STUDENT TRAVEL, FIELD TRIPS AND EXCURSIONS

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1 STUDENT TRAVEL, FIELD TRIPS AND EXCURSIONS File: IJOA The Swampscott School Committee recognizes that field trips, international excursions, class trips, and co-curricular trips can provide students with an effective and worthwhile means of learning and growing. The School Committee encourages those activities that reinforce classroom instruction and promote healthy social development. Field trips designed to stimulate student interest and inquiry and provide opportunities for social grown and development are considered appropriate extensions of the classroom. Teachers and principals are encouraged to promote field trips as an integral part of the instructional program of the Swampscott Public Schools. To the extent that they provide the most effective means for accomplishing general curriculum objectives of the Swampscott Public Schools, field trips may be authorized by the building principal and approved by the Superintendent. Field Trips Field trips are intended to stimulate student interest and inquiry, providing them with insights, information, or knowledge that cannot be adequately developed through regular classroom instruction. Therefore, all field trips must be directly related to classroom learning activities, which at the high school level, may also include one orientation and class-building activity per year, per class. To be educationally beneficial, field trips require thoughtful selection, careful advanced planning and preparation of the class, and relevant follow-up activities. Moreover, field trips must not interfere with the overall academic program of the school due to repeated teacher and/or student absences. Elementary (PreK-5) Field Trips Only single day field trips are permitted at the elementary level. Field trips complying with the conditions set forth in this policy may be authorized by elementary principals, followed by notification of the Superintendent or designee. Middle School (5-8) Field Trips Single day field trips complying with the conditions set forth in this policy may be authorized by the middle school principal or assistant principal, followed by notification of the Superintendent or designee. Multi-day field trips require School Committee approval. Established multi-day field trips, such as the 8 th grade trip to Washington, D.C., require the Superintendent s approval followed by School Committee notification. High School (9-12) Field Trips Single day field trips complying with the conditions set forth in this policy may be authorized by the high school principal or assistant principal, followed by notification of the Superintendent or designee. The Superintendent may authorize one multi-day domestic (out of state) travel trip per student per year that relates to Swampscott Public Schools 1

2 a specific course or area of study, followed by notification of the School Committee. Additional trips require prior School Committee approval. The Swampscott Public Schools recognizes only two types of field trips: Schoolsponsored field trips and non-school sponsored/sanctioned field trips. 1. School-Sponsored Travel Such travel is an extension of school programs (academic, extracurricular, or athletic). The school system is responsible for all details of such transportation and controls the conditions under which students participate. Absences are excused. All student travel for school sponsored activities: Will be conducted under the auspices of the School Department. Will follow School Department guidelines. Will have a reasonable number of chaperones. All chaperones must complete CORI application that will be submitted by the Superintendent s office. Will have been planned and approved by the appropriate administrator. Will have completed permission forms, including the Consent and Release form, signed by the parent/guardian for every student participant as appropriate to the activity. 2. Non School-Sponsored/Non-Sanctioned Travel Such travel may involve youth who are students but it is not related to or approved in any way by the school system. The school does not excuse absences. Teachers are not responsible for creating schoolwork ahead of time. Students must make up missed academic work. The school system bears no responsibility for travel arrangements. Non-sanctioned field trips organized by employees acting as independent contractors/agents involving students on a volunteer, self-supporting basis are not approved by the Committee and are not considered a part of the curriculum. Total responsibility for privately planned field trips or tours rests with the individual(s) and agency sponsoring them. The district assumes no legal or financial responsibilities for non-sanctioned field trips. Overnight Field Trips The following will be used as the basis for determination of school-sponsored overnight field trips: 1. Direct School Activity Is the function or purpose of the field trip a direct activity of club, team or school organization? Examples would include a band competition or an interscholastic sports contest. 2. Educational Benefit- This can be related, referred to or measured either directly or indirectly, quantitavely or qualitatively and aligned with state standards. Swampscott Public Schools 2

