2320 Procedure – Student Trips

Bellingham Public Schools recognizes that there are several types of student trips that may be requested. There are specific procedures for each type of trip, including:

A. All student trips

B. Trips using privately-owned boats

C. Overnight trips – one night only

D. Out-of-state trips or multi-night in-state trips

E. Out-of-country trips

F. Exchange trips

 

A. All Student Trips

Student trips are defined as travel away from school premises, under the supervision of a staff member, with an approved course of study, for the purpose of affording students a direct learning experience not available in the school. For all trips, student safety is a paramount concern. The coordinating staff member is responsible for ensuring that necessary steps have been taken to meet identified safety needs, including the need for adult supervision. The following expectations for chaperones shall apply to all student trips.

Chaperone Expectations

The coordinating staff member shall be responsible for securing necessary adult (21 years of age or older) supervision for the trip and for providing orientation regarding chaperone expectations. In emergency situations where the coordinating staff member is unable to participate in a planned field trip activity, a substitute teacher may replace the staff member with approval of the principal/program supervisor or designee.

The recommended ratio of adult (21 years of age or older) chaperones to students is 1:10. Depending on the students or the nature of the activity, the number of chaperones may need to be higher, as determined by the principal/program supervisor or designee. Developmentally appropriate supervision must be available and described in any request for approval. The chaperone/supervision plan, including the written expectations for student supervision, shall be included with any pre-trip request information provided to the principal.

Family members and friends of staff members or chaperones shall not participate in a field trip or event unless prior approval has been obtained from the principal/program supervisor or designee.

The coordinating staff member must advise chaperones in writing of their responsibilities, which must include:

  • Students must be supervised at all times while at school-sponsored events, and staff members or adult chaperones must be readily available to respond to student requests and to provide balanced supervision.
  • Staff members or chaperones may not use alcohol or other drugs during the trip.
  • All regular school rules and consequences will be enforced during the trip.
  • For all overnight, out-of-state, and out-of country trips, one or more of the accompanying staff members or adult chaperones shall have a current First Aid and CPR card.

The following procedures shall apply to all student trips:

  1. It is the responsibility of the principal to approve each trip and supervise the process used by the teacher and students.
  2. Each trip must be integrated with the curriculum and coordinated with classroom activities that enhance its usefulness and relationship to the instructional program.
  3. The staff member should submit a completed Student Trip Request Form (2320F-3) to the principal at least two weeks prior to the trip. Trips arranged through the district office (for example, grade-level trips to the museum or Environmental Education Site) or regularly scheduled co-curricular activities such as athletic contests, music performances and debate do not require trip request forms. For out-of-state, overnight trips of more than one night and/ or trips that involve fundraising, complete Approval in Concept Form (2320F-2).
  4. The staff member shall contact the site to make specific arrangements for the trip so that the desired activity can be coordinated with classroom studies.
  5. The staff member shall be responsible for contacting parents with information regarding the purpose of the trip and other pertinent information. Each student participating in a trip must first return a Student Trip Permission Form (Form 2320F-5) signed by his/her parent or guardian. The permission slip must include parent and physician contact information. It is the responsibility of the teacher scheduling the trip to see that permission forms have been completed for each student prior to going on the trip. Only written permission signed by parent or guardian will be accepted.
  6. Walking trips in the vicinity of the school may be approved by the principal. Chaperone guidelines must be followed.
  7. The staff member shall be responsible for securing adult supervision for the trip. The principal and responsible staff member should consider a variety of factors including: age of students, special needs of students, location, facilities, potential hazards, planned activities, and other appropriate conditions when assigning adult supervisors. The principal may decide to have an administrator or administrative designee assist the responsible staff member with supervision on the trip.
  8. School district buses are the primary and preferred transportation mode for trips; however, private vehicles and public transportation may be used when deemed appropriate and approved in advance by the principal. If private vehicles are used, parent drivers must file a Driver Authorization (Form 2320F-4) with the school on an annual basis. Seat belts must be used by all students traveling in private or district-owned vehicles other than school buses.

Driver Requirements: Valid Washington State drivers license, 21 years of age or older and no DUI’s or moving violations in the last three years.

Vehicle Requirements: All vehicles (private, rented, leased or district-owned) transporting students cannot have a rated capacity of more than ten passengers—nine passengers and one driver.

Insurance coverage for employees and/or volunteers using privately-owned vehicles while on official business will be as follows:

  • The liability always follows the vehicle. The individual policy on the vehicle is the prime insurance. Minimum amounts of bodily injury liability and property damage are required per Form 2320F-4.
  • The school district has liability protection for non-owned vehicles and employees or volunteers who are acting in an official capacity. In the event of an accident, the school district’s insurance is secondary to the insurer’s individual policy.
  1. In the event of an emergency while on a student trip, the staff member in charge will notify his or her supervisor and make arrangements for promptly notifying parents of all students involved in the student trip activity.
  2. The staff member will make provisions for those students in his or her responsibility not participating in the student trip.
  3. Staff will receive annual training by the school nurse that allows them to administer oral and emergency medications on student trips. Designated staff will give the school office at least 24 hours notice to prepare the authorization form and medications. Specifically, the following must be assured:
  • Availability of designated personnel;
  • Proper security and storage for the medication;
  • A copy of the health professional’s directions for administration of the medication;
  • An appropriately labeled container; and
  • The appropriate dosage;
  • Documentation on the form, Written Record for Dispensing Medication (See Policy 3416.)

