Administrative Procedure 260

FIELD TRIPS

Background

Learning occurs within and beyond the classroom and students acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes through a variety of experiences and in a variety of settings.

The District has adopted the Ministry’s Principles of Learning as the foundation for all programs in the District.  Field trips enhance and enrich opportunities for active participation, learning at different rates and in different ways in individual and social contexts.

The District encourages and supports student participation on field trips that enhance and expand educational experiences and opportunities.  In planning for any learning experience including field trips, consideration must be given to student safety, curricular relevance and the appropriateness of the activity to the student’s educational program.  In all cases it is necessary for adult supervising staff to have the requisite skills and experience to provide safe and appropriate field trip experiences.

Definition

A field trip is any school-sponsored activity which occurs off school grounds for any period of time beyond the usual activities of a curricular class. 

Procedures

  1. Students may have opportunities to travel as members of a team, club or other extracurricular activity.  While these activities or trips may not have any curricular relevance, they are still considered to be field trips and as such must meet the expectations of this Administrative Procedure.
  2. Field trips are not to seriously interfere with the education of students who remain at school or the students who are participating on the field trip.
  3. Student safety shall be given paramount consideration and plans to deal with potential safety concerns must be evident and included in the planning documentation.  Field trips which take students into the wilderness where the group is removed from populated areas and emergency assistance is not readily available will require permission from the Assistant Superintendent.
  4. Efforts to minimize costs to students/parents is to be evident in all field trip planning.
  5. Individuals planning field trips are expected to give students and parents sufficient time to plan for the trip and to raise funds if necessary.  The length of time necessary depends on the duration, destination and cost of the trip.  Section 11 of this Administrative Procedure describes the required field trip application timelines.
  6. Sometimes opportunities for field trips emerge very quickly.  For example, a team could have an opportunity to compete in a tournament based on the results of previous play.  In this case the timelines for field trip approval may be adjusted.
  7. Some field trips may span more than a single instructional day or may extend beyond normal working hours.Some trips may also begin and/or end on days other than instructional days.  Participants in all field trips (adults and students) are governed by District policies and guidelines and codes of conduct throughout the trip.
  8. When other agencies (e.g., Rotary, Government of Canada, travel companies) contact schools regarding opportunities for students to participate in activities sponsored by their organizations, parents are to be made aware that such activities are not school field trips.  As such the organizers are not expected to abide by Board Policy or District administrative procedures.  The District therefore assumes no responsibility or liability for trips of this nature.  Any advertising of these trips in schools must clearly indicate that it is not a trip sponsored by the District.
  9. The approval of any international trips will be dependent on the country(ies) of destination being considered safe for travel by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade as indicated in its Travel Reports.  Further, should a trip be approved on that basis, and a subsequent Travel Report advises Canadians not to travel to that country, the Superintendent’s approval for the trip shall be withdrawn, with any non-refundable deposits being the responsibility of the parent and/or student.
  10. Approval Process
    1. All Field Trip Application Forms must first be submitted to the Principal. The teacher’s/sponsor’s signature on the field trip form verifies that they:
      1. Have fully completed all necessary forms;
      2. Have ensured that the key factors have been considered including curricular relevance, safety, cost, distance traveled, and accessibility for all students in the educational program; and,
      3. Ensure that Board policies and this Administrative Procedure have been fully observed.
    2. The Principal will review each application to ensure that the procedures for field trips are adhered to prior to approving the trip or forwarding the Field Trip Application form to the Assistant Superintendent for approval.
    3. Field trips that must be approved by the District will receive preliminary approval from the Principal before a copy of the application is submitted to the Assistant Superintendent.
  11. Timelines
    1. All application forms must be submitted to the Principal according to the following schedule:
      1. All field trips occurring within the CRD for only one day must be approved at least two weeks in advance.
      2. All field trips that occur outside the CRD, or that include one or more overnights must be approved by the Assistant Superintendent at least four weeks in advance.
      3. Any trip that occurs outside of the province must receive preliminary approval from the Assistant Superintendent at least six months in advance.
        1. Applications for final approval for these trips must be submitted to the Assistant Superintendent at least six weeks in advance including all relevant forms and information.
        2. Organizers are to ensure that final approval is received prior to the last date for a full refund.
      4. There may be exceptions made to the timelines in the case of late emerging, unique or earned opportunities.
  12. Categories
    For the purpose of administrative requirements field trips have been coded into the following categories:
    1. Type of Activity
      1. Curricular
      2. Athletic/Extra-Curricular
      3. Outdoor Education:i.e., skiing, snow-boarding, rock climbing, sailing, camps, community recreation, recreational pursuits
      4. Wilderness: an activity which takes groups into remote, unpopulated areas where emergency aid is not readily available
    2. Frequency
      1. Single trip
      2. Multiple trips by the same group
    3. Duration
      1. Day trip
      2. Overnight
    4. Destination
      1. Within the CRD
      2. Beyond the CRD
  13. Safety and Emergencies
    1. Safety
      The safety of students and staff on all field trips is of paramount importance. Therefore all principals shall ensure that:
      1. Any potential safety issues have been identified;
      2. A plan to deal with safety issues has been developed; and,
      3. Parents have been fully informed of the safety issues and advised to consider purchasing additional medical insurance.
    2. Emergency Procedures
      For all field trips:
      1. Supervisors are to be aware of any potential student medical problems, e.g., bee sting allergies, and will assign a specific adult to be responsible for such a student;
      2. A first aid kit appropriate to the needs of the students/nature of the event must be available on the trip;
      3. A chain of notification must be in place in the event of an emergency.  This chain is to include the administrator, Superintendent and parents; and,
      4. A means of emergency communication is to be available.
    3. Safety
      1. There are a variety of activities that students could engage in that present a range of potential dangers that must be considered.  The Safety Checklist on the field trip application must be considered and all appropriate sections completed for all field trips.  Outdoor Education and Wilderness trips put students into unique situations.  The safety checklist must be completed for trips of this nature.
  14. Supervision
    All students and supervisors are expected to follow all District policies, procedures and codes of conduct.  The use of tobacco products, electronic nicotine delivery systems, alcohol, or non-prescription drugs by any participants is prohibited for the duration of the field trip.

