meeting on your own. This includes the below video and flyers that we have put together to help answer parent’s questions.
Expected arrival time at Pali Institute is between 10:30am and 11:30am for a Monday or Tuesday arrival. For a Wednesday or Friday arrival, please arrive at Pali no earlier than 11:00am to allow our departing schools time to leave the facility. On departure day, the buses need to arrive at Pali no later than 10:00am to allow for time to load up student’s luggage before departing.
If your bus driver requires a hotel during your trip, we recommend Bear Springs Hotel as the closest location that has bus parking.
Bear Springs Hotel
27959 Highland Ave
Highland, CA 92346
Phone: (833) 258-4745
On arrival day, please call Pali Institute at (909) 939-0888 when you reach the base of the mountain (CA-330) so we will have an estimated arrival time and our staff will be available to greet the buses. Please inform us of any last-minute changes in student count.
Upon arrival, classroom teachers will be asked to attend an orientation meeting. During this meeting, a member of the Visiting School Department will review your weekly schedule, highlight the expectations and policies that the students will be told during their orientation meeting, ask about any pertinent information that was not provided during the pre-trip planning and answer any questions that you might have. We need to know about any illnesses not listed on the health forms, learning disabilities or behavior contracts. (Critical situations, late arrivals, early departures and any student behavioral issues should be reported prior to arrival.)
We provide vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options for all meals here at Pali, in addition to being a nut-aware facility (not serving any food that contains peanuts or tree-nuts.) If a student has dietary needs beyond that, we ask that parents give us a call that we can share the exact menu and assess what is appropriate for the students. Parents are then able to send food that is supplemental to what we offer, and a staff member will heat up that up for the student prior to each meal.
Our meals are served buffet style, which allow us to offer each item separately. For example, if the entrée is burgers, there is a tray of fries, a tray of buns, a tray of burgers, then veggie burgers, a meat chili and a vegetarian chili. The students are able to say yes or no to each of these. In general, each meal has a vegetarian option for the entrée if it contains meat (i.e. veggie burger instead of a hamburger).
Additionally, when students go through the buffet line, we have a tv screen that shows each the name of each item we are serving. On that screen, it shares if an item is vegetarian, dairy free or gluten free to help ensure those with special dietary needs can easily choose the food that is available.
Behavior and Disciplinary Guidelines
Pali Institute has well-defined expectations for student behavior. Students are expected to cooperate with adults by following instructions without showing disrespect or being defiant. Inappropriate behavior or language is not permitted on camp property. In situations where students choose not to adhere to these guidelines, discipline is handled by a Three Strike Discipline System to ensure a successful and safe experience for all students.
The Pali experience comes and goes so quickly that it is important for teachers to be aware of and support the Pali Staff with any behavior issues immediately, before they snowball. Since different people oversee the students at different times, it is important that everyone remains aware of whether or not a student is involved in the disciplinary process. The Pali Administration will inform all visiting teachers of any strikes that students from your school have earned. This system is designed to put the behavior decisions in the student’s hands and is meant to curb inappropriate behavior. The intent is to prevent a student from being sent home.
Students learn about Pali’s Three-Strike system during their orientation. The Pali Institute leadership staff will also serve as “Pali Principals” to work with students to ensure they understand why they received a strike and what corrective action is needed on their part.
- 1st Strike is a Warning: The 1st strike is a warning that is earned after a student repeatedly does not follow the policies set forth by their instructors.
- 2nd Strike: The 2nd strike warrants a phone call home from the student after a meeting with the teachers and a Pali administrator.
- 3rd Strike: Students that earn a third strike may be sent home. (In some situations, there are automatic third strikes. These include: fighting, hitting, punching or injuring another student, and utilizing any racial or hazing epithets. If a student presents a danger to themselves or to others, they will be removed from the program and sent home without a refund.)
It is important to consider the potential benefit of the trip for a student who is having difficulty in the classroom, while keeping in mind that a disruptive student may negatively affect the experience for other students, and adversely influence some student who otherwise would have had a positive experience. Please inform the Pali staff in advance regarding details about students with behavior problems and learning disabilities. It is also helpful to know which teacher is most familiar with the specific student, so that appropriate help can be obtained quickly if needed.
Buses are required to carry chains in the winter months and should be prepared to put them on the bus. Each storm is different, but chain conditions can exist for a while after it snows.
We recommend checking with your bus company prior to the trip to ensure that they are familiar with the chain requirements and will carry them the day of the trip.
Since our facility is located immediately off Highway 18 which is maintained by the county and plowed regularly, we are accessible during snowy weather. If snowy weather does cause a road closure or otherwise affects your arrival, our first goal would be to work with you to reschedule the trip, host you for a shorter trip or find another accommodation.
Teacher time is a one-hour time slot that takes place once during a three-day program and three times during a five-day program. During this time, your classroom teachers are responsible for the supervision of the students from their school. This allows the Pali Institute Instructors to prepare for their classes later in the week. Your students will meet at an assigned location and a teacher-planned activity or journal work can be done at this time.
We suggest use of the camp store, basketball games, field games, soccer, football, Capture The Flag, board games, indoor/outdoor journal time, letter/postcard writing, and outdoor activities such as jump rope and four-square. You can discuss Teacher Time activities with your trip coordinator prior to your visit or once you arrive to Pali. Pali will try to accommodate all Teacher Time activity requests, but sometimes this is not possible due to the size of your group or total number of groups that are at camp.
Teacher Presence On Site
At least one school representative must be on Pali Institute property at all times. If you leave the property, please inform our administration team and leave a cell phone number in case we need to get in touch with you. Teachers need to be available 24 hours a day for extremely rare situations.
Pali Institute prohibits parent visitations during the outdoor education experience. We find that it takes away from the autonomous experience of the students while attending outdoor classes at Pali Institute. We make rare exceptions to this policy for a medical issue, if the school makes a written request via email at least two weeks prior to arrival.
Please ensure parents are aware of this policy. Please also ensure parents know that we do not allow students to have cell phones, and that they will not have the ability to speak to their children during their stay at Pali. If a child needs to be picked up early or dropped off late we need to know this information before the school arrives.
Staff Qualifications and Certifications
Teacher Packing List
- 4 pairs of underwear
- 4 pairs of socks (extra socks in the winter months)
- 3 – 4 pairs of long pants, jeans, or sweats
- 2 pairs of sturdy walking shoes (boots are appropriate for hiking trails)
- 5 comfortable day shirts
- 4 long sleeve shirts
- 2 sweatshirts or fleeces
- Jackets for all conditions
- 1 set of pajamas
- Water bottle or camelback
- Hat, gloves, and scarf (to be used weather dependent in any season)
- Set of toiletries (including a wash cloth if so desired)
- Day pack/Backpack
- Sunglasses or ball cap
- Lip balm
- Travel mug for hot beverages
Pali Provides: Accommodations and bedding for teachers. Teachers will either stay in our Main Lodge rooms or in a cabin. Most rooms share bathrooms and showers with towels provided. There is a teacher lounge with access to wireless Internet, cable TV, mini refrigerator and couches.
Please Note: From October – April there is a STRONG possibility of inclement weather conditions. Please pack appropriate clothing (winter coat for the snow, extra pair of wool socks, long underwear (thermals), heavy waterproof shoes/boots, etc.)