XIII. FIELD TRIPS

Rationale for Field Trips

The administration encourages teachers to take their students on field trips to enhance and reinforce their educational, social goals and to promote the ESLRs. These trips shall have goals related to the curriculum and shall be carefully planned to include: written permission of parents, adult supervision, first aid supplies, and adherence to transportation requirements.



Permission Slips

Students transported to school sponsored activities shall have the written permission of parents. All vehicles shall be properly insured. No student will be allowed to participate in a class field trip without an official, completed school permission slip on file with the school office by the day of the field trip. Permission slips via the telephone or a handwritten note are not acceptable. Official, completed school permission slips that are faxed are acceptable.



Transportation

Generally, a chartered carrier with driver provider must be used for field trips. For those occasions when a private vehicle may be used the school has developed procedures by which it verifies that private vehicles, used in transporting students to and from school sponsored activities have sufficient liability coverage in accord with Diocesan regulations.

Requirements governing the transportation of students to and from school activities with a volunteer driver indicate the following:
  1. One seat belt must be provided and used by each vehicle occupant.
  2. No one may ride on motorcycles or in the bed of a pick-up truck.
  3. No more than nine (9) persons, including the driver, may be transported in any vehicle. (Only an official school bus or charter company may transport more than nine (9) persons. No private (non-chartered) vehicle, including vans, with more than nine (9) seats should be used, regardless of the number of passengers.
  4. No driver shall transport any child without providing and properly securing the child in an appropriate child passenger restraint system (safety seat or booster seat) in the back seat of a vehicle until they are at least 6 years old or weighs 60 pounds or more. The restraint system must be furnished and installed by the parent driver.


Driver Requirements

  1. Driver must be at least 25 years of age and must have a valid, unrestricted California driver’s license.
  2. Driver must have a “clean” driving record for the past three years (e.g. no at-fault accidents; no more than one moving violation; no convictions for speeding, reckless driving, driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident or other similarly serious offenses). Driver must provide driving record from the Motor Vehicles Department.
  3. The driver must have a valid and current registration and license plates for the vehicle to be used.
  4. The driver must provide evidence of liability insurance on the vehicle to be used. It is required that the vehicle must be insured for $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident limit of liability for bodily injury and for property damage.
  5. Parent drivers must travel caravan style. All must use the same route. No unscheduled stops are permitted.
  6. No toddlers or non-school siblings may go on the field trip.
  7. Driver must be fingerprinted and cleared as per diocesan requirements for parent volunteers who have contact with children. Drivers must also present a Certificate of Completion for the Shield the Vulnerable online training program. (Please be advised that the fingerprinting clearance process can take several weeks to complete.)
BEFORE a parent may drive, he/she must present proof of the above to the school office and allow copies to be made no later than TWO DAYS prior to the field trip.

Parents who volunteer to offer transportation for field trips and/or school activities must understand and be willing to accept certain responsibilities and liabilities. Should there be any claim in an accident or injury, the parent’s insurance would apply.

Parents driving approved vehicles for school activities, pursuant to diocesan policy must complete the form entitled Certification of Automobile Insurance or they may not drive students on such activities. This will assure parents, students, and the school of the driver’s willingness to accept the legal responsibilities and liabilities involved. The form is available in the school office.

If a parent prefers that their child not travel in a private car for a field trip, the parent always has the option of driving his/her own child for the field trip.



Chaperones on Field Trips

Parents must be invited by the classroom teacher to serve as a chaperone on a field trip. This is a teacher decision. Chaperones must be willing to follow the directions of the teacher without question and to assist as directed. Chaperones must:
  1. Be at least 21 years of age (must be 25 if a volunteer driver).
  2. Must be fingerprinted and cleared as per diocesan requirements for parent volunteers who have contact with children. Drivers must also present a Certificate of Completion for the Shield the Vulnerable online training program. (Please be advised that the fingerprinting clearance process can take several weeks to complete.)
  3. Avoid the use of an alcoholic beverage or tobacco while on the trip.
  4. Be respectful of the students in their care.
  5. Be willing to accept the duties, responsibilities assigned, and to follow directions as given by the teacher.
Any parent who is placed in a supervisory role for the students, e.g. field trip drivers, chaperones, classroom aide, hot lunch volunteer, etc. may NOT have siblings or non-OLFCS school children accompany them on the field trip.



Student Participation on Fields Trips

  • All students are expected to participate in field trips planned by the teacher for the class. These trips are planned to reinforce classroom learning. Students need to take part in the experience.
  • If a student is unable to attend (illness, medical reasons), the parent should contact the teacher as soon as possible. Parents have the responsibility to contact the teacher immediately if they know their child is unable to attend. Teachers spend time and energy in planning field trips, so when a parent suddenly decides not to have their child participate, it affects the planning and cost of the trip.
  • Field trips are privileges given to students; no student has an absolute right to a field trip. Students who are on academic or conduct probation (failure to meet school’s academic/behavioral requirements) may have to be excused from attendance on a field trip.
  • If a parent decides to absent their child from a field trip, the student should still attend school that day. Alternative work will be left by the teacher.
  • Parents are responsible for payment of transportation and admission fees, etc.related to their child’s participation in field trips. All related fees must be paid before the child can go on the field trip.
  • Students MAY NOT leave a field trip enroute or at the point of destination.
  • The student must remain with the class for the duration of the entire field trip.
  • If the student goes with the class on the bus, he/she must return with the class on the bus. One exception: If a parent drives his/her own child for the trip and chaperones his/her own child, he/she may depart from the field trip early upon appropriate, advance notification of the teacher and principal.
  • Students who are on conduct probation at the time of a field trip may have to be excused from attendance.
  • Students who have not returned the required completed permission slip and or fees for the trip by the time of departure, will be unable to participate.