The Country Day Camp Policies and Procedures

Parent Communication

Here at The Camp at Country Day, we want to partner with you to help make each child’s summer experience as fun filled, enriching and safe as possible. We want our parents to communicate needs, problems and concerns as well as share great experiences, so please do not hesitate to let someone know if there is a problem or if your child has a special need. You can call us at (256) 837-5266, e-mail us [email protected] or speak directly with your child’s counselor or the front desk.

Occasionally a child may get sick during school/camp hours, become injured, or experience some difficulties. We will contact you as soon as possible. In the event that it is a not such a serious situation, but we think it is something you should know about, we call you or send a note home with your child. Of course, we will not call a parent every time we have to apply a band-aid, but you can be assured that we will use our best judgment to decide when to notify you.


Check-list For Each Day

● Swim suit and towel
● Insect repellent
● Change of clothes
● Extra shoes
● Sunscreen
● 2 snacks for the day
● Lunch and drinks-except on Free Fridays when pizza and drinks are provided
● All completed and signed permission slips


Van rules and policies for field trips

● Each student is securely fastened in a seat belt.
● No seat belt sharing is permitted.
● No van will leave its parking space until a teacher has verified that both of the above conditions are met.
● Student behavior in the van is closely monitored. Parents will be made aware of unacceptable van behavior, and a child may not be allowed on field trips..
● You can rest assured that this policy is strictly adhered to. Your child’s safety is always our first concern, and we seek to provide a safer option with the vans than the previous system of hiring school buses (with NO seat belts) for field trips.


Drop off and Pick-up Policies

Drop off and pick up will take place via the front door for security. Students should be signed in and out by parents daily. Please remember to arrive no earlier than 7:30 AM drop-off and picked up no later than 5:25pm . Late penalties are very expensive at CDS! Call the office if you will not be here on time so that we may reassure your child.


Bad Weather

Most days will hopefully be bright and sunny, but in case of thunderstorms, we will have indoor activities for students. Should weather become more threatening, we will monitor conditions and recommend that parents listen to local TV and radio stations for announcements. We will also post any changes on our home page and facebook. Our school does have reinforced “bunkers” should tornadoes threaten and children will be placed in the bunkers if a warning is issued.



All medications must be kept in the office and will be administered under supervision of our camp staff. You must sign a medication form which can be obtained at the front office. Medications must be in the original prescription bottle. Over the counter medication can not be administered with out a Dr.’s note. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved in advance with the Director. Basic first aide will be administered as needed. Let the office know of any allergies or special needs in this regard- asthma, bee sting allergies, nut allergies, etc. Sun burn may happen if sun screen is not applied at home prior to coming to school/camp. Hats are advised for all campers.


Other Policies

Lost and Found
Lost and found items are kept in the bin located at the front desk. Students /counselors can check the box frequently. Encourage your child to keep his/her personal belongings together and we encourage all parents to write your child’s name on all items and extra shoes or clothing. We can be NOT responsible for lost items. Please leave treasured toys, games, etc. at home as they may be lost or broken at camp.

Special equipment needed for activities
Please mark all items with your child’s name. Each child will have a space to keep to keep his or her personal belongings, bags and/or back packs. Books may be brought from home for quiet reading times. NO VIDEO GAMES, TABLETS or IPADS FROM HOME! If your child must bring a cell phone to school/camp, the teachers will keep them in a secure place and your child will be able to use them in case of an emergency. No texting, or gaming will be allowed on personal cell phones. Comfortable clothing should be worn and tank tops are discouraged on any days that children are going to the creek or on hikes. Not being properly covered can result in sunburn, excessive insect bites, and scratches from tree branches. A jacket or poncho is recommended for cool rainy days.

A swimsuit and towel will be needed on swimming and sprinkler days and on days the children visit the creek. Please name label everything. We also recommend each child bring an extra change of clothes and extra set of shoes. Keeping in mind that the children will be hiking and visiting the creek on occasion, we ask that sneakers, crocks or water shoes be worn to camp. Sandals, flip flops and open toed shoes are not safe camp shoes. You should check the weekly schedule for activity days and specifics.

Please note that we can not be responsible for lost items, so each child is expected to keep up with any personal belongings that are brought to camp. Name label everything, please. A waterproof tote bag to keep belongings in helps campers.

Swimming and Creek Visits
Each week, the children will go swimming at Sherwood pool. Life guards will be on duty as well as Country Day Camp instructors in the water. Please note on your enrollment form the level swimmer you child is so that counselors will be aware of this. Lifeguards test each student to determine their level and younger students will not be allowed in the deep end unless they can pass the proper certification.

Our children spend much time in the woods and the creek here on our 21 acre campus where they do many different activities from building forts, hikes or just wading in the shallow water. All children that participate must have a signed Creek permission slip giving them permission to participate in creek activities. If you have not completed a Creek Permission slip, it is available on the camp enrollment page under forms. Again, because of frequent visits to the creek and the woods, we highly stress that all campers wear appropriate clothing and shoes and have extra shoes and clothes on campus. Something to store wet clothes in to take home for washing is also a must.

