Menu

Administrative Procedures

Administrative Procedure 260

Field Trips

Background

Wild Rose School Division provides curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities in order to provide students with a well-balanced educational experience.  Field trips designed to stimulate student interest and inquiry and provide opportunities for social growth and development are considered appropriate extensions of the classroom.  The division is committed to ensuring that a safe learning environment is provided to students, staff and volunteers while participating in field trips. The health, safety and welfare of students are of the utmost importance in all activities which occur away from the school premises.

To the extent that they provide a most effective means for accomplishing general curriculum objectives of the Division's schools, field trips may be approved by the Principal in consultation with the School Council where appropriate, subject to the following procedures.

Definitions

Curricular field trips are an integral component of a curriculum; in which all students at the appropriate level have the opportunity to participate.

Co-curricular field trips are extensions and/or enrichment of a curriculum, but are not mandatory for successful completion of the course.

Extra-curricular field trips are school sponsored but fall primarily outside of the curriculum.

Local field trips are those that occur within the local community, usually within walking distance, or for the purpose of sports teams, are within the boundaries of Wild Rose School Division.

Procedures

  1. General Procedures

a.     There shall be no unsupervised time for students on field trips; supervisors are required to be on duty at all times;

b.    The field trip organizer is responsible for the level of supervision on each trip, giving consideration to the following factors:

i. number of participants

ii. age of the participants

iii. distance involved

iv. duration of the field trip

v. nature of the activities

vi. risk of the activities

vii. nature of the venue(s) being visited

viii. supervision level of any service providers

ix. needs of particular students

c.     The Safety Guidelines for Physical Activity in Alberta Schools should be consulted for all applicable field trips;

d.    A safety assessment shall be completed for all field trips;

e.    As much as possible, co-curricular field trips should take place during or adjacent to school vacations, in order to minimize the amount of instructional time missed. As extra-curricular activities generally fall outside the instructional program, care should be taken to minimize the amount of school time lost;

f.    Teachers who are supervising field trips shall be considered to be on duty. Teachers wishing to participate in field trips may do so providing the substitute costs (if any) are assumed by the school;

g.    Organizers must show written evidence that parents / guardians acknowledge the participation of their child(ren) in the proposed activity, after having been fully informed about the nature and purposes of the trip;

h.    Organizers must ensure that adequate safeguards are in place for students with known medical problems;

i.     Volunteer involvement must be in accordance with Administrative Procedure 440 – Volunteers;

j.      Schools/School Councils are urged to take into careful consideration the value of the trip in relation to the amount of classroom instruction time lost, if any.

2.  Local Field Trips

a.      Typical school day supervision levels are deemed to be adequate;

b.      A permission slip for the entire school year for local curricular field trips is satisfactory. See Appendix 1. For extra-curricular field trips, a separate permission slip must be used.

c.      Parents should receive adequate prior notice of trips (agenda notice, notes home, etc)

d.      The supervising teacher should have access to any required student medical information and contact numbers.

 3.  Field Trips and Other Travel Within Alberta

a.      Supervision guidelines: K-6 1:8 ratio; 7-9 1:12; 10-12 1:15

b.      Field trips of this nature are to be approved by the school Principal - see Appendix 4.

c.      Curricular / co-curricular

i. If the field trip requires an overnight stay, school council support is required.

ii. These field trips shall show relevance to the curriculum / Program of Studies

d.      Extra-curricular

i. If the field trip requires three or more overnight stays, school council support is required. It is recognized that there may be extenuating circumstances such as provincial sports competitions, for which there may not be sufficient time to get school council support before the trip.

ii. Any student going on an extra-curricular field trip shall accept the responsibility of completing any tasks / assignments missed during the trip.

 4.  Field Trips and Other Travel Outside of Alberta but Within Canada

a.      Students in K-6 are not normally eligible to participate in field trips outside of Alberta.

b.      Require school council and school Principal support - see Appendix 4.

c.      Supervision guidelines: 1:10 ratio.

d.      Field trips of this nature require the approval of the Superintendent or designate.

e.      No fundraising for the trip shall take place prior to approval of the Superintendent or designate.

f.       Any student going on a field trip outside of Alberta shall accept the responsibility of completing any tasks / assignments missed during the trip.

