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Grade 8 End-of-Year Field Trip - November 4 Letter

November 4, 2016

Dear Grade 8 Parents,
As you know, on July 29, 2016, I communicated to you my decision to discontinue visiting Washington, D.C. for our grade 8 field trip.  In this letter, I stated that in finding an alternative to Washington, D.C., that I was “committed to keeping the cost of the trip under $700, utilizing bus transportation, and seeking your input and the input of our educators and students in finding an outstanding alternative.”

Approximately 30 parents attended a Planning Meeting on the evening of September 12, 2016, where we developed a list of new sites and options for the grade 8 trip.  Over the course of the next six weeks, I held multiple meetings with parent, student and educator groups where individuals offered their ideas on destinations and activities.  The unanimous selection from the three groups was New York City.  I am pleased to inform you that the following was approved at Thursday’s School Committee meeting: 

Grade 8 End-of-Year Field Trip
  • Depart: early morning on Wednesday, June 7, 2017

  • Return: evening on Friday, June 9, 2017

  • Cost: $709

  • Additional expenses: lunch on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; dinner on Friday; $10 gratuity; money for souvenirs

  • Transportation: Bus

  • Accommodation: Hotel outside of NYC

  • Tour Operator: Jumpstreet Educational Tours

I worked with multiple tour companies in order to offer our students an outstanding experience that connects with the HMS curriculum in multiple disciplines.  I am disappointed to not provide this trip at my stated goal of under $700, however the flexibility, customer service, and background checks of each company convinced me that going slightly over this figure was better than sacrificing quality.  I firmly believe that Jumpstreet Educational Tours will offer us a superior educational and social experience.  
Next Wednesday, November 9, I will send a listserve message to you with our draft itinerary that includes details on creating an online account where you will register your child and send payments.  For your planning purposes, there are four payment due dates:
  • December 1, 2016: $100/student

  • February 3, 2017: $200/student

  • March 3, 2017: $200/student

  • April 7, 2017: $209/student

We are excited to undertake this trip and hope that you and your child feel the same.  I have greatly appreciated your feedback, patience and understanding as we made this shift.
Thank you,

Alan M. Keller

HMS Principal