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IJOAA-R-1

IJOAA-R-1:  FIELD TRIPS

 

The Georgetown School Committee recognizes that it is desirable and valuable on occasion, to supplement and extend classroom activities with voluntary and optional domestic and international academic and extracurricular field trips to broaden perspectives and educational experiences of students. The Georgetown School Committee encourages activities that augment classroom instruction and promote healthy social development.

 

    A. DEFINITIONS

The following definitions apply for the purpose of this policy: 

1.    Academic field trips include all off-campus trips that are organized as part of the class curriculum.  Participation for all members of the class is expected. Provisions for comparable instruction experiences during the school day must be made for a student not on the academic field trip.

2.     Extracurricular field trips are those off campus trips that are organized by a school sponsored club, group or athletic team. Participation is optional and voluntary. Away games or matches that are part of the athletic program are considered extra-curricular field trips under this definition.

3.     When an academic field trip or extra-curricular field trip is planned to occur between midnight and 6 a.m. or to require a student to stay overnight away from home, the procedures for planning and approving overnight trips apply. It is understood that overnight trips may include travel within Massachusetts, in other U.S. states, and internationally.

4.     School sponsored and school district managed field trip - The tour is school sponsored, and the school district manages the tour. The school district arranges all aspects of the trip—itinerary, travel arrangements, lodging, tours, restaurants, local guides, ground transportation, etc.

5.     School sponsored and tour company managed field trip - The tour is school sponsored, and the school district contracts with a tour company to manage the trip.

6.     Non-school sponsored field trip - A tour takes place involving students of the district, perhaps even with a teacher serving as the host, but the trip is not sponsored by the district. These are purely private trips.   Teachers/faculty/staff members may post information on a public bulletin board within the school and host meetings in classrooms after school hours. 

 

    B. GENERAL CONDITIONS FOR APPROVAL- Domestic and International

           Only field trips meeting the following conditions will be considered.  The sponsoring faculty member shall ensure that 

1.     Trips are appropriate for the age group involved in the activity.

2.     Trips are reasonable in terms of time, distance and cost.

3.    Trips are not scheduled during the last full week (plus and partial week) of the school year. In general, extra-curricular international/domestic field trips should occur during non-school time. Although the trip is expected to be during non-school time. The committee understands that there may be times when the trip schedule requires missed school days.

4.    Trips are not scheduled during MCAS examination periods for students taking MCAS exams. If unique and special circumstances present an academic opportunity, the principal and superintendent will consider and evaluate each request with care.

5.    Trips are planned with careful consideration of student safety which includes, without limitation, an appropriate number of adult chaperones as specified in Section D of this policy and all chaperones have approved Criminal Offender Record information (CORI) checks on file with the Superintendent.

6.    While there must be adequate supervision, the Principal must also minimize the number of teachers missing classes due to chaperoning.

7.    Provisions for medical emergencies, including attending medical personnel, if necessary.

8.     When school bus transportation is required, the school district’s regular transportation contractor is to be utilized, if available. If the school district’s regular transportation carrier is not available, only contractors licensed for passenger transportation by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration(FMCSA)or the Department of Defense’s approved list of motor carriers may be used. Carriers with a FMCSA or Department of Safety rating of “conditional” or “unsatisfactory” can not be used. FMCSA carrier ratings are available online at https://www.safer.fmcsa.gov or by calling 703-280-4001 and providing the carriers D.O.T. identification number. Department of Defense carrier ratings are available at https://mtmc.army.mil/content/504/approvedlist.pdf.

9.     Any contract with a private carrier must prohibit the use of subcontractors unless approved by the Superintendent or designee. The Superintendent or designee shall not approve use of any subcontractor unless the subcontractor meets the criteria referenced above.

10. Costs associated with an optional/voluntary extra-curricular field trip will be the responsibility of the individual student/family.  Where appropriate, there may be fund raising to help defray costs. All fund raising must be in compliance and accordance with Georgetown School District and individual school policies.

11. Should an emergency situation occur, the sponsoring faculty member is responsible for notifying the Principal by telephone immediately.

12. Helmets are required for bicycle and ski/snowboard trips.

13. The committee strongly recommends parents/guardians understand the different levels of insurance available.  There may be a need to cancel the trip and without the proper insurance coverage, the cost of the trip may not be refunded in its entirety.

 

    C. AUTHORITY TO APPROVE/DISAPPROVE- Domestic and international

1.     All school –sponsored day field trips must receive prior recommendation of the department chairperson (high school only) and the approval of the principal.

