here is the ACPS field trip policy
To establish procedures to be followed to support School Board Policy IICA adopted January 9, 1997.
FIELD TRIPS A. Instructional Field Trips
Any planned student outing away from campus under the supervision of a teacher or other school official with the purpose of enriching and expanding the classroom instructional program 1. It is expected that all field trips incorporate specific objectives
supporting the Virginia Standards of Learning and include pre- and
post-activities along with an evaluation component. 2. In cases where participation is limited by the capacity of the facility, selection of student participants shall be random, if appropriate, or based upon student readiness to participate and ability to benefit from the activity. Students with disabilities and Limited English Proficient students should be included in field trip activities to the greatest extent possible given the
performance and safety requirements of the activity. 3. Student participation, while strongly encouraged, shall not be required for an
instructional program field trip. If a student chooses not to participate in the scheduled field trip, the school shall provide an appropriate educational alternative. No student shall be penalized for not participating in an instructional field trip.
4. Instructional field trip forms are signed by the principal or designee and forwarded two weeks prior to the trip to the Transportation Department. When the destination of the field trip is to a location that has been designated as “on heightened security alert” by the Department of Homeland Security, the field trip form must first be signed by the Elementary or Secondary Executive.
5. Walking field trips require the permission of the principal. These weather- dependent trips within a one mile radius of the school campus are planned to enhance or reinforce the curriculum. Parent permission must be secured for all off campus field trips, including walking field trips.
6. If activities occur in locations under heightened national security alert, specific permission forms will be distributed. The signature of a parent or legal guardian on this specific permission form will be required for student participation.
FIELD TRIP PROCEDURES
Student Activity Field Trips
Any planned outing away from campus under the supervision of a teacher or other school official, in support of academic and athletic teams, performing groups, or other student activity 1. Student participation in field trips for activity purposes, though not strictly
required, is expected and may be required by a sponsor (teacher, coach) of the activity. For example, a student member of an athletic team or musical group is expected and could be required to attend games, scrimmages, or practices that are scheduled away from the school.
2. Student activity field trip forms are signed by the principal or designee and forwarded to the appropriate Elementary or Secondary Executive Director. 3. Parent permission will be secured for student participation in activity field trips. Such permission is usually secured during the informational meetings
with parents conducted by the coach/sponsor. 4. If activities occur in locations under heightened national security alert,
specific permission forms will be distributed. The signature of a parent or legal guardian on this specific permission form will be required for student participation.
C. Special Circumstances Field Trips
Any instructional or student activity field trip that involves special circumstances
The activity could raise issues of student safety or ACPS liability. Please see examples below: U Foreign travel [Must be approved by the Superintendent or the
Superintendent’s designee. Student participation on such trips must not be
dependent upon ability to pay for the trip.] U Water-related activities U Overnight trips U Activities scheduled after the annually established spring cutoff for field trips 1. Trips that fall into the special circumstances category must be approved by
the principal or designee and reviewed by the appropriate Executive Director
and the Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Administration. 2. Foreign travel sponsored by outside agencies may not be promoted in the school or in any manner associated with the school. For example, solicitation may not occur during the instructional day; posters promoting the event may not be displayed in classrooms or distributed to students during the instructional day; the public address system, closed circuit television or electronic message boards may not be used to promote the event; and the event may not be referred to as the XYZ School Trip to the Orient or
promoted on school letterhead. U The PTA, Booster or other organization must plan and organize the
event; not an ACPS employee (full-time, part-time, stipend), or ACPS contractor or volunteer while working for ACPS.
U No group of students may be formed or meet during the school day for the purpose of planning, conducting, or facilitating a non- approved program or tour.
U School Board liability insurance shall not provide protection for activities not approved and not sponsored by the Alexandria City Public Schools.
REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURES FOR FIELD TRIPS
1. By the final Friday in October, each school should submit a list of known field trips, planned for the year, to the appropriate Executive Director along with a Request for Approval of Field Trip Form.
2. Field trips should be scheduled to minimize time away from school.
B. Appropriate Field Trips
1. Field trips must include intended outcomes that justify the instructional time and transportation costs. One or more of the following conditions must be met: U The trip contributes significantly to the accomplishment of specific
class content area or grade level objectives. U Special training and/or enhancement of in-class activities can best be
accomplished at a site off-campus (e.g., nature center). U Students with disabilities and Limited English Proficient students should be included in field trip activities to the greatest extent possible given the performance and safety requirements of the
2. Field trips that shall not be approved for sponsorship by the Alexandria City Public Schools include the following: U Field trips that are primarily recreational in nature or are rewards for
accomplishments, such as trips to an amusement or theme park or to a student=s home for a celebration, unless such trip is scheduled during non-instructional time (nights, weekends, etc.).
U Field trips that require travel time that would be too long for the age levels of the students involved.
U Field trips that require inordinate expense or excessive absence from campus.
U Field trips outside the United States unless approved under the provisions of this regulation.
1. Each field trip request should list the Virginia Standards of Learning or curricular objective(s) the trip addresses.
2. Field trip requests must be approved by the principal and submitted to the appropriate Executive Director at least two weeks prior to the actual date.
3. The principal will make certain the dates do not conflict with religious holidays, major school wide events, or early dismissal days.
4. Each principal must maintain a list of all students and chaperones by bus, a map of the intended route, the name of the bus company with a contact person and phone number (if private company), and the cellular phone number of the teacher on the field trip (if available). Additionally, each chaperone must carry a complete set of this information.
5. Field trips will only be operated between the hours of 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. 6. Field trip sponsors and school administrators must:
a. request sufficient buses for the size of the group. Seating capacity: 44 secondary students or 66 elementary students per bus;
b. notify food services two weeks in advance of the trip if a class will not be having lunch in the cafeteria and if you wish to order bag lunches; and
c. notify the school nurse of a scheduled field trip a minimum of four days before the trip so that necessary arrangements may be made for administration of medications or special procedures arranged for any of your students.
7. One adult chaperone should be provided according to the following ratio: grades K-2 – 1:5; grades 3-5 – 1:10; grades 6-8 – 1:10; and grades 9-12 -- 1:15.
8. A written permission slip must be obtained from the parent/guardian of each student who is scheduled for the trip. Students who do not return a signed permission slip must remain at school. When field trip destinations are under heightened national security alert, parents must sign permission forms that clearly indicate their awareness of the alert status.
9. Schools should keep completed parent/guardian permission forms on file at least until the end of the quarter in which the trip was taken.
10. In some instances, because of behavior that threatens safety, the principal, in consultation with the teacher, may determine a child should be excluded from a trip or that a parent accompany the child or that a chaperone be assigned to accompany the child in order for the student to attend. If a student is excluded from participating in a field trip for behavioral reasons, the parent must be informed. Withholding of educational field trips as a general punitive measure is not appropriate.
11. If a trip is canceled due to weather or other extenuating circumstances, students cannot be taken to another location in lieu of the planned activity. The original field trip request should include a rain date. Cancelled trips should be rescheduled for a later date.
12. To provide appropriate supervision and to control the use of illegal substances or dangerous items on overnight field trips, parents must be made aware that a search of student luggage may be conducted at any time during the field trip.
13. All school and school division policies, rules and regulations apply for the duration of the field trip.
14. Homeland security alerts could result in the Superintendent canceling selected field trips.
1. Field trips are funded through a per pupil allocation based on school enrollment. The Transportation Department will inform schools of their annual allocated number of field trips.
2. Differentiated resources and instructional operating funds may be used to fund field trips. 3. Funds may be donated by the PTA, Booster Clubs, or private donations*. 4. No child will be denied access to a field trip due to an inability to pay. The principal is
expected to work with the Elementary or Secondary Executive Director to seek funds for needy students.
*Complete gift form for private donations.