8660 - Field Trips and Extended Co-Curricular Trips


Field trips require careful planning and oversight. Administrative and parent/guardian approval, appropriate supervision, and sufficient preparation must be considered during the planning process. Educational field trips should have a purpose and be appropriate for the age and maturity level of the group. Field trips that are planned for the purpose of entertainment alone will not be approved. Field trips that are planned as rewards will be considered and approved on a case by case basis.  Students are not allowed to ride in private transportation with other students and their families. On all field trips and extended field trips, only GIPS students may participate and the discipline code, and rules and regulations of the school district shall be in effect from the departure until return.

EDUCATIONAL SCHOOL-SPONSORED FIELD TRIPS:

Educational school-sponsored field trips may be considered a part of the curriculum when such events contribute to the achievement of educational goals of the school district. Field trips normally will be conducted within the school day and transportation will be provided by the school district only for trips that are curriculum related. Permission slips are not needed unless the field trip is an overnight or out-of-state trip as parental permission for day field trips is signed at the time of student registration.

ACTIVITIES BEYOND THE STATE LEVEL OF COMPETITION:  

The school district will not fund competitive or participatory activities for students beyond the level of State competition without approval of the Superintendent or designee. When approval is granted for an extended field trip involving competition or participation beyond the State level, the participating organization must cover 1/3 of the cost, the building must cover 1/3 of the cost, and the school district must cover 1/3 of the cost. Examples of activities beyond the State level of competition or participation may include career or technical competitions, National Quiz Bowl, National Mock Trial, etc. These costs may include transportation, room and board, cost of substitutes and all additional expenses deemed appropriate by the Superintendent or designee.

In order to avoid unexpected financial burden to families and reduced participation by students, there must be sufficient advance notification of planned participation by an organization beyond the State level. Consideration of the request may be denied if sufficient notice is not provided as determined by the Superintendent or designee.

OUT-OF-STATE, OVERNIGHT AND CO-CURRICULAR FIELD TRIPS

Out-of–State, overnight and all co-curricular club and organization field trips must be planned well in advance and receive prior written permission from the Principal and Activities Director. All student groups requesting travel must file an Extended Field Trip Request Form with the building prior to anticipated travel.  Such form must be approved by the Principal and Activities Director before parents and students are notified. In authorizing such extended field trips, the Principal and Activities Director shall consider:

  • The educational benefits of the activity;
  • The potential or actual loss of instructional time;
  • The overall financial plan including the cost and who will bear the cost, how the funds will be raised and what plan the organization has to assist with the expenses for students who may not be able to pay the entire expense of the trip;
  • The frequency of the organization’s request for extended travel;
  • The overall supervision plan for the extended travel; and
  • The inherent risks or dangers of the activity and other relevant factors.

The Superintendent or designee shall inform the Board of all approved out-of-state, overnight or co-curricular field trips. After the field trip has been approved, the teacher or sponsor shall notify parents/guardians of the purpose of the trip. Written parent permission is required for all extended field trips.

Out-of-country field trips must be approved by the Board at least 9 months in advance of the trip. The building Principal will make the request to the Superintendent or designee and will provide detailed trip information. Foreign travel will be limited to students in the 11th or 12th grade or students taking an AP foreign language class. Travel will be subject to United States Department of State travel advisories and warnings.

TRIPS NOT SPONSORED BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT:

Grand Island Public Schools is not responsible for non-school sponsored trips.  Any staff member who arranges or is involved in arranging a trip that is not school sponsored has the responsibility to clearly communicate in all meetings, publications and postings, that the school district is not responsible for the trip. A field trip is privately sponsored if no school funds are used, the school/district is not named in promotional materials, and the field trip does not occur during school hours. Examples of non-school sponsored trips include international trips arranged by a travel company using school district staff to help arrange the trip, international trips arranged by a foreign language teacher taking students abroad during the summer, out-of-state trips taken by a club sports team where the team is coached by a student’s high school coach or teacher, and out–of-state or international trips for band or orchestra students that are arranged by a booster club. All arrangements for such trips, including cost, travel, supervision, safety and rules are the responsibility of the group or person making the trip available to the students or staff.  Grand Island Public Schools has no responsibility for such trips. Any questions regarding whether a trip is school sponsored should be referred to the Principal or Activities Director.