2.     All school-sponsored day out-of-state field trips must receive prior recommendation of the department chairperson (high school only) and the approval of the Principal, Superintendent, and the School Committee.

3.     All school-sponsored overnight field trips (in or out-of-state) must receive prior recommendation of the department chairperson (high school only) and the approval of the Principal, Superintendent, and the School Committee.

4.      All school-sponsored international field trips must receive prior recommendation of the department chairperson (high school only) and the approval of the Principal, Superintendent, and the School Committee.

5.     The committee requires the staff/faculty member responsible for the trip attend a SC meeting, not less than thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled trip dates. 

6.     The approval process shall be completed prior to engaging students in fundraising activities or other preparations for the trip. 

7.     The School Committee reserves the right for all school sponsored trips (a) to cancel trips up to departure and (b) to recall trips in progress, if they believe there are national and or international events/conditions that pose potential danger to students or any other reason deemed appropriate by the School Committee. 

8.  The Superintendent will alert the School Committee to final deadlines regarding required commitment of funds if there are national/international events/situations which might make the School Committee cancel or recall a trip due to safety concerns or other reasons.

 

    D.  APPROVAL DOCUMENTATION- Domestic and International

Approval for all trips must be received prior to making any financial contractual arrangements.  All field trips must be approved in writing by the appropriate authority as specified by this policy. The initial documentation to request a field trip must include:

    1.     Proposed dates and itinerary.

    2.    Description of the process that will be used to determine student eligibility.

    3.    Estimated number of students expected and percentage of eligible students participating.

    4.    Cost per student. (If applicable.)

    5.    Mode of transportation and schedule.

    6.    Ratio of chaperones/teachers to students- (recommended ratio- HS 1:10; MS 1:10 minimum; Elementary 1:10 minimum; International 1:10).             Both male and female chaperones are required for co-ed trips.

    7.    Description of arrangements for meals and lodging (if applicable). Accommodations will include enough rooms so that no chaperones are                   rooming with students.

    8.    Description of security features for transportation and accommodations.

    9.    Means of financing.

    10.  Draft copy of any contract and refund policies associated with the trip.

    11.  Draft copy of letters to be sent to parents and guardians referencing the specifics of the trip including all of the above and any rules specific to            the trip which are in addition to the Georgetown School Committee student conduct policies, student handbook rules or regulations and the               MA Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) rules and regulations. For international field trips, the sponsoring faculty member will provide               parents a copy of State Department travel advisory and Homeland Security Alert Status for all countries to be visited.

    12.   In the case of academic field trips, there must be a description of the educational alternative and mapping of that alternative for students not             attending the trip, if applicable.

    13.  Satisfactory Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check of all chaperones is required and must be on file in the Superintendent’s                   office.

    14.  International trips must include a printout of the State Department Travel and Advisory and Homeland Security Alert Status for all of the                       countries to be visited. 

        -    Additional information may be requested from the appropriate authority prior to making a decision.

-                                  -    Should external circumstances change after the initial trip approval detailed modifications to the relevant approval documentation (see                           above) will be required.


    E.  FUNDRAISING AND SCHOLARSHIPS

1.    Fundraising events and activities may be planned to offset the costs of field trips.  Any such fundraising shall take place in accordance with The Georgetown School District and individual school policies on fundraising.  No fundraising will begin prior to the SC approval. 

2.     Where an individual fee is charged for an academic field trip which is part of the approved curriculum, the principal may provide a partial or full scholarship to a student if, due to financial hardship, such scholarship is necessary to allow a student’s participation.  However, no student is guaranteed a partial or full scholarship for the purpose of attending an optional and/or voluntary extra-curricular field trip. 

3.    No student shall be denied participation in a field trip or school-sponsored trip that takes place during the school day (and is not an overnight trip) because of financial inability to pay the fee.  Each club, team or group is responsible for raising all of the money necessary to fund a field trip or school sponsored trip that is being proposed by a group of students. 

4.    The Georgetown School District and the Georgetown School Committee will not be responsible for any expenses incurred as a result of a chaperone’s decision to send a student participant home earlier than the scheduled return date due to the student’s unacceptable behavior.  Students and their parents/guardians will be held responsible for any damage done to hotels, rental properties, real or personal property.  Parents/guardians must agree to pay for any damages that may be done by their son/daughter and or aid school officials in collecting money necessary to do so. 


