Field Trips During the School Day (Excluding Over Night)
The Board of School Directors’ policy entitled “Field Trips” (#121) sets forth the following:
- A parent/guardian shall be notified in writing at least one week in advance of a field trip. The parent/guardian must sign and return the notice regarding the field trip before the pupil is permitted to participate. The Field Trip Medication Authorization Form, including Release, must also be signed and returned before the pupil is permitted to participate.
- Only those field trips which are specifically included in a course of study are authorized. Field trips not included in a course of study must be approved by the superintendent or designee based upon a proposal submitted by the school principal.
- The School District shall provide transportation to and from the destination of the field trip. Pupils shall pay admission fees where required. However, no pupil shall be denied the opportunity to participate in a field trip because the parents/guardians are unable to afford the admission fee.
- If a parent/guardian or a teacher believes that it would not be in the best interest of the pupil or of the class for a pupil to participate in a field trip, the teacher shall arrange with the school principal for the supervision of the pupil while the class is away from the school. The teacher shall notify the parent/guardian in writing of the arrangements which have been made with the approval of the school principal.
- The following ratio of adults (including school personnel) to pupils for field trips are required but in no case should the number of adults exceed five per bus.
- 9th - 12th grade: 1 adult per class
- Special Education: 2 adults per class
- There can be no guarantee that a nurse will be available for every field trip. Student health needs must be identified and considered prior to committing to a particular field trip. Requests for a nurse to accompany a field trip should be made at least three months in advance.
Overnight Student Field Trips
New Forms for overnight trips have been developed. Building principals have the forms which should be carefully completed in triplicate and submitted to the superintendent or designee after the principal has signed the same. The overnight trip proposal outlined below under Administration Regulations should be attached to this form. Field trips must be approved by the Lower Merion Board of School Directors prior to the actual date of the trip.
The Board of School Directors recognizes the educational value that overnight travel may have for groups of students. When trips are planned, it is essential that the purpose is consistent with the educational program and that all students wanting to go have the chance. Trips requiring extensive travel, extended absence from school, or excessive cost, are discouraged.
Overnight student trips must enhance a course of study or the objectives related to a particular area of the district’s educational program. Trips should ideally be planned to take advantage of the weekend or school holiday, and should limit absence from school to two days or less. With the exception of substitute teacher costs, overnight student trips are not subsidized by the annual budget of the school district.
- The superintendent shall be responsible to draft written regulations and procedures consistent with the intent of this policy.
- Overnight student trips for small numbers of students who represent a school or school district through performance and/or competition are not subject to the requirements of this policy. These activities must be approved by the building principal and allocated for in the annual budget.
- Overnight student trips for small numbers of students participating in foreign exchange programs are not subject to the requirements of this policy.
- Board approval of all other overnight student trip proposals must occur at least three (3) months prior to the trip itself.
- Overnight student trips are to be planned, organized and implemented by conforming to the Administrative procedures of this policy.
- All students who are part of the class or organization planning an overnight trip shall be given the chance to attend.
- Written parental permission shall be required of all students attending.
- No penalties shall be imposed against any student who does not attend.
- Staff shall submit in writing an overnight trip proposal for Board approval and be subject to the following:
- at least three (3) months prior approval by the Board
- a detailed plan to include the:
- educational purpose
- projected cost
- methods for subsidizing cost
- methods for identifying and meeting student health needs, including completion of the Field Trip Health Needs Checklist
- Principals shall approve all proposals indicating agreement of planning efforts and assurance that all children will be given the change to attend regardless of ability to pay.
- All student behavior on overnight student trips will be subject to the Code of Student Conduct (Policy #235, Rights and Responsibilities).
- With the exception of substitute teacher payments, all costs of overnight student trips are to be charged to the student organization, the students, or to the adult sponsors supervising the trip.
- The Field Trip Medication Authorization Form must be completed for all students who are required to take medication during the school day.
- Student health needs must be identified and considered prior to committing to a field trip.
- There can be no guarantee that a nurse will be available to attend all trips and requests for nurses to attend trips should be made at least three months in advance.
- The need for transportation accommodations in respect to students with special needs must be specific (these should also be made well in advance).
- The revised Field Trip - Health Needs Checklist must be completed for Overnight Trips, the detailed plan that is already required will need to include a statement regarding the methods used to identify and meet students’ health needs that will or may arise during the trip. It is recommended that the Board approve the requests as submitted with the understanding that all new provisions pertaining to increased student health/safety will nonetheless be followed prior to and during these trips.
- Field Trip Medication Authorization Form:
- Seeks to identify all students who can self-administer medication and seeks parent’s approval.
- Lists the behaviors the student must demonstrate prior to self-administration.
- Provides a written release of liability in respect to those who are responsible for and/or assist the student in the self-administration.
Medication Policy/Administrative Regulations:
- Provides for the administering of Epi-Pens
- Outlines self-administration procedure and removes clause suggesting that non-health trained personnel can administer medications routinely.
- Allows for students to possess over-the-counter medication (such as aspirin) under limited and specific circumstances.
- Provides additional deference to district health personnel in terms of administering questionable doses of medication to students despite parents’ request and physician’s prescription.