     

    1. Appropriate Supervision
      The staff sponsor of a field trip must ensure that appropriate supervision is planned.  Appropriate supervision is dependent upon:
      1. The age and maturity of the student;
      2. Any inherent danger of the activity;
      3. The circumstances of the particular activities; and,
      4. Appropriate arrangements for non-participants.
    2. Guidelines for Supervision
      1. A minimum of two (2) adults must accompany all overnight trips.  When a co-educational overnight trip is planned, principals are to ensure that both male and female supervisors are part of the contingent.  One of the adults must be a District employee.  In all cases, supervisors must be approved by the Principal.  Below are minimum supervision ratios.*
         

         

        Level

         

        Ratio for Day Trips

         

        Ratio for Overnight Trips

        Elementary

        (Grade K-5)

        2 adults per class

        <16 students, 2 adults required

        >16 students, ratio is 1 adult per 8 students

        (Grade 6-8)

        1 adult per class

        <20 students, 2 adults required

        >20 students, ratio is 1 adult per 8 students

        Secondary

        (Grade 9-12)

        1 adult per class

        1 adult per 15 students

        Outdoor Education and Wilderness Education

        (any grade)

        Must contact Assistant Superintendent

        Must contact Assistant Superintendent


         
      2. All volunteers accompanying students on any field trip during which they may be alone with a student must complete a Criminal Record Check through the Ministry of Justice.  The search results must indicate 'No criminal record was found for the purpose of working with children'.
         
  15. Identification
    1. Supervising teacher(s) on the field trip must be in possession of a list of all participants with a copy filed at the office.
    2. List must include pertinent medical information (Care Card, etc.).
    3. Secondary students will carry some form of personal identification.
  16. Cost of Field Trips
    1. The cost of field trips is to be kept to a minimum.It is anticipated that field trip costs will be covered by:
      1. District funds;
      2. School operating budget;
      3. Contributions from PAC; or,
      4. Fundraising.
      If all of these sources of funds are unavailable, the Principal may request a cost-recovery contribution from students/parents for optional field trips that are curricular but not assessed.
       
    2. No student shall be denied the opportunity to participate in a curricular trip due to financial hardship.
    3. Prior to the occurrence of a field trip, agreement must be reached between the Principal and the supervisor(s) regarding the degree of reimbursement for expenses incurred during the field trip.  In most cases the per diem allowances will be followed.
    4. Principals may utilize coverage to either supervise on a field trip or to permit a teacher to be included on a field trip.  In either case, the cost of one or more TTOCs attributed to a field trip may be included in the overall expense of the field trip.
  17. Fundraising
    1. Efforts to minimize costs to students/parents is to be evident in all field trip planning.  All details of fund raising activities and requirements for the proposed field trip must be communicated clearly to students and parents and agreed upon at the outset of the field trip planning process.
      1. Fundraising planning and activities are not to affect the regular learning activities in the classroom.
      2. The school/supervising teacher shall make every effort to give parents/students adequate time for fundraising activities during one or more school years.
      3. Parents wishing to have their child excluded from the planned school fundraising activity may contribute an equivalent amount of money.
      4. Those individuals given responsibilities for fundraising are to refer to Administrative Procedure 520 - Fundraising in Schools for procedures.
  18. Transportation
    1. District and Chartered Buses/Rental Vans:
      1. All charter buses and/or rental vans must be booked through the Transportation Manager who will ensure that the company and vehicles meet all necessary and required District, provincial and federal regulations.  All individuals who drive a van or bus must have the appropriate valid license and must comply with all related Provincial or Federal regulations.i.e., length of work day, number of rest stops, completing a driver’s log book, etc.
    2. Private Vehicles:
      1. Supervising adults(s) of the event must ensure that a master list of all student participants and drivers is provided for the school office prior to the trip.  Supervisors will retain a copy of the master list during the trip.
      2. District buses and public transportation are the preferred modes of transportation. However, when private vehicles are used to transport students participating in a school activity, the supervising adult must ensure that the driver of each vehicle has completed a Volunteer Driver Application and filed it at the school office which states that:
        1. They have provided a copy of a valid BC driver’s license, current ICBC driver's abstract, vehicle registration and insurance document with a minimum of $2,000,000 liability insurance;
        2. Drivers must have a valid Criminal Record Check on file with the District; Elementary students or other students of small stature may not ride in the front passenger seat;
        3. They will act in accordance with the BC Motor Vehicle Act with regard to the use of seat belts and the use of approved booster seats;
        4. The vehicle is in good mechanical shape and road worthiness; and, drivers will comply with the BC Motor Vehicle Act driving laws and observe safe driving practices.
    3. Student Drivers:
      1. Student-driven vehicles may only be used for trips within the CRD;
      2. In all cases where a private vehicle is driven by a student, parents of the passengers and the driver must be notified and give consent in writing (Field Trip Consent Form) prior to the occurrence of the field trip;
      3. Prior to a field trip (or series of field trips), all student drivers must submit twice a year in August/September and January/February, or more frequently as required by the Principal, a Volunteer Driver Application, duly signed by the student and parent notifying the student’s availability as a driver and fulfilling the conditions as found on the Volunteer Driver Application.
  19. Insurance 
    1. The District does not insure expenses for student injuries that happen on school grounds or during school activities. The District suggests families voluntarily purchase private accident insurance.
    2. For all out-of-province trips, supplementary medical insurance is strongly recommended for all participants.  The District and trip sponsors cannot be held liable for any medical costs incurred by any trip participants that are not covered by the BC medical plan.
    3. Trip cancellation insurance is also strongly recommended.The District and trip sponsors cannot be held liable for any costs associated with itinerary changes or cancellations.
  20. Field Trip Application Forms
    1. All field trip forms and sample letters are maintained on the district website.

 

Reference:

  • Sections 8, 17, 20, 22, 65, 85, 177 School Act
  • Collective Agreements
  • AP 562 – Field Trip/Extra Curricular Travel

Approved:

  • November 2020

 

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