    F.   DISCIPLINE OF STUDENTS AND FIELD TRIPS-Domestic and International 

1.      All Georgetown Policies on Student Behavior, Student Handbook rules and regulations, MA Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) rules and regulations will apply to all school sponsored field trips. 

2.     If a student violates any Georgetown student conduct policies, student handbook rules or regulations, MA Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) rules and regulations,  or otherwise misbehaves while on a field trip, the students may be immediately suspended from the field trip and/or sent back to school or home, as principal or chaperone deems appropriate.  The cost of the field trip will be the responsibility of the student’s parent/guardian.  In addition to the actions taken above the individual will be subject to the consequences for the action/infraction upon his/her return to school as defined by the aforementioned student conduct policies, student handbook rules and regulations, and MA Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) rules and regulations.  Georgetown Policies on Student Behavior, Student Handbook rules and regulations, MA Interscholastic Association (MIAA) rules and regulations, and trip rules regarding student conduct will be given to chaperones.  Chaperones shall agree to implement and enforce them; failure to do so will result in not being able to chaperone future school sponsored trips.

 

    G.  ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICATIONS ON FIELD TRIPS – Domestic and International

        In accordance with Georgetown Policy on Administering Medicines to Students (JLDC), the administration of medications while on a day field trip is         discouraged if medically feasible.  However, in the event that it is medically necessary for a student to be administered medication while on a field         trip the procedures promulgated in Policy JLDC will apply.  Parents/legal guardians will receive a copy of the Georgetown Policy JLDC –                         Administering Medicines to Students in advance of the field trip as part of the trip materials.  Student (if appropriate) and parents/guardians must            sign an Emergency Treatment and Medications Consent.

 

    H.  TRANSPORTATION, LODGING, AND SCHEDULING – Domestic and International       

1.    The use of private vans and automobile for trips planned to invlude late night or overnight (midnight and 6:00 a.m.) student travel is not permitted.  Such trips will use commercial vans or motor coaches and employ professional licensed drivers.

2.     When school bus transportation is required, the school district’s regular transportation contractor is to be utilized, if available.  If the school district’s regular transportation carrier is not available, only contractors licensed for passenger transportation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) or the Department of Defense’s approved list of motor carriers may be used.  Carriers with an FMCSA or Department of Defense safety rating of “conditional” or “unsatisfactory” cannot be used.  FMCSA carrier ratings are available online at http://www.safer.fmcsa.gov or by calling 703.280.4001 and providing the carriers D.O.T. identification number.  Department of Defense carrier ratings are available online at http://www.mtmc.army.mil/content/504/approvedlist.pdf.

3.     Any contract with a private carrier must prohibit the use of subcontractors unless approved by the Superintendent or designee.  The Superintendent or designee shall not approve use of any subcontractor unless the subcontractor meets the criteria referenced above in paragraph (6) of this section.

4.     Overnight accommodations at all hotels, motels, or other lodging, with established rules and regulations to ensure student well being should be made in advance with student safety and security in mind.  Accommodations will include enough rooms so that no chaperones are rooming with students.

5.     Whenever possible, the trip schedulers should avoid planning student travel between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m., due to the increased risk of vehicular accidents during this time period.

6.    Trip itineraries must leave enough time for drivers to rest in conformity with federal hour-of-service requirements and common sense.  If a planned trip exceeds ten (10) consecutive hours of driving, a second driver must be utilized or the driver must be off duty for eight (8) consecutive hours before driving again.

 

    I.   PERMISSION, CONSENT AND RELEASE FORMS – Domestic and International                     

Any student going on a school sponsored field trip must submit a properly completed and signed “Permission to Participate, Emergency Treatment and Medications Consent and Release Form” prior to engaging students in fundraising activities or other preparations for the trip.  This form must be signed by the student (if appropriate) and the student’s parent or legal guardian prior to a student taking part in any school sponsored field trip. 

For athletic teams or other extracurricular school groups that routinely travel as part of their activities, the student (if appropriate) and the student’s parents/guardians may submit one consent/release form to cover all events for the season.

The permission, consent, and release forms will include a section in which the student (if appropriate) and parents/legal guardians will be required to affirm and record that they have read “Permission to Participate, Trip Emergency and Medications Consent and Release Form” and they understand the contents of the forms.  The release form will include any and all claims related to or arising out of the field trip as well as those claims related to or arising out of cancellation of the trip by the School Committee as described in Section I-1.  Since student safety is a primary consideration, the ultimate responsibility is a family choice.  By signing the permission, consent and release forms, the student (if appropriate) and parents/legal guardians affirm that he/she/they have decided to allow the child to participate in the school –sponsored academic or extracurricular field trip with full knowledge.