Policy Adopted - November 3, 1980
Policy Revised: 8-3-98
Policy Revised: 11.08.2012
Policy Revised: 07.13.2017
Policy Revised: 02.18.2019

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8660.1 Extended Field Trip Request Form

  1. Provide a description of the trip, including how it relates to the curriculum and way in which curriculum benefits will be documented
  2. Who will be participating (e.g. team members, club members, etc.)?
  3. Anticipated number of students:
  4. Sponsors: Names, addresses, phone numbers:
  5. Describe any costs to sponsors:
  6. Cost per student: (Provide breakdown costs for transportation, lodging, registration, etc.)
  7. What costs are students responsible for?
  8. What provisions have been made for students who cannot afford to participate?
  9.  Tour or travel agency, if applicable (attach copy of the contract):
  10. Itinerary: attach dates, times, cities, countries, hotels, residences, and form of transportation for each day from the time of departure to return:
  11. Insurance underwriter for tour or travel agency (if applicable attach)
  12. Name of airline if applicable:
  13. Name of person competing this form:

Activities Director Signature of approval and Date
Campus Principal Signature of approval and Date
Superintendent or designee Signature of approval and Date

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8660.2 Guidance for Field Trips and Extended Co-Curricular Trips

Supervision of students at all times

Ensure supervision of students by an adult at all times. Remember the rule of thumb about supervision - if you cannot see the students, you are not supervising them. Staff and chaperones must exercise close control over the students. Students on field trips can become overly excited and want to explore on their own.

Establish a process for regular accounting for all students and staff, both periodically and when activities change (such as before boarding the bus to return). Determine what adequate supervision is during overnight stays (how frequently to check the room, etc.)

Determine how many and what kinds of chaperones are needed throughout the trip
Determine what supervision (what kind and how many) is needed. Establish the proper ratio of supervisors to students based on a case-by-case evaluation of each field trip. A higher number of supervisors will be required for more hazardous activities.

Base the number of chaperones on an evaluation considering the number of students, age and maturity of the students, types of activities, facilities, duration of trip, type of transportation, and safety considerations (such as emergency procedures).

There should be a minimum of two adults supervising a field trip. Recommended minimum supervision ratios (adults to students) are as follows: elementary school age – 1:10; middle/high school age – 1:20. The building administrator and sponsor should agree upon the ratio for each field trip.

More and/or specifically qualified chaperones/staff may be needed for higher-risk activities, overnight stays (gender-specific), activities involving water (lifesaving) or wilderness (survival), out of country travel (speak the language), and those including behaviorally, physically or mentally challenged students.

If the field trip is part of a classroom educational experience, sporting event, or sponsored club, at least one certificated staff member is needed.

For supervision purposes, each bus should have at least one staff member or chaperone other than the driver.

Volunteer chaperone selection

Ensure that all volunteer chaperones are:

  • At least 21 years old
  • Screened using the district Volunteer Protocols
  • Physically able to do the job
  • Able to work well with students

Chaperone responsibilities and training
One of the duties owed to students in school and on field trips is proper supervision. The main purpose of supervision is to help protect students from injury or diminish the risk of student injury. Adults do not automatically have the skills necessary to appropriately supervise students. Teach chaperones applicable school district policies and procedures and their duties and responsibilities. Proper supervision has these basic components:

  • Presence and attentiveness
  • Being with students at all times and keeping students easily in sight. (If one of the chaperones cannot see the students, the students are not being properly supervised.)
  • Not becoming distracted from duties
  • Being physically able to participate in the activity as needed
  • Student behavior monitoring and intervention
  • Being knowledgeable of and consistently enforcing school rules and policies
  • Restricting students from leaving the group, from roughhousing, horseplay or other inappropriate behavior
  • Taking appropriate action when rules are not followed, or a student is in danger.
  • Hazard surveillance and intervention
  • Being risk-conscious (prioritizing attention into the areas where accidents are most likely to occur)
  • Checking the areas visited, and appropriately addressing hazards
  • Responding appropriately to emergencies
  • Handling emergencies that occur properly to reduce potential injury and damage.
  • Familiarize chaperones with field trip specific emergency procedures, how to get assistance, and whom to contact in the event of an emergency. Review any medical concerns with the staff and chaperones so they are informed of medical issues before an emergency occurs.

Providing food on field trips

Be sure to specify how food and drink will be provided in the Field Trip Description with Itinerary

If meals, snacks and/or drinks are provided on a field trip, they can be provided in several ways:

Brought from home by the students

For day trips, students may bring bag lunches that do not require refrigeration. These lunches need to be safely stored during transport. Most field trip locations have specific areas for large groups to eat lunch, and many have special rules for this area. These rules should be identified and communicated with parents/guardians.

Provided by the school and taken on the trip

Make arrangements in conjunction with food services. Safely store food and drink during transport. Be aware of students with food allergies and special dietary requirements. Stay away from food or drinks that require refrigeration as these need special preparations.

Provided by the facility the group is visiting or cooked by the group at the facility

Some facilities are equipped with kitchens. The school may have a choice of menu items. Be aware of students with food allergies and special dietary requirements. If students and school staff will prepare food, state food handling certification is required.

Provided by stopping at restaurants

If the plan is to stop en route, choose the restaurant prior to the trip and inform parents/guardians of the choice. Students must be supervised while eating, and while moving to and from the restaurant. Let students know where they should keep money for the meal.

Overnight field trips - housing

Arrangements

Prior to the trip, arrange sleeping accommodations for the students and chaperones. Make sure chaperones and room assignments are gender- specific, and roommates are close in age.

Supervision

Special consideration should be given to the number of chaperones on an overnight trip. Additional chaperones may be needed. Ensure students have supervision at all times while on a school sponsored field trip. If chaperones will not sleep in the same rooms as students, discuss how students will be supervised in their rooms, such as a room check every 30 minutes until the students are asleep.

Inspection

If possible, inspect the proposed housing before deciding to use the facility. In lieu of inspection, obtain recommendations from an approved travel agency or another school that has used the facility.

Providing information to parents/guardians

Communicate housing information, including the name(s), address(es), telephone number(s), and cost(s) of the proposed housing unit(s) to both parents/guardians and students. Be sure to specify the housing and sleeping arrangements in the Field Trip Description with Itinerary.

Handling emergencies on field trips

One of the duties owed to students is prompt and appropriate emergency medical care. Types of emergencies that can occur on a field trip:

  • Lost or missing student
  • Medical emergencies, including serious injuries
  • Natural disasters, such as inclement weather
  • Abduction of a student
  • Physically dangerous acts, illegal acts, overt defiance, or serious disciplinary problems (breaking school rules)

Actions to take when an accident occurs, and a student is hurt:

  • Never fail to give aid (err on the side of caution)
  • Due to the possibility of neck and spinal injury, do not move the student

Access to student health information

  • Obtain student health information (medical conditions, medications, allergies, etc.) related to potential needs on the field trip. Medical emergency cards/information/permission for treatment for each student must accompany the group with a copy kept at the school.
  • Distribution of medications
  • At least one staff member on the trip must be trained to distribute prescribed medications according to school district procedures and how to properly secure medications on the trip. Over-the-counter medications (Ibuprofen, Kaopectate, Tylenol, Benadryl, Tums, etc.) also require a district medication form signed by both parent and physician and the medication must be properly labeled by the parent.