 5.  International Travel

a.      Tours which provide opportunities for students in more than one school in the Division are encouraged.

b.      Students in grades K-6 are not normally eligible to participate in International field trips. Students in grades 7-9 are not normally eligible to participate in International field trips beyond the continental United States. Although international travel is most suited to grades 10-12, consideration will be given to grades 7-9 depending on the destination selected. For grades 7-9, precautions and supervision in addition to those identified herin will be required.

c.      Require school council and school Principal support - see Appendix 4.

d.      Adult supervision shall be in effect for all trips, taking into consideration the ages, sexes and composition of the students involved. The minimum adult / student ratio shall be 6:1.

e.      All international travel requires the approval of the Board of Trustees. The application for approval shall be forwarded to the Superintendent or designate a minimum of six months prior to the trip for approval in principle. Approval in principle is required before deposits are placed on travel or fundraising can begin.

f.      The following documentation is required for approval in principle:

      • Letter of Support from the School Council
      • International Field Trip Proposal Form – Appendix 2
      • Risk Analysis For Field Trip Out Of Country / Province – Appendix 3

g.      Final approval will be given by the Board within two months of departure. The following is required to be on file at the Division Education Centre:

      • A copy of the final detailed itinerary, for safety and insurance purposes;
      • A list of all students participating;
      • A list of all teachers and adult supervisors accompanying the trip; 

h.      Parent Permission

      • The supervisor shall:
      • Provide the parent, guardian, volunteer, or independent student with written information regarding the tour and the hazards and safety procedures; and
      • Obtain the consent of the parent, guardian, volunteer or independent student before the student may participate in an educational tour.
      • A parent meeting shall be held for all educational tours.
      • When a parent meeting has been called for an educational tour:
      • The supervisor shall keep a record of attendance at the parent meeting;
      • The student’s parent or guardian must attend the parent meeting to discuss the educational tour and the student’s responsibility related to the rules, expectations and conduct expected of students;
      • If the student’s parent or guardian does not attend the parent meeting, the supervisor shall personally speak to the parent or guardian about the trip and the student’s responsibilities; and
      • Volunteers shall attend and if the volunteer is unable to attend, the supervisor shall personally speak to the volunteer about the trip and the volunteer’s responsibilities.

 i.     Any student going on an international field trip shall accept the responsibility of completing any assignments / tasks missed during the trip and any assignments / tasks required for course credits associated with the trip.

j.      The Principal and Lead Teacher shall ensure that arrangements are in place for covering all the financial matters, including a refund procedure, a contingency fund and an accounting for all expenditures.

k.      Teachers traveling on these trips are responsible for providing their own medical insurance coverage.

l.      The Superintendent or designate may, should circumstances arise which may pose a critical threat to student safety, cancel out-of-country travel and inform the Board Chair at the first reasonable opportunity.

 6.  Restricted Activities

The health, safety and welfare of students on all field trips are of the utmost importance.  Any field trip which has the potential to expose students and/or supervisory personnel to unusual hazards that would not normally be encountered in a school setting, (e.g. rock climbing, gun handling, archery, etc.) are required to obtain prior written approval from the Superintendent, and clarification of insurance coverage, if appropriate.  Documentation outlining current certification of instruction or experience must be included in the field trip request.  The following are additional restricted activities:

      • Aerial gymnastics
      • American gladiator style events
      • Auto Racing
      • Bicycle Motocross (BMX)
      • Boxing or kick boxing
      • Bungee jumping
      •  Caving (spelunking)
      •  Drag racing
      •  Dunk tanks
      •  Extreme sports
      •  Fencing
      •  Hang gliding, paragliding, parachuting, sky-diving
      •  Horse jumping
      •  Hot air balloon rides (tethered and un-tethered)
      •  Ice climbing
      •  Motorcycling of any nature
      •  Motorized watercraft operation and racing
      •  Mountain scrambling and technical mountaineering
      •  Paintball, laser tag games or war games
      •  Rifle ranges or other activities involving firearms
      •  Tobogganing, tubing; crazy carpet, bobsledding and sledding
      •  Trampolining, and
      •  Winter biathlon with firearms

 7.  Prohibited Activities

The following activities are prohibited as they are specifically excluded from Divisional insurance policy coverage:

      •  Mechanical bull riding or other mechanical rodeo events
      •  Rodeo
      •  Mountain climbing and
      •  Demolition derbies

 8.  Severe Weather

During severe weather or poor driving conditions, the Lead Teacher, in consultation with the Principal, must ensure that weather and road conditions are conducive to travel before students leave for a field trip.

a.      A field trip may not proceed by vehicle if any one or more of the following exist (this does not apply to regularly scheduled bus runs):

      •  There are blizzard conditions enroute or blizzard or severe weather conditions are forecast by Environment Canada
      • The RCMP or the Alberta Motor Association has issued a warning against travel on any enroute highway
      • The temperature is below –40 degrees celsius or is forecast to be below -40
      • The wind-chill falls in the ‘very high or extreme’ categories as defined by Environment Canada

b.      On return trips, the Lead Teacher must verify weather and road conditions.

c.      Students must be appropriately clothed for travel by road during the winter, as determined by the supervisor.

 

References

Legislative References: School Act Section 60, 61

Board Policy: Policy 11 Delegation

Cross Reference: Administrative Procedure 440 - Volunteers