1.     The School Committee reserves the right to cancel a trip up to the departure date or to recall a trip in progress if national and/or international conditions so warrant or if security and safety concerns over which the Georgetown School District had no control render it appropriate to cancel the trip.  The Georgetown School Committee will take the following criteria into consideration when making its decision:  (a)  U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory; (b)  Homeland Security Advisory (alert status); and/or (c)  Declaration of War or armed conflict.  Additionally, the critical judgment of the School Committee, with input from the Superintendent, Principal, and Faculty Sponsor, will be taken into consideration.

2.     In such event, that a trip must be cancelled, school officials will make a reasonable effort to obtain a refund of monies paid by students and parents.  However, such refunds are not guaranteed.  The student and parents understand that he/she/they may lose any and all of the funds he/she/they have expended for the voluntary trip. 

3.     The Superintendent will alert the School Committee to final deadlines regarding required commitment of funds if there are national/international events/conditions/situations which might make the School Committee cancel or recall a trip due to safety concerns or other reasons. 

4.     The School Committee, and its officers, agents, and employees shall be forever held harmless for remuneration of any and/or all costs associated with this voluntary trip.

 

    J.  TRANSPORTATION OF STUDENTS IN PRIVATE CARS    

Any use of private vehicles for transportation of students to or from school on field trips, athletic events, or other school functions must have prior authorization by the Superintendent of School, or Designee.  Those providing unauthorized student transportation do so at their own expense and liability.  This includes employees of the School District.  Students who drive themselves and other students to and/or from do so at their own expense and liability. 

Any employee or private citizen using their own or a rented vehicle to provide school authorized transportation must have auto liability insurance of not less than $100,000/$300,000 and provide a certificate of insurance.  The District will maintain liability insurance, which will be in excess of the owner’s primary insurance for authorized student transportation.  A copy of the proof of insurance will be kept on file by the building principal. 

Those individuals transporting on an incidental basis, i.e., not specifically as part of a contract to transport, must have a valid driver’s license, and a vehicle which has a current MA inspection sticker.  A commercial license is required for any vehicle that has a capacity of sixteen (16) or more.

 

    K.   INTERNATIONAL FIELD TRIPS

The District will sponsor international field trips.  All school-sponsored international field trips must receive prior recommendation of the department chairperson (high school only) and approval by the Principal, Superintendent, and School Committee in accordance with the specifics (A-JI set forth in this policy).

The School Committee reserves the right to cancel a trip up to the departure date or to recall a trip in progress if national and/or international conditions so warrant.   The Georgetown School Committee will take the following criteria into consideration:  (a)  U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory; (b)  Homeland Security Advisory (alert status); (C)  Declaration of War or armed conflict.  Additionally, the critical judgment of the School Committee, with input from the Superintendent, Principal, and Faculty Sponsor, will be taken into consideration.

The Superintendent will alert the School Committee to final deadlines regarding required commitment of funds if there are national/international events/situations which might make the School Committee cancel or recall a trip due to safety concerns or other reasons.

Student (if appropriate) and parents/legal guardians will be required to affirm that they have read the Consent and Release Form and understand that the School Committee reserves the right to cancel or recall a school-sponsored field trip.  The student and parent/guardian will sign to acknowledge and affirm that he/she may lose any and/or all of the funds expended for the trip.

 

    L.    NON-SCHOOL SPONSORED TRIPS

Teachers and other school staff sometimes privately conduct educational tours or trips involving the participation of Georgetown students.  The Georgetown School Committee neither sanctions nor prohibits such activities, nor assumes any responsibility for them.  Teachers and other school staff are allowed to post trip information on the bulletin board located in the first floor hallway.  The School Committee does allow the use of classrooms beyond the normal school day to be utilized for trip planning.  

Any information regarding non-school sponsored field trips are required to clearly state that such trips are not school-sponsored and that the Georgetown School Committee and the Georgetown School District do not sanction the trip or assume any responsibility.

The School Committee will only review for approval school-sanctioned trips which include a field trip request and required documentation as defined by Section D, items 1-13.  The School Committee will not review or approve trips that are privately organized and run without school sanctioning.

 


 

 

 

 

 

SOURCE: Georgetown

Adopted on: April 24, 2008

Revised on: December 14, 2017

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