Parental information and consent

Inform parents in writing about planned field trip activities, hazards and risks. Provide a way that parents can ask questions about the trip. For more involved field trips such as out of country or overnight stays, provide a more formal opportunity for questions, such as an informational meeting for parents/guardians. Discuss applicable information regarding the proposed trip, including the following:

  • Purpose of the trip and relation to the curriculum or activity program
  • Budget and fundraising
  • Proposed detailed daily student itinerary
  • Arrangements for chaperones
  • Proposed travel arrangements
  • Proposed housing arrangements
  • Proposed eating arrangements
  • Rules of conduct for students
  • Reminder that district policies apply, including the prohibition on drug or alcohol use
  • Parent information and permission requirements
  • Fees and spending money
  • Emergency procedures
  • Potential personal safety risks
  • Information related to foreign travel, including immunizations required, passports, laws related to drugs (including prescription drugs), and appropriate conduct in a foreign country
  • Keep records of dates of meetings, number in attendance, and handouts/information given

District policies apply

Ensure parents, students and chaperones understand that district policies and procedures pertaining to pupil conduct, discipline, and rights apply to pupils while on field trips, and that parents will be responsible for getting the student back home if the student breaks the rules. Rules on field trips are the same as required of students within the school confines. Students violating school conduct rules on a field trip are subject to the same disciplinary action as would apply if they were on school property.

Related documents

Ensure necessary documents are received by the parent/guardian, returned to the school, and permission/emergency forms are reviewed by the school before the trip. Information sent to parents/guardians should include at least the following:

  • A letter from the school about the field trip
  • Field trip details and itinerary, listing means of transportation and housing arrangements (if applicable)
  • Things for a student to bring and not bring on the trip, including type of clothing needed
  • Field trip permission form (informed consent)
  • Health information/emergency contacts/permission for emergency treatment form

Transportation

As field trips are off school grounds, transportation is normally needed. This can be provided using a variety of forms. Listed below are transportation options and issues related to each.

District school bus
This is the preferred means for transportation for several reasons: it is the safest means of transportation, it is the easiest way to supervise many students, school bus drivers are trained school employees, and using district-owned and operated school buses keeps the money used for transportation in the school district. Use the district’s Request for District Transportation Form to request this transportation.

Other district vehicles
For smaller groups, such as small clubs and teams, a school suburban maybe requested from the GISH Activities Officer or Student Services Office at the Kneale Administration Building. Use the district’s Request for District Transportation Form to request this transportation.

Charter bus
If school buses are not available, a recognized charter bus service can be used. Be sure to get a certificate of insurance naming the school district as an additional insured on the bus company’s liability insurance policy.

Parent provided transportation
A parent/guardian may elect to transport their student to and/or from the field trip. If the student is transported via means other than arranged by the school, the parent/guardian must release the District from any and all liability that may arise as a result of this alternate means of transportation.

The Field Trip Transportation Release Form may be used for this purpose. For some non-curricular events (such as clubs), the school may require students to provide their own transportation to and from the activity. To reduce liability to the school district in the event of a loss during parent provided transportation, school staff should take no role in such arrangements.

Private Vehicles are not to be used to transport district students in a group

 

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REQUEST FOR ALTERNATE TRANSPORTATION

I do hereby consent to my son and/or daughter traveling to/from the GISH activity listed below with me, the undersigned parent/guardian; and I do hereby release Hall County School District #2 from any obligation to transport my son and/or daughter from said activity. I agree that if this request is granted, the school and school officials will have no liability or responsibility for injury or damage that may occur related to the alternate transportation.

Name of Student:

Sport/Activity/Class:

Date of Event:

I request that my child (named above) not be required to ride on the team/class bus/van:

  • To the event
  • On return from the event
  • Both to and on return from the event

The reason(s) for my request is/are:

Signature and Date of Parent/Guardian:

The request is: approved / denied

Signature and Date of Activities Director or Principal:

This form should be given to the Activities Director or Principal NO LATER THAN 2 DAYS prior to the event whenever possible.

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