IJOA: FIELD TRIPS

FILE: IJNDC-R
 
Lexington Public Schools field trips are intended to allow students experiences that provide them with insight, information, or knowledge that might not be learned within the classroom. As it is widely acknowledged that not all students learn in the same way, field trips, allow students the opportunity to expand their learning in ways different from those typically available inside the classroom.
 
A field trip is student travel away from school premises that is approved by the school district through established procedures for the purpose of curriculum-related study, co-curricular activities, or for interscholastic programs.
 
A. Types of Field Trips
 
  1. Curriculum-related: a classroom-associated learning experience to afford students the opportunity to gain insight, information or knowledge, such as, but not limited to, a walk on adjacent conservation land, a visit to a historic site or museum, or attendance at a cultural performance.
  2. Co-curricular: school-sponsored experiences associated with school groups that normally meet outside regularly scheduled classes, such as, but not limited to, clubs, student organizations, or academic-related teams.
  3. Interscholastic: in-district or out-of-district events in which students participate as representatives of the Lexington Public Schools, such as, but not limited to, athletics, cheerleading, and the performing arts.
 
B. Duration of Field Trips
 
1. Day Trips
a. a one-way distance from the school that does not exceed 100 miles and
b. overnight travel is not involved
 
2. Long-distance and Overnight Trips
a. a one-way distance from the school that exceeds 100 miles or
b. overnight travel is planned between the hours of midnight and six a.m., inclusive,
or
c. an overnight stay is planned
d. the trip is within the continental United States
 
3. International Trips
a. a multi-day program beyond the borders of the continental United States.
 
C. Inclusion
Reasonable accommodations will be provided to allow eligible students with disabilities to participate in scheduled field trips.
 
D. Funding
The Lexington Public Schools will strive to offer field trips with a minimum of expense to the individual student. Reasonable charges may be assessed to cover the actual field- trip costs. The Lexington Public Schools will attempt to provide field-trip financial assistance to those who qualify and require them. However, no student is guaranteed a full or partial scholarship for the purpose of attending any field trip.
 
E. Chaperone Disclosures
As required by State Law, all chaperones who are municipal employees shall comply with the disclosure requirements established under the Conflict of Interest law and regulations of the Ethics Commission.
 
III. APPLICATION
 
A. Components of the Procedures for Field Trips
The Superintendent of Schools shall develop and promulgate written procedures for the operation of field trips that will provide for the health and safety of the students and meet the requirements of state law or regulation. Matters to be addressed include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. accommodations
2. approval process
3. cancellation/trip insurance
4. consent/waiver
5. costs
6. Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) checks for all chaperones
7. emergency contacts
8. forms
9. fund raising
10. liability insurance
11. medical insurance and medical care
12. provision during schools hours for those students not participating
13. scholarships
14. student behavior
15. supervision/chaperones
16. transportation
17. travel plan.
 
B. Planning
The Principal is responsible for seeing that a teacher, advisor, or group of individuals proposing a field trip plans, implements, and assesses the field trip with the following guidelines in mind:
  1. the objectives of the trip are specifically related to the curriculum, co-curricular experiences, or interscholastic events
  2. the total ongoing school program will not be adversely affected by participation of staff and students taking the trip
  3.  the planning of the trip provides for the safety and access of students
  4. appropriate educational experiences will be provided for those eligible students who do not participate in curriculum-related, field trips scheduled on school days
  5. the proposed program is feasible within the time allocated
  6. if possible, and where appropriate, there should be a preview of the place to be visited by a teacher or staff member, unless the trip has been experienced previously
  7. the financial impact on school system and family resources will be considered
  8. the planning of the field trip provides a minimum of two adult chaperones and adult-student ratio appropriate for the particular student group and the trip where practical
  9. the primary transportation for overnight field trips will be a commercial carrierlicensed for passenger transportation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Carriers with a safety rating of "conditional" or "unsatisfactory" will not be used. Trip itineraries will leave enough time for drivers to rest in conformity with federal hour-ofservice requirements. (Any contract with a private carrier must prohibit the use of subcontractors unless approved by the Superintendent. The Superintendent shall not approve use of any subcontractor unless the subcontractor meets the criteria referenced previously in this section.)
  10. if primary transportation for any field trip, whether day, overnight, or international trip, is other than U.S. commercial carrier, the form of transportation will be noted on the Consent/Waiver form
  11. male and female chaperones should be selected and assigned where appropriate.
 
C. Authorization
 
1. Day Trips
The building principal is vested with the authority to approve day trips.
 
2. Long-distance and Overnight Trips
The Superintendent of Schools is vested with the authority to approve long-distance and overnight trips.
 
3. International Trips
The Lexington School Committee is vested with the authority to approve all trips beyond the borders of the continental United States.
 
4. Cancellation/Exclusion from School Sponsored Trips
The Superintendent has the authority to cancel any field trips up until the time of departure for any reason. In such event, school officials will make a reasonable effort to obtain a refund of monies paid by students and parents.
 
However, such refunds are not guaranteed. In the event a student fails to meet expectations for appropriate conduct on a field trip, including but not limited to those set forth in the school's Code of Conduct, school staff may contact the student's parents or guardian, and staff shall have the discretion to send the student home. The student's parents or guardian shall be responsible for any additional expense incurred in such circumstances. Students may also be disciplined in accordance with the school's Code of Conduct.
 
5. Non-school Sponsored Trips
Teachers and other school staff sometimes privately conduct educational tours or trips involving the participation of Lexington students. The School Committee neither sanctions nor prohibits such activities, nor assumes any responsibility for them. Teachers and other school staff are prohibited from soliciting students for privately run trips through the school system. Teachers and other school staff are expected to clearly state that such trips are not school-sponsored and that the Lexington School Committee and the Lexington Public Schools do not sanction the trip or assume any responsibility.
 
D. Implementation
The Superintendent of Schools will develop appropriate procedures pursuant to this policy.
 
CROSS REF.:
JJH, Policy Relating to Field Trips Involving Late Night or Overnight Travel

Lexington Public Schools, Lexington MA
Adopted by Lexington School Committee: July 2015