A. Definition

A “field trip” is any journey by a group of pupils away from the school premises that has been duly approved in accordance with Policy No. 2340. A school sponsored trip taken by pupils as part of a co-curricular activity or a class trip is not a field trip and is governed instead by Regulation No. 5850.

B. Approval of Trips

1. A teacher shall request approval of a specific field trip by submitting a written application to the Building Principal no less than one month prior to the date of the anticipated trip. Exceptions may be considered as deemed appropriate by the Principal. Field trip application forms are available in the office.

2. The field trip application will include:

a. Proposed date of the trip (which should be checked in advance against the school calendar) and any alternate date(s);

b. The proposed destination and, if the destination is not generally known, its description and the reason it is selected by the teacher;

c. The relationship of the trip to curriculum goals and objectives;

d. Transportation arrangements, the estimated cost of transportation, and the provision of safe and adequate loading and unloading areas for bus-borne pupils;

e. The time of departure and the estimated time of return to the school;

3. The Superintendent may deny a field trip request when:

a. The application is incomplete;

b. The anticipated cost is excessive;

c. The proposed trip bears insufficient relationship to the curriculum;

d. The pupils involved will have been taken from the class for the trip and other activities for an excessive amount of time;

e. The trip conflicts with other scheduled events or with other demands on school buses;

f. The trip will occur during an exam period or immediately before the end of a marking period;

g. The destination and trip activity are inappropriate choices for pupils of the age and maturity typical of the class.

4. A request for an overnight field trip must receive the preliminary approval of the Principal before it is submitted to the Board of Education for final approval.

5. The teacher will be given written approval or denial of the teacher’s request for a field trip. A denial of approval will include the reason(s) for the denial.

C. Planning and Preparation

1. Each teacher who plans a field trip should take the following preliminary steps:

a. Determine that the proposed trip is the best method available for achieving the desired learning outcomes;

b. Consult the school calendar for any conflicts with the projected date of the field trip and for any clusters of field trips on or about that date;

c. Determine whether classes can be combined in a joint field trip for maximum economy;

d. Gather the information necessary to fill out the field trip application form; and

e. Complete and submit the form.

2. If the field trip is approved, the teacher should take the following preparatory steps:

a. Discuss the proposed trip with pupils, giving particular attention to;

(1) The purpose of the trip and its relationship to the course of study,

(2) What in the trip the pupils should give particular attention to and ask questions about,

(3) Any reports, note taking, sketching, or the like pupils should accomplish on the trip,

(4) The assignment of background materials and research to enhance the value of the trip, and

(5) Rules of conduct and expected behaviors, both at the trip destination and in transit to and from the destination.

b. Distribute and collect a permission slip for each pupil who will participate in the trip. The slip must be signed by the pupil’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s). The slip will include notice of:

(1) The date, departure time, and return time;

(2) The destination and its location;

(3) The name of the teacher in charge;

(4) The means of transportation; and

(5) The purpose of the trip.

Signed permission slips will be filed with the Principal, who will file them for one calendar year. If an incident occurs on the trip, permission slips will be filed for three calendar years.

The teacher will complete the transportation form.

c. Arrange with officials at the point of destination for:

(1) The pupils’ admission;

(2) The provision of any materials that will enhance the trip;

(3) The services of guides, if necessary; and

(4) The provision of meals, if necessary.

d. Arrange for chaperones, who may be other teaching staff members or volunteer parent(s) or legal guardian(s), and apprise them of their responsibilities (see ¶D below). The number of chaperones appointed will be as indicated in the following chart unless the destination specifies the number of chaperones:

Grade levels Number of chaperones per pupil

K-4 1:10

5-8 1:15

9-12 1:15

Minimum number of chaperones per school bus: Two

e.If unfamiliar with trip destination, make a reasonable effort to visit the premises to become acquainted with points of interest, special features, potential problem areas, and the food and restroom accommodations.

f. Notify other teachers or departments, as appropriate, of the nature of the field trip and the pupils involved in the trips:

(1) To permit other teachers to plan for the absences; and

(2) To encourage other teachers to incorporate the field trip experience in their lesson plans.

g. Notify the cafeteria manager, no later than three days in advance, of the number of pupils who will miss lunch on the day of the field trip.

h. Prepare a roster of pupils who will participate in the field trip one week prior to the trip.

i. Make alternate educational arrangements for any pupils who will not participate in the field trip.

j. Ascertain whether any pupil participating in the field trip will or may require medication in the course of the trip and arrange for the presence of the school nurse, a registered nurse, or the pupil’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to administer the medication, except where pupils are allowed to self administer medication under statutory authority. If neither can be present, report the matter to the Principal who may deny the pupil’s participation.

3. On the day of the field trip, the teacher will:

a. If the weather is inclement and the trip is to take place out of doors or involves transportation that might be made hazardous by the weather, check with the Principal, who may determine to cancel or postpone the trip. If the trip is canceled or postponed, promptly inform chaperones.

b. Take attendance and deliver to the Principal a roster of the pupils who are actually leaving on the field trip.

c. Ascertain that the full complement of assigned chaperones is present and prepared.

d. Ascertain that all pupils participating in the field trip have left the school by the arranged method of transportation. Only in exceptional circumstances, approved in advance by the Principal, may pupils be delivered directly to the destination by means other than those arranged by the teacher.

e. Take all reasonable steps to assure that pupils profit educationally from the trip.

f. Make no change or substitutions in the trip itinerary unless an emergency has occurred (see ¶E following).

g. Ascertain that all pupils participating in the field trip have left the destination by the arranged method of transportation. Only in exceptional circumstances, approved in advance by the Principal, or in an emergency may pupils be taken from the destination by means other than those arranged by the teacher.

h. If the trip will bring pupils back to school after the end of the school day, ascertain that the Principal/designee will remain on the premises until the pupils’ return. Plan to stay at the school or assign a chaperone to stay at the school until the last pupil has been picked up or has departed for home by his/her regular transportation.

D. Chaperones

1. The teacher in charge of the trip is responsible for appointing and training chaperones. Chaperones should be persons known to the teacher to be responsible, dependable, and comfortable with children of the pupils’ age and maturity.

2. The Board will pay the expenses of chaperones to the extent that the expenses of pupils and teachers are paid.

3. Chaperones will be assigned a specific group of pupils and are accountable for the welfare of those pupils. Pupils must not be left unattended; if the chaperone must briefly leave his/her assigned pupils, the chaperone should ask the teacher or another chaperone to take his/her place for the absence.

4. Smoking and the use of alcohol or drugs or the possession of weapons is prohibited for both pupils and chaperones.

5. Prior to their arrival at the destination, chaperones should inform the pupils in their charge of:

a. The conduct expected of them,

b. The time and place of departure, and

c. Any other information necessary to the conduct of the trip, such as meal arrangements and the location of restrooms.

6. Chaperones should attempt to regulate pupil conduct. Any significant or persistent disciplinary problem should be reported to the teacher for appropriate action.

E. Emergencies

The following guidelines will be followed in the event of an emergency during a field trip.

1. An emergency on a school bus will be governed by the procedures set forth in Regulation No. 8630.

2. In the event a pupil is lost or missing, and all reasonable efforts to find him/her have failed, the teacher shall, immediately call the Principal. If the Principal is not immediately available, the teacher shall call the Superintendent for further instructions.

3. In the event of a medical emergency, the teacher shall summon first aid and/or ambulance services. Any medical emergency shall be immediately reported to the Principal. Within twenty-four hours of the trip, the teacher shall file with the Principal a district accident report form.

4. In the event of a delay that will bring pupils back to school later than anticipated and after the end of the school day, the teacher will, as soon as he/she can estimate the actual time of arrival, call the Principal/designee. The Principal/designee will:

a. Inform parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the delay by telephone;

b. Make the school facilities available to waiting parents or legal guardians;

c. Remain at the telephone to answer incoming calls; and

d. Confer with the teacher to be certain all pupils have been safely dispatched.

F. Overnight Trips

1. All school rules will be in effect from departure from school through return to school and those rules that apply to the specific overnight field trip will be distributed to students prior to the trip and will be followed throughout the entire trip. Using common courtesy and your best manners will assure you of having a most pleasant trip. It is understood that in cases of students who are eighteen years of age, who have assumed responsibility for their own action in advance of the trip, the references below to parent(s) or legal guardian(s) are not applicable and the word “Student” should be substituted. Parents will be provided with a written document describing all rules and regulations and clearly defined consequences. This document must be signed by parents and returned to the advisor at the home school at least two weeks prior to the trip.

2. The Board of Education has designated the chaperones with the responsibility of supervising the students and carrying out the necessary details to provide a safe trip; from the time of departure to the time of return to school.

3. In the interest of maintaining the good name and integrity of the Vernon Township School District, it is expected that all members of the organization conduct themselves in a creditable manner at all times.

4. Students are expected to travel in appropriate attire. Specific guidelines will be provided by your advisor.

5. Prior to the trip, all students will be given an itinerary listing all events and times. You are expected to be prompt for all events listed.

6. All luggage is subject to a check by the chaperones and should be tagged with appropriate tags before departure.

7. Any student taking medication of any kind must report this to the advisor before leaving the school by means of providing written approval from the parent(s) or legal guardian(s). The role of the advisor or designee will be limited only to supervising the storage and taking of any medication by the student, not the administering of medication.

8. In the event transportation is by plane, plane boarding passes will be given to each student. Upon arrival at the airport, students will proceed to the departure gate as announced upon arrival.

9. The participants will travel together and must remain together except upon specific instructions from the advisor.

10. Before leaving buses, students must check to see that no litter or personal belongings are left on the bus.

11. Students are to report any accidents or illness immediately to the chaperones.

12. All overnight trip sites, when possible, will be inspected prior to final trip arrangements. An itinerary will be provided to all parent(s) or legal guardian(s) and the home school. All rooming lists will be prepared at least one week in advance of the trip and will include written hotel confirmation. If the trip is arranged by a travel agent, it will be expected that a travel agent representative will be on the trip. All students will be assigned to a specific bus. A bus list will be prepared with a copy remaining in the home school.

13. When an administrator is assigned to attend the overnight trip, the sponsoring organization or activity shall provide for the administrator’s expenses for travel, lodging and meals.

G. Specific Procedures for Overnight Field Trips

1. Staff member completes Authorization Form for proposed overnight field trip listing all anticipated data under Step A and submits to subject area supervisor no later than two months prior to the anticipated scheduled date of the trip.

2. Subject area supervisor reviews Authorization Form and submits recommendation to the Building Principal.

3. Building Principal reviews Authorization Form and submits recommendation to the Office of the Superintendent.

4. Superintendent reviews Authorization Form and, if approved, is included in the agenda of the Board of Education.

5. Board of Education recommendation is submitted back to the staff member. If the Board approves, then Step B is completed and resubmitted to subject area supervisor.

H. Overnight Field Trips – Required Forms

1. Parent cover letter information.

The purpose of this cover letter is to summarize:

a. Overview of trip.

b. Cost of students.

c. Means of transportation.

d. Dates of trip.

e. Hotel accommodations.

f. Request forms.

g. Itinerary.

2. Itinerary Form

This form should include, but not be limited to, a daily log from time of departure to time of return to include the following:

a. Date.

b. Time sequence.

c. Locations and telephone numbers.

d. Hotel arrangements.

e. Transportation arrangements.

f. Activities.

3. Student Participation Rosters

This form should include, but not be limited to, the following rosters:

a. Alphabetical list of all trip participants.

b. Bus list (number each bus if more than one).

c. Rooming list (indicate room assignments).

4. Packing Requirement List

This form should include, but not be limited to, the following:

a. Luggage requirements (number and type).

b. Apparel requirements.

c. Toiletries and cosmetics.

d. Instrument and uniform requirements, if applicable.

I. Senior Class Trip

It is district practice to have Senior Class trips planned to avoid:

1. Any significant time away from school, i.e., more than two school days.

2. Any significant cost which would make the trip awkward economically for any student or family.

3. Any trip involving air travel because of the difficulties in discipline, expenses, distance, immediate recall, etc.

Therefore, Senior Class trips are limited to overland trips by bus, within a radius not greater than four to five hours so that if a student needs to be returned home by automobile it is entirely possible.

Issued: 21 April 2005

Revised: November 2010