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IJOA - Field Trips

Policy IJOA

Adopted: November 25, 2013
Amended: January 8, 2018

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This policy defines three categories of field trips, as indicated below.  In all cases, participation in field trips is voluntary.

Category 1: EDUCATIONAL FIELD TRIPS

Educational field trips, which are part of a unit of study, are an important part of the educational process. Such field trips should provide a positive educational experience and should not prevent students from performing well in other subjects. Field trips should be planned to minimize the disruption of other classes.

Category 2: ATHLETIC, STEAM, MUSIC, ART & CLUB TRIPS

Athletic trips are a part of the approved interscholastic league schedule and other district approved non-league contests which are not longer than one day and do not meet the definition of a field trip. Examples would be football, soccer or other sports traveling to other school and athletic venues for games and contests. Club, music, art and STEAM trips are part of approved interscholastic competition and other district approved contests which are not longer than one day and do not meet the definition of a field trip. Examples would be music, math club meets, robotics club, model UN and other venues for competitions and events.

Trips may be authorized by the building principal provided that: (1) one-way distance from the school does not exceed 75 miles; and (2) the destination is within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and (3) no overnight travel is involved.

Category 3: EXTRACURRICULAR TRIPS

School-sanctioned extracurricular trips generally are an important part of the educational process and are of educational value. Such trips should be planned to provide a positive educational experience and should not prevent students from performing well in their regular courses of study.

Student participation in extracurricular trips is optional, contingent upon satisfactory class attendance, behavior, and academic achievement. Participation in such trips is a privilege, which may be withheld if a student does not perform to acceptable standards.

Extracurricular trips should be planned to minimize disruption to classes and planned to take place primarily during non-school hours. Some types, due to travel logistics, may require students to travel during regular school time, but these days should be minimized to the extent possible. Student participation in such trips is voluntary and it is the responsibility of the students to identify and make up work missed. No trips should be planned for the week preceding and the week of mid-year and final exams and, for seniors, during their last week of classes. No school funds are to be used for extracurricular trips.

LIMITATIONS FOR ALL CATEGORIES OF TRIPS

In evaluating all field trip requests, the administration and the School Committee will consider the following:

  1. relevance of the proposed field trip to:
    • a unit of study (educational trips)
    • scheduled athletic contests of that team (athletic trips)
    • scheduled competitions or events (club or program trips)
    • the enhancement of knowledge, leadership skills, global perspectives, and emotional and physical challenges (extracurricular trips)
  2. impact of the field trip upon the available school and/or family budget resources,
  3. degree of access to the field trip for all students involved in the unit of study,
  4. provisions for adequate adult supervision to ensure student safety and welfare,
  5. evidence of thoroughness in planning,
  6. existence of clearly defined emergency communication plan related to both individual student emergencies and emergency changes to trip itinerary in general,
  7. potential impact on student attendance at school (e.g. Sunday night return trips, etc.)

Most planned overnight programs should receive initial School Committee approval by June 1 in the year prior to the planned travel year. However, specific to all study tour programs (domestic or international), Intent to Travel forms must be submitted to administration by Martin Luther King Day each January in the school year prior to the planned travel year. (Ex. Due by MLK Day 2014 for study tour after September 1st of the 2014-2015 school year.) The principal may adjust this deadline under extenuating circumstances. Following administrative approval and Superintendent recommendation, Intent to Travel forms will be forwarded to the School Committee for initial approval.

For all overnight student travel, the School Committee requires that final approval be sought no less than 30 days prior to the scheduled departure date, unless the activity could not have been reasonably planned in that time frame, in which case the Superintendent will have discretion to approve the trip.

School owned transportation equipment shall not be used for activities other than school sponsored activities except at the request of another Town department, board or commission and only with the approval of the Superintendent.

The school district’s Consent Form, Release from Liability & Indemnity Agreement (IJOA-FRM3), must be completed by the parent or guardian of all students prior to participation in the field trip. The Athletic Consent/Waiver is required for all student participation in the District’s interscholastic athletic program.

Adequate chaperone coverage must be provided on all field trips and must be approved by the principal prior to the trip. All trips must have a minimum of two chaperones and all chaperones must be cleared through the Massachusetts Criminal Offender Records Information (CORI) system before being approved. For any type of overnight trip, at least one chaperone must hold a current certification in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

For any field trip, there must be a documented emergency communication plan that allows for efficient, timely communication to all participants and families in the event of unforeseen schedule changes or emergencies.  The emergency communication plan must take into account any foreseeable and probable limitations on access to regular communication channels (e.g. internet service, cellular service, phone service, etc.), and must clearly indicate the party/parties responsible for family notifications. 

Students participating in any type of school-sponsored field trip must adhere to general school rules and codes of conduct. Any student who violates the rules of conduct may be sent home. In this case, the student’s parent/guardian will either pick up the student from the field trip location or be responsible for any expense incurred in sending the student home. Further disciplinary action may be taken in accordance with policies governing student behavior.

Extracurricular trips exceeding 75 miles must be endorsed by the principal and approved by the Superintendent of Schools prior to the distribution of any informational trip materials to students and parents. Extracurricular trips involving foreign travel and/or overnight travel must be endorsed by the Superintendent and approved by the School Committee prior to the distribution of any informational trip materials to students and parents.

Cross References:

CORI Requirements

JLCE - CPR & First Aid

JLB - Financial Assistance

MIAA Regulations

JLCD - Distribution of Medicine

Procedure References:

IJOA-FRM1 - Field Trip Consent - Release Day Trip Form

IJOA-FRM2 - Field Trip Consent - Release Overnight Trip Form

IJOA-FRM3 - Release from Liability  & Indemnity Agreement

Field Trip Leader's Guide

School Committee Policies

A - Foundations and Basic Commitments

B - School Board Governance and Operations

C - General School Administration

D - Fiscal Management

E - Support Services

F - Facilities Development

G - Personnel

H - Negotiations

There are no policies under this code at this time.

I - Instructional Program

J - Students

K - School-Community Relations

L - Education Agency Relations

There are no policies under this code at this time.