 

B. Trips Using a Privately-Owned Boat for Transportation

In addition to previously stated procedures for all trips, teachers planning to take students on any trip that involves privately-owned boats need to take the following steps:

  1. The staff member must provide the items listed below to the District Business Office at least two weeks prior to the event:
  • A certificate of insurance proving insurance coverage on the vessel, including liability insurance
  • A copy of the licensing and bonding of the vessel
  • A copy of the current Coast Guard inspection of the vessel
  • A copy of the itinerary
  • A copy of the supervision/chaperone plan
  • A copy of the parent permission/trip notification form
  1. The following documents need to be on file at the school:
  • Registration/parent permission slip for each child, including release to get medical attention and release of liability. This should be a trip-specific permission slip, not a “blanket” permission slip.
  • A copy of the itinerary for the trip.

C. Overnight Trips – one night only

In addition to previously stated procedures for all trips, teachers planning to take students on single night overnight trips need to take the following steps:

  1. The teacher must provide a detailed plan for the trip, including itinerary, housing, transportation, and chaperone plans.
  2. The trip shall be considered for approval by the school supervisor, superintendent or designee after approval by the principal.
  3. One or more of the accompanying staff members or adult chaperones shall have a current First Aid and CPR card.

Note: Overnight trips longer than one night and those dependent on student/parent fundraising activities must also be submitted to the superintendent for approval prior to the initiation of fundraising activities. Use Form 2320F-1 as a planning guide.

D. Out-of-State and Multi-Night In-State Trips

In addition to previously stated procedures for all trips, teachers planning to take students on out-of-state or multi-night trips need to take the following steps. All trips in this category require the trip be approved by the superintendent or designee prior to the solicitation of parents and students and the beginning of fundraising activities. Use Form 2320F-1 as a planning tool.

  1. Approval in concept. Prior to any detailed planning, parent or student involvement, the teacher will prepare a conceptual description of the proposed trip including the curricular rationale. Upon approval of the principal to proceed, the proposal will be forwarded by the principal to the school supervisor. If approved by the school supervisor, the proposal will then be forwarded to the superintendent for final approval. The principal and staff member may be responsible for a presentation to the superintendent. At this point, the superintendent can choose to give approval to develop a detailed plan or to deny approval to proceed further. Approval in concept should occur at least six months in advance of the trip when circumstances permit.
  2. Trip approval. After approval in concept, the staff member is responsible to work with the principal to develop a detailed plan including curricular rationale, supervision including first aid/CPR coverage, itinerary, cost, housing, student costs, fundraising plans, and other pertinent details. The plan will then be presented to the school supervisor. If the detailed plan is approved and all conditions outlined are met, the superintendent will be informed in writing and the trip planning can proceed. The request should occur at least three months before the trip when circumstances permit.
  3. After final approval by the principal, school supervisor and superintendent, a written description of the trip shall be sent to the parents. All such trips are optional. Teacher sponsors will publish and distribute an announcement of the trip to all appropriate personnel and students to assure equal opportunity for student participation by all who are eligible.
  4. Upon notification of approval, the trip advisor will meet with the business office to establish budget and purchasing procedures. All funds collected for these activities will be deposited and disbursed through district accounts.

D. Out-of-Country Trips

In addition to previously stated procedures for all trips, teachers planning to take students on an out-of-country trip need to take the following steps. If the trip involves a single or multiple overnight stay, teachers should also follow the appropriate guidelines in Sections C and D above.

  1. The parent permission form must include student name, home address, and date of birth and clearly indicate that the parent understands that the trip involves crossing an international border. The parent must attach the documentation of the student’s citizenship.
  2. The teacher must have a list of all persons (including chaperones) that includes: name, address, date of birth, and country of citizenship.

For trips to Canada only –

  • US Citizens – All persons on the trip, including bus driver, teacher, and any chaperones, must have a certified copy of their birth certificate or a valid US passport.
  • Permanent Residents – All persons must have the actual green card – a copy will not be accepted.
  • Exchange Students/Other – All students must have a passport, visa, I-94, and either I-20 or IAP-66.

For all other international trips – US citizens must have a valid passport. Students of other countries of origin should be instructed to check with their home country and the destination country for immigration rules.

F. Exchange Trips From Other Countries

An outside agency interested in bringing a group of students from another country to visit and/or attend Bellingham schools must request approval for such a visit using the following process. The agency must be a non-profit organization.

  1. The agency should submit a written request for such a visit or exchange trip at least six months in advance. The request should be sent to the superintendent or designee.
  2. The request should include the following information:
    1. Number of students
    2. Age/grade level of students
    3. Length of trip and number of days of school attendance
    4. Expectations for school attendance: number of classes per day, subject areas, etc.
    5. Expectations for students participating in the exchange

A district employee interested in bringing a group of students from another country to visit and/or attend Bellingham schools must request approval for such a visit through the principal of the building the students would attend during the exchange trip. The request should be made at least six months prior and include the following information:

6. Number of students
7. Age/grade level of students
8. Length of trip and number of days of school attendance
9. Expectations for school attendance: number of classes per day, subject areas, etc.
10. Expectations for students participating in the exchange

The building principal will review the request and, if approved, provide information to the school supervisor about the exchange trip.

 

Adopted: 1/27/94; 02/11/15; 08/07/15; 09/14/15
Revised: 02/10/17