Bellingham Public Schools recognizes that field trips are natural extensions of the curricular and extra curricular programs, including activities. Field trips are opportunities for students to participate in activities and gain experiences that cannot be duplicated in the classroom or on the school site. The district encourages appropriate, carefully planned field trips that lead to new learning or reinforce what has been already learned at school.
Each student shall have an equal opportunity to participate in field trips that are taken by the student group. The availability of field trip opportunities for students is commensurate with the funds that can be allocated or raised to support such activities. The district will strive to offer field trip experiences with a minimum of expense to the individual students.
All overnight and out-of-state trips, including those of activity groups involving fundraising, must be approved by the superintendent prior to the initiation of fundraising activities. The superintendent may inform the board of unusual types of travel such as some out-of-state or international trips. Whenever possible, overnight trips should be scheduled so as to limit the amount of school time lost to not more than two days. Overnight trips should be limited to one annual performance tour per high school music group.
The superintendent shall develop procedures for the operation of a field trip that will ensure that the safety of the student is protected and that parent permission is obtained before the student leaves the school.
Exchange Trips to Other Countries
Student exchange trips that are not connected to a specific course or activity should occur outside the school year or during school vacations and should be considered as privately-arranged trips or excursions as described below.
Student exchange trips that are connected to a specific course or program should follow all procedures for overnight and out-of state trips. If an exchange between two groups is to occur on a “regular” schedule, the group and the schedule must be approved by the superintendent prior to the first trip being planned.
Student exchange trips should be scheduled so as to limit the amount of school time lost to not more than two days absence from school.
Exchange Trips From Other Countries
The district recognizes the value in having student groups from other countries visit our schools and develop connections with our students and community. The superintendent shall develop procedures for student groups coming to the district which ensure that the education of Bellingham Public School students is enhanced by this visitation.
Private Trips or Excursions
District staff may not solicit students for privately-arranged trips, excursions, or foreign study tours except in a manner that is clearly differentiated and separate from any and all school district staff time, resources, and facilities. Students and parents must be specifically and clearly informed that such trips have no relationship to the district.