3 3. Experiential Benefit This is an extension of the educational benefit that uses the world as our classroom, to enrich and reinforce learning. 4. Uniqueness What does this field trip do, offer or present that could not otherwise be accomplished in the normal school setting/school day. 5. Relation to Frameworks and Curriculum Is there a direct connection or correlation to the S.P.S. curriculum and/or related strands in the state frameworks? 6. Personal Impact Will the participants involvement result in a meaningful personal experience that promotes understanding and self-actualization? 7. Performance Impact Will the participants involvement result in improved, measurable performance or results? 8. Extent of Participation and Support Participation and support should warrant the activity. To be educationally beneficial, a field trip requires thoughtful selection, careful advance preparation of the class, and opportunities for pupils to assimilate the experience during and at the conclusion of the trip. To this end, teachers and principals should consider the following factors in selection of field trips: (a) value of the activity to the particular class or group; (b) relationship of the field trip activity to a particular aspect of classroom instruction; (c) suitability of the activity and distance traveled in terms of the age level; (d) mode and availability of transportation; and (e) cost. Educational field trips shall be planned and conducted in accordance with the following guidelines: 1. The teacher shall review the educational value of the field trip with the principal and receive the principal s approval prior to making arrangements for the field trip. 2. A parental permission slip is required for each child participating in the trip, including walking or bicycling excursions. Slips will be available in each school office. 3. The teacher will provide the parents with information concerning the purpose and destination of trip, transportation, and eating arrangements, date and time of departure, estimated time of return, and a detailed itinerary when a field trip will extend beyond the school day. 4. Whenever budgetary funds are unavailable, participating students will pay a pro rata share of costs for transportation, admission fees, etc. However, funds will be Swampscott Public Schools 3

4 available through the principal for families requesting assistance with such expenses. 5. One or more adults in addition to the teacher will accompany each class on field trips unless otherwise approved by the principal. Teachers are responsible for informing accompanying adults of their duties and responsibilities. 6. The buddy system, or partners (particularly at the elementary and junior high level), is recommended to assure constant awareness of each child s whereabouts, needs and participation. 7. The teacher should review acceptable standards of conduct with the students in advance of the trip. The teacher has primary responsibility for the conduct of the children. Children who cannot be self-controlled or teacher-controlled may be excluded from field trips. 8. The teacher planning the trip will be responsible for arranging an appropriate educational experience and supervision for students who do not participate in the field trip. 9. Students safety will be a primary consideration with first aid kits required on all field trips. 10. Should an emergency situation occur, the teacher is responsible for notifying the principal by telephone as soon as possible. Cell phone contact must be maintained at all times. 11. Use of private vehicles should be discouraged in favor of a commercial carrier because of insurance limitations. Transportation must be approved by the principal/superintendent. 12. Children will not be permitted to leave the field trip group during the trip unless prior written arrangements are made by parents. 13. If children return to the school from a trip after school hours, the teacher and the principal should make provisions for their safe departure home, taking into account the age of the students and the hour. International Excursions The School Committee recognizes the educational benefits of travel to other countries by students studying the language and culture of those countries, and it encourages staff members to organize international excursions to augment classroom instruction in those subjects. The Committee is mindful, however, of the financial burden such travel may place on some families and the potential for disparate educational opportunities for students. The Committee also wishes to minimize any disruption or interference with Swampscott Public Schools 4

5 instruction for the remaining students when large numbers of students are absent from classes. Consequently, the Committee directs the school administration to weight the benefits and consequences of foreign travel when planning for international excursions. In general, international excursions should occur during non-school time, be limited to students in grade 9 or above taking an advanced course in the language (third year or higher) or discipline (e.g. AP Social Studies), and normally only one such trip per student. Exceptions to these restrictions are to be brought to the Committee s attention whenever foreign travel is proposed. Prior School Committee approval is required for all international excursions and travel. International excursions are to occur on weekends or school vacations only. For the purpose of travel, the Swampscott Public Schools will approve one travel day as an excused absence on either end of said weekend or vacation, but not both. Class Trips Occasionally, during the academic career of a student, class trips will be permitted which do not specifically relate to the school curriculum but provide an opportunity for students to develop socially and celebrate their school experience with classmates. Such trips may be approved by the principal, followed by notification of the Superintendent or designee, providing they are single-day, during non-school time, and comply with the conditions set forth in this policy. Class trips during the school day are strongly discouraged and may only be approved by the Superintendent. Co-Curricular Trips The School Committee recognizes the importance of co-curricular activities to the overall educational experience of middle and high school students. Nonetheless, co-curricular trips should not, to the extent practicable, occur during the school day. The middle school or high school principal or assistant principal may approve, followed by notification of the Superintendent or designee, after school and non-school, single day cocurricular trips complying with the conditions set forth in this policy. Prior approval by the Superintendent is required for co-curricular trips during the school day and/or those trips involving overnight stays, with notification of the School Committee for trips involving overnight stays. CROSS REF: JJH, Student Travel IJOA-E, Request for Approval of Field Trip Swampscott Public Schools 5

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