Insect Repellent and Sunscreen
Insects, including mosquitoes and bees just love scented perfumes, lotions, bath powders and sweet foods. We ask that you avoid these things and it may help the bugs to avoid you! We recommend that each child bring a large container of bug spray, with their name on it, the first day of camp and then just leave here on campus. We will apply it to younger children, while it can be self applied by older children. CDS does take all measures for tick and mosquito control, but these critters are to be found in any wooded area. Parents should check children each day for ticks. We try to watch out for poison ivy as well, but sometimes it sneaks up on us. If your child is allergic to poison ivy, be sure we are aware of it.

We encourage the use of waterproof sun block. It is recommended that parents apply it in the morning before sending your child to camp and then counselors can reapply if needed later in the day. If you send sunscreen to school with your child, please make sure to put their name on the bottle with a permanent marker.

Snack and Lunch
All children should bring their own lunch, drinks and two snacks a day. Please send these food items in a name marked LUNCH BOX, unless we ask for sack lunches for a special outing. Please keep in mind that the children will be busy building up an appetite so feel free to send hearty snacks, as well as a hearty lunch, and lots of fluids so they do not get dehydrated. On Fridays we will order pizza for the campers and supply drink at no extra cost. No lunch, but snacks and drinks are needed on Fridays. A refrigerator is available for food and drinks which require cold storage and microwaves are available for items needing heating.

On Campus Activities
You will note the word “optional” throughout all of our activities. Our goal is to provide a program that may be customized to each child to suit his/ her needs and desires. A child will never be forced to participate in an activity, but we will encourage them in every way to participate in different things so that their summer experience is a great one. Please also note that no child will be allowed to do any one activity all day long. We want everyone to have a variety of active and less active activities daily. We will always strive to provide fun choices for you child.

We have children’s sized ping pong tables and air hockey tables set up in the gym which provide great indoor activities, especially on rainy days or on the very hot summer afternoons. On occasion we have movies for the campers to watch. Please make counselors aware if you have strong feelings regarding movie ratings. All decisions will try to take into consideration the age of the campers and no PG13 movies will be shown on campus.

Students will explore the creek and hiking trails here on the CDS Campus where there is always something new to discover, build or do! Our nature studies are on-going and the natural wild life available here is amazing.

Field Trips
We plan to take the children on regular field trips which will include (among others): hiking, movies, swimming, bowling, skating, and trips to parks like Kid’s Kingdom and Point Mallard. You will be made aware of weekly trips via our weekly newsletter so you may plan what to bring and expect each day.

Behavior of Students
All students are expected to be respectful of counselors, teachers and other students. Rules for each group will be gone over during the first week of school/camp and sent home for parents and students to review together. If students are not able to participate appropriately using these rules , and staff and/or parent intervention does not modify behavioral problems, the camper may be asked to leave the program and a refund given. It is our hope that every student will have a fun and interesting summer.


Our Founders

Candy Ortega, her husband, Roberto and a group of investors and educators founded KLA Schools in 2008. They opened the first KLA School in Miami, FL, in 2008 and began franchising in 2010. For Roberto and Candy, the desire to provide an inspiring curriculum, a nurturing environment, and high quality education to pre-school students across America was deeply rooted.

Roberto, KLA Schools' CEO, inherited his passion for education from his grandfather who opened two schools of his own in South America. Candy, KLA Schools' Educational Director, grew up in Argentina and Brazil and came to the US in 1994. She earned an Associate’s degree in Child Development and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, and began her educational career as a pre-school teacher at a Reggio Emilia inspired school.

Candy and Roberto have attended several Reggio Emilia conferences and study groups in the US and internationally. Additionally, they have participated in the National Association for the Education of Young Children conference (NAEYC) in Chicago 2009, Anaheim 2011, Orlando 2011, and they have attended the 4th North American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA) Summer Conference Boulder, Colorado 2008, the 6th NAREA Summer Conference Chicago, Illinois, 7th NAREA Summer Conference Pacific Grove, California, 3rd NAREA Winter Conference Mountain View, California and the 11th NAREA Summer Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico among others.

Leadership Team

Roberto Ortega

President & CEO

Roberto Ortega is the founder and President of KLA Schools, where he is responsible for the development, operations and oversight of multiple high-performing preschools in the U.S. His scope of work encompasses the growth of the franchise arm of the company as well as the pool of corporate owned locations. Under his leadership, he manages a team of executives and educators with a passion for providing high-quality early childhood education.

Mr. Ortega inherited his passion for education from his grandfather who opened two K-12 schools of his own in South America. Together with his wife they wanted to create an impact in society by providing a quality early childhood education program. They knew the key was to have a curriculum suited for the 21st century and they selected the Reggio Emilia Approach hailed by Newsweek magazine as the best in the world.

Candy Ortega

Pedagogical Director

Mrs. Candelaria Ortega is the co-founder of KLA Schools. She has been the Director of the first school since the company opened in 2008. Mrs. Ortega became the Pedagogical Director of the KLA School Franchise in 2010 to support the corporate owned and franchise centers. As the Pedagogical Director of KLA Schools, Mrs. Ortega supervises the development and implementation of the philosophy and curriculum of KLA Schools. She is also responsible for the continuous improvement of the curriculum and professional development initiatives.

Mrs. Ortega and her team provide the necessary tools and materials to ensure that the students are getting a quality early childhood education program. Mrs. Ortega is the company spokesperson on education and child-related topics.

Claudia Chaustre
Director of Professional Development

Claudia Chaustre has 15 years of experience in the learning and practice of the Reggio Emilia approach to education. She was part of L’Atelier School - Miami’s first Reggio Emilia inspired preschool - for 14 years. Throughout this time she was a teacher in the different age groups (0 to 5), a Pedagogical Coordinator, and a Co-Director. Her relationship with KLA Schools started in 2008, by being their consultant during their first years through L’Atelier school. She joined KLA Schools in January 2015 as a full-time Pedagogical Consultant. Her role is to visit the schools periodically to provide pedagogical support in the ReggioEmilia approach.

Dana Grimes
Director of Finance

Ms. Dana Grimes has been in charge of the Accounting and Finance department of the KLA Schools Affiliates since 2008, and has served as our Director of Finance since November 2008. Mrs. Grimes has more than 15 years of experience in accounting and finance. She has worked in the public and private sector since 2001. She has an Associate’s Degree in Accounting from Miami Dade College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Florida International University. She provides our staff and franchisees with training and support in the areas of Accounting and Finance. She holds these positions in our corporate office in Miami, Florida.

Adriana Lamas Ortega
Director of Admissions

A Miami native, Ms. Ortega has served as our Admissions Director since June 2013. Prior to that, she was a teacher for a KLA Schools Affiliate from August 2011 to June 2013. Ms. Ortega earned a Bachelors of Psychology from University of Miami in 2010 and has held these positions in our corporate office in Miami, Florida.

Jose Loor
Director of Marketing

Jose Loor has held the position of Director of Marketing and the Director of Marking of the KLA Schools Affiliates since April 2013. Prior to that, he was the Operations Manager of the KLA Schools Affiliates from January 2010 to April 2013. He has help these positions in our corporate office in Miami, FL. Mr. Loor has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Miami and a Master of Business Administration from Universidad Complutese de Madrid, Spain.

Gillian Gavurin
Director of Operations

Gillian Gavurin has worked for the KLA Schools Affiliates since August 2013. She started her career as a teacher for preschool children. After participating in projects throughout the school year of 2014-2015 with the marketing department, she became Assistant Director of Marketing in June 2015 and was later promoted to Director of Operations. She has been working in the education field since 2005, received her Bachelors Degree in Special Education in 2008 from Boston University and a dual Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education from Touro College in New York City in 2010. She currently holds her position at our corporate office in Miami, Florida.

Maria Jose Morla
Director of Branding

Maria Jose Morla works for the KLA Schools Affiliates as the Director of Branding. She oversees marketing and advertising activities to ensure the right message is delivered among schools. Maria Jose received her Bachelor’s Degree in Science in Communications with a Major in Advertising from Florida International University in 2009 and a Master’s Degree in Integrated Marketing Communication from Emerson College in 2017. She holds her position at our corporate offices in Miami, Florida.

Magdalena Castro
Pedagogical Consultant

Magdalena Castro has worked for the KLA Schools Affiliates since 2008, before the first school was opened. She started her career as a teacher at KLA Schools of Brickell in the Class of the 2’s, Class of the 3’s, Class of the 4’s and Kindergarten. She later became the Co-Director for that school and served as the Pedagogical Consultant for the schools in Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines and Aventura. Following that she was named the Director of KLA Schools of Aventura. In 2016, Ms. Castro stepped down from her School Director position and now serves as the Pedagogical Consultant for all the KLA Schools across the nation.

Raquel Roa 
Assistant Director of Professional Development

Raquel Roa has 15 years of experience working with children, she holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Catholic University Andrés Bello and a Minor degree in Early Childhood Education from Metropolitan University in Caracas, Venezuela. She worked for KLA Schools in Doral as a teacher from 2012 to 2015. In November 2017, she became the Assistant Director of Professional Development, where she oversees the pedagogical development. She holds her position at our corporate offices in Miami, Florida.

Over her career, her passion is being surrounded by children, she is a promoter and defender of children’s rights, she firmly believes in them and thinks that if we provide an education of quality we will have a better world because they are the future of our humanity.

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