2320 Field Trips, Excursions and Outdoor Education

  • The Board recognizes that field trips when used as a device for teaching and learning integral to the curriculum are an educationally sound and important ingredient in the instructional program of the schools. Such trips can supplement and enrich classroom procedures by providing learning experiences in an environment beyond the classroom.

    Field trips which take students out of the state or are planned to keep students out of the district overnight must be approved in advance by the Board. Outdoor education school plans shall be presented to the Board for annual approval. The Superintendent has the authority to approve all other field trips.

    The Superintendent shall develop procedures for the operation of a field trip or an outdoor education activity which shall insure that the safety of the student shall be protected and that parent permission is obtained before the student leaves the schools. Each field trip must be integrated with the curriculum and coordinated with classroom activities which enhance its usefulness. Private vehicles may be used to transport students if approval is obtained in advance from the principal.

    No staff member may solicit students for any privately arranged field trip or excursion without Board permission.

    Cross References:
    Board Policy 6625          Private Vehicle Transportation
    Board Policy 3520          Student Fees, Fines, Charges

    Legal References:
    RCW 28A.330.100(5)       Additional powers of Board
    RCW 67.20.020                 Parks, bathing beaches, public camps – Contracts for cooperation
    WAC 181-87-090               Improper remunerative conduct

    ADOPTED: 01/17/91
    REVISED: 09/25/97; 12/20/07
    Procedure No. 2320P Field Trips, Excursions and Outdoor Education
    Field trips are defined as travel away from school premises, under the supervision of a teacher, with an approved course of study, for the purpose of affording students a direct learning experience not available in the classroom. The transportation costs for all such field trips conducted during school hours shall be borne by the district. However, the district may receive donations from private groups earmarked to defray field trip costs. Also, students may be charged fees to defray all or part of the costs of field trips.  The following procedures shall apply:

    1. Requests for any field trips must be prepared by the teacher and approved by the principal.
    2. The teacher must secure written authorization from parent or guardian of each pupil who plans to go on the field trip. Parents are to be informed if private vehicles are to be used for the field trip.
    3. The teacher must arrange adequate supervision and clear the supervisory plan with the principal.
    4. The principal shall arrange for transportation. Transportation is always contingent upon the availability of buses and funding at the local building level. Use of private vehicles for field trip transportation is discouraged. However, if used, private vehicles must be checked by the Transportation Department for suitability. Also, the driver of each vehicle shall provide a driver’s license and proof of insurance. Final approval of private vehicle use shall be secured from the Business Manager or designee prior to departure.
    5. The teacher shall contact the site to make specific arrangements for the field trip.
    6. The Superintendent shall convey to the Board of Directors pertinent information concerning field trips that involve out-of-state travel regardless of the time away from the school district.

     If appropriate, a letter of appreciation should be sent to the site host upon completion of the field trip.

    Outdoor Education 

    1. The outdoor education plans for the coming school year shall be presented to the Board for approval.
    2. All staff to be involved shall be notified of plans after Board approval.
    3. The proposed curricula for the outdoor education school shall be presented to teachers at least one month prior to the session.
    4. Information to parents regarding fees, special clothing, dates, supervising proposed activities, and other duties shall be sent to parents at least one month prior to the session. The parent must sign an approval form.
    5. Students who do not participate shall engage in meaningful learning experiences at school.
    6. Students who are unable to pay the fee may be granted a waiver.

    Overnight Field Trips 

    1. The staff member, if possible, will submit to the principal a written plan, including purpose, supervision, itinerary, cost, housing, and student cost (if any) at least two weeks prior to submission to the Board.
    2. After approval by the principal, the proposal should be submitted to the Superintendent at least one week prior to the Board meeting.
    3. The staff member should attend the Board meeting to answer any questions the Board may have.
    4. After approval by the Board, a written description of the overnight field trip shall be sent to the parent. All such field trips are optional. 

    International Travel

    Approval of international travel shall be subject to the United States Department of State travel warnings. Travel warnings are issued when the state department decides, based on all relevant information, to recommend that Americans avoid travel to a certain country. District travel to Canada and Mexico will be approved unless either country is identified through a travel warning.  No district sponsored international travel will be approved to any other country as long as the worldwide caution is in effect.

    1. The staff member must submit to the principal a written request for approval, including purpose, supervision, itinerary, cost, housing, and student costs six months before the date of the trip and before any fundraising begins or deposits are place for the trip.
    2. After approval by the principal, all requests for both single and multi-school trips shall be approved by the superintendent at least one week prior to the board meeting.
    3. The staff member should attend the board meeting to answer any questions from the board.
    4. After approval by the board, a written description of the international, overnight field trip shall be sent to the parent. All such international trips are optional. Parent permission is required.
    5. All signed approval forms and trip records shall be kept on file at the school.
    6. Staff members and sponsors shall obtain competitive pricing to assure maximum student participation at the lowest possible cost.

    ADOPTED: 1/17/91
    REVISED: 09/25/97; 12/16/04

2000 Policies