Field Trips - Procedures - 2320-P

Mukilteo School District
Instruction - Series 2000
Field Trips - Procedures - 2320-P

 

I.       Field Trips, Extended Field Trips and Outdoor Education

Field trips are defined as any student travel away from school premises, supervised by a staff member, to provide valuable extensions of the school program that align with an approved course of study.

Field trips that involve the expenditure of any District funds (General or ASB) and/or require students to miss any regular school days and/or staff to miss any paid work days are District-sponsored and will conform to the approval requirements, process and timelines below.

Types of Field Trips

Curricular A classroom-oriented learning experience not otherwise available at the school site
Co-curricular School sponsored, non-classroom oriented experiences that normally occur outside of the regular school day/week
Outdoor Education A school-sponsored outdoor education experience during the regular school day/week, such as camp
Athletic trip Athletic trips are interscholastic, out-of-District events under the direction of the WIAA in which student participants represent the Mukilteo School District.

Categories of Field Trips

Category 1: Single day, in-State field trips (for the purposes of this procedure, Portland, Oregon, Vancouver and Victoria, B.C. are Category 1 if students leave and return the same day)
Category 2: Overnight or out-of-State field trips (including Vancouver and Victoria, BC if students leave and return on a different day)
Category 3: International travel

Principals will annually disseminate and review field trip procedures and field trip request forms with their building staff.  The procedures vary according to the type and category of field trip, although the general requirements apply to all District-sponsored field trips.

General Requirements for All District-Sponsored Trips

Adult Supervisors:

The coordinating staff member will be responsible for securing necessary adult (21 years or older) supervision for the trip and for providing appropriate orientation for adult supervisors.  This includes providing specific expectations to adult supervisors.  All adults volunteering to serve as supervisors on a field trip will be approved according to the requirements of Board Policy 5430 and Procedures 5430-P and RCW 43.43.830, as detailed in the Mukilteo School District Volunteer Approval Process.

The Executive Director of Secondary Education may approve exceptions, on a case-by-case basis to this requirement; exceptions will be limited to field trips organized and conducted by another Washington State School District or by a recognized Washington State educational professional organization such as the Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA) and the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP). The exceptions will be based on documentation provided by these organizations that their volunteer approval process conforms to the requirements of RCW 43.43.830 and that the organization maintains liability insurance of at least $1 million.

The recommended ratio of adult supervisors to students is usually 1:10.  Depending on the ages of the students, special needs of the students, the location and the nature of the activity, the number of supervisors may need to be greater, as determined by the building principal or responsible program manager.  The Executive Directors of Secondary or Elementary Education may approve a higher ratio of students to adults, on a case-by-case basis, depending on the ages of the students, special needs of the students, the location and the nature of the activity.  A supervision plan, including developmentally appropriate supervision, must be described fully in the trip request submitted to the principal.

Family members and friends of staff or adult supervisors will not participate in a field trip without prior approval of the building principal/program manager.

Adult Supervisor Instructions

Adult supervisors will be advised in writing of their responsibilities, which at a minimum will include:

  • Students will be supervised by adults at all times while on school-sponsored trips.  Staff members and adult supervisors will be readily available to respond to student needs and provide uniform supervision
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  • Adult supervisors will enforce all school rules.  Consequences for violations of school rules will be determined by the building principal and the coordinating staff member

  • Adult supervisors and staff will not use, sell, provide, possess or be under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the trip

  • Adult supervisors and staff will not use tobacco in the presence of, or within the sight of, students during the trip

  • Adult supervisors and staff will not possess any weapon during the trip

  • Adult supervisors will not administer any medications, prescription or nonprescription, to students during the trip

Staff members generally are covered by the District’s liability insurance when acting in the course of employment; the District’s liability insurance covers non-employees only to the extent that they are acting as volunteers and to the extent that they are acting at the request of and under the direction of an employee while on an official District activity.  If adult supervisors are provided by a sponsoring organization, including another school district or by the WMEA or the AWSP, liability coverage for volunteers will be the responsibility of the sponsoring organization.

Procedures Applicable To All Trips

It is the responsibility of the principal to review and approve each field trip.

The coordinating staff member will adhere to the deadlines for requests, review and approvals as specified by category of trip in the next section.  A summary check list of required documents and approvals for each category of field trip is provided along with the field trip request forms to assist the coordinating staff member and principal.

Financial

If field trips involve a cost to students, participation in the trip will be optional.  Alternative plans must be provided for students who do not attend the field trip which include appropriate supervision and meaningful learning experiences planned by the coordinating staff member.

The finances (revenue and expenditures) for all District-sponsored field trips must be processed through the District accounting system either through the General Fund or the ASB fund, as appropriate.  Funds raised or donated by parent groups or other non-District organizations for a District-sponsored field trip must be deposited in either the school’s General Fund (GF), or ASB Fund, as appropriate.  All costs associated with a District-sponsored trip will be paid from either General Fund or ASB Fund.

District-sponsored field trips partially or fully funded by parent groups (PTA, PTO, Boosters) can be handled in one of two ways:

  1. Schools can receipt a donation from the parent group into their ASB or GF, as appropriate and pay the transportation and other costs from that fund, or;

  2. Schools can front-fund the expenditures to be covered by the parent group from either their ASB or GF, as appropriate.  Schools should then direct the Business Office when transmitting the payment from the parent group to treat the payment as an expenditure refund to the fund that was charged originally.

Coordinating staff members are responsible for assuring all financial guidelines are followed.  Student fund-raising activities will be conducted in accordance with Procedure 3530-P, Student Fund Raising.  All Category 2 and Category 3 field trips require a financial plan to be submitted along with the Extended Field Trip Request.

Insurance and Risk Management

All District-sponsored field trips will have liability insurance coverage.  There are some types of trips/activities that are excluded by the District’s liability insurance agreement.  These trips will not be approved. Check the “Rating of Field Trip Activities” to see prohibited activities.   When an activity is not listed, or when in doubt about the extent of the District liability coverage for any trip or activity, the principal or Executive Director of Elementary or Secondary will review the activities with the Assistant Superintendent of Business, Human Resources and Technology or designee before approving the request.

A certificate of insurance with an endorsement naming the District as an additional insured is required when a field trip involves renting a facility or contracting for services from a vendor to provide activities for students during the field trip.  A certificate of insurance is required for all camps (e.g., Islandwood, Orkila, Colