It is the policy of the Directors of the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union, Bennington School District, Inc., Mount Anthony Union School District, North Bennington Graded School District, Pownal School District, Shaftsbury School District, and Woodford School District board that field trips should be a significant part of the educational program of our schools when they are properly integrated into the curriculum of a particular subject, activity, class or school.
The purpose of the policy is to provide accountability of time and equitable distribution of funds and resources.
Administrators and faculty shall ensure the supervision and safety for students on field trips
All overnight trips or trips out of the contiguous 48 states, including those taken during a vacation, must be submitted by the building principal to the Board of School Directors for their approval.
ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS, Policy #6230 “Curriculum-Based Field Trips”:
See attached: Curriculum Based Field Trip Forms
- Blanket permission at the beginning of the school year can be obtained for field trips within the SVSU borders and within a 75 mile radius of those borders. Field Trip forms must be used for any field trip outside the boundaries of the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union.
- Any staff member wishing to sponsor a trip outside the SVSU should apply for approval to the principal of the school at least four weeks prior to the date of the trip whenever possible.
- It shall be the responsibility of the teacher/sponsor to notify, in writing, the parent(s) of all students participating, of the itinerary, general provisions, and purpose of the trip, and it shall also be the responsibility of the teacher/sponsor to acquire, one week in advance of the trip, written permission from the parents of any student who plans to participate. Specifically, general information for parents should include departure times and anticipated return time. The permission slip should include an emergency number to contact parent/guardian in case of emergency and a list of any medications the student should take while on this field trip.
- The specific number of chaperones required will be established by an administrator at the time of administrative trip approval. The number of chaperones recommended shall depend upon the age of the group, if the students remain as a unit or will be split up, the nature of the trip (ie. chorus, museum, zoo, visiting a site in a city or congested area, foreign travel, or over night in small groups or with host families), the mix of the students or chaperones, the number of special needs students, and the nature of the activity (ie. a Mass Mocha activity, attending or participating in a performance, going swimming, visiting historical site, or staying with a host family to learn the language and culture). Building administrators may require fewer or recommend additional chaperones when taking all considerations into account.
In general, the recommended number of chaperones is 8 students to 1 chaperone. However if the class is to remain with the classroom teacher or band director for example in a unit, then the one supervising adult may be enough supervision. In the case of going to a congested area (city) or overseas, a 4 student to 1 chaperone ratio may be needed.
It is the role of the school administrator to approve the number of chaperones on the trip.
- Students traveling on a field trip will be expected to travel with and return with the group unless that student has received prior, signed, administrative approval. Request for this permission must be made in writing from the parents. Teachers/sponsors will be notified of these exceptions.
- The teacher/sponsor shall provide in writing (e.g. Handbook) to students and chaperones all relevant and developmentally appropriate policies which shall be enforced.
- Regarding supervision and safety for students on field trips, the school administration should be immediately advised of any significant problems occurring on a trip (such as violations of school rules, injury, etc.)
- The teacher/sponsor shall notify other staff members as to which students will participate and when students will be missing from their classes at least one week in advance of the trip.
- All field trips must have an assessment piece built into the planning of the trip; i.e. a form, essay, journal, discussion group, etc.
- The teacher/sponsor should designate a person to dispense medications who should be trained by the nurse in accordance with Policy #5176. The designated person shall dispense medications and shall not delegate that responsibility.
MEDICATION PROTOCOL FOR FIELD TRIPS
A. The school health office should be notified of any field trip at least a week in advance.
B. The adult who is responsible for the administration of medication shall come to the school health office to pick up meds the morning of the trip.
C. The medication will be dispensed in a labeled container with the date and time that it is to be given. The adult giving the medication shall initial that the medication was given on that date and note the time.
D. The adult who is to administer the medication will be given a medication fact sheet and shall sign indicating that they received instructions about the medication.
E. All medications, including over the counter medications, shall be given to the adult designated by the school nurse. Exceptions to this policy are those medications deemed “rescue drugs” such as insulin, epi-pen and Ventolin inhaler. Written permission shall be on file for any student to carry and self-administer these medications. Birth control pills may be carried and self administered by the student.
F. The medicating adult shall notify the parent and the school nurse if for any reason a student does not receive the medication as soon as practicable.
G. This procedure shall be followed in both day and overnight field trips.
- For trips outside a 120 mile radius of the school, overnight trips, or foreign travel, the teacher or trip coordinator shall:
A. Meet with Superintendent or his designee to review policies:
- Tobacco, #5180
- Discipline, #5150
- Substance Abuse, #5175
- Medications, #5176
- Other appropriate policies
B. Schedule a parent information meeting to include expectations for student behavior. Parents will be informed of the district's intentions to follow policy, and forms will be signed signifying agreement with the expectations for student behavior.
C. Develop packets for all chaperones, detailing their duties and responsibilities or student safety and welfare.
D. Develop a detailed itinerary prior to departure or in the case of out-of-the-country for Board approval. Such itinerary will include methods for insuring student health and welfare when students are not in the direct charge of chaperones.
E. Designate an administrator to be called in case an emergency arises. The designated administrator will be called to discuss procedures to be followed in case of an emergency.
F. If the field trip is farther that 40 miles, assure that the number of chaperones will include an ample number to allow one chaperone to stay behind with any student who is unable to return with his group, while not jeopardizing the safety and welfare of other students on the trip. If an adult has traveled alone with his or her group (ie. classroom or chorus), and something happens preventing one youngster from returning, then after discussion with an administrator, the adult will be asked to remain with the student, while the administrator may request that the remain students be transported back to school with the bus driver. The administrator will make arrangements for transportation for the adult and the youngster(s).
G. Assure that the building administrator and the parents/guardians of any student who is seriously ill will be contacted immediately. The teacher coordinator will designate one chaperone as the contact person to maintain continuous contact with the student and parent.
- Procedures for students with disabilities to participate in Field Trips:
A. Where the nature of a student’s disability is such that it may restrict access to participation in field trips, the IEP/504 team should identify needs of the student in this regard, and plan ways in which the disability can be accommodated so as to allow access and participation in field trips generally. This should be done at a meeting at least annually.
B. The resulting services and/or accommodations should be included in the IEP or 504 plan.
C. When a field trip is being planned, the classroom teacher (or other staff member responsible for the trip) shall notify the IEP/504 Case Manager for each student as early as possible, and the team shall convene to consider any accessibility or participation issues specific to the particular field trip being planned.
Factors to be considered include (but are not limited to):
- whether there are health or safety issues, or other aspects of the trip, which make it inappropriate for the student, even with accommodations and support staff in place. If so, the Team should consider whether there are parts of the trip in which the student can safely participate;
- whether there are any special transportation requirements for access;
- whether there are physical access issues, and if so, means of removing or circumventing the barriers;
- whether there are special staffing considerations which will need to be planned for;
- whether the student’s parent wishes to participate as a chaperone on the trip, or to accompany the student. (Participation in a field trip cannot be conditioned upon parental participation, but where a parent volunteers to provide support on the trip, the team may include such help in its plan);
- the team should create a contingency plan to identify and address situations arising during the field trip which would require the student to return before the trip was completed. (For example, this might require availability of transportation and staff who could return with the student without leaving the other students without sufficient support.);
- where there are behavioral issues related to a disability, the Team should consider
- whether a behavior plan should be developed (or amended) to address behaviors before and/or during the field trip. Consequences for various types of misbehavior which might occur during the trip should be agreed to prior to the trip, and should be reviewed with the student. Where appropriate, the team may decide to have a written contract with the student. The plan should be developed by the team (including parents) based upon knowledge of the student’s individual needs and disability, and reasonable expectations of the student’s ability to succeed;
- in case of overnight field trips, whether any special lodging accommodations or staffing will be necessary; and
- where decisions may have to be made at or near the time of the field trip, based upon the student’s state of health, the weather, or other changing factors over which the Team has no control, the Team should determine ahead of time what factors should be considered in determining whether the student’s participation is appropriate, and shall designate the school staff person who will make the decision, in consultation with the parents and identified service providers.
D. The Team’s chief planning goal should be to provide the special education and related services, and accommodation and modifications, necessary to participate to the same extent as students without disabilities can participate. If the Team concludes that participation in the trip is not appropriate for the Student, the Team shall arrange an alternative, appropriate field trip experience for the student that meets the student’s needs. The alternative shall involve the least restrictive environment appropriate to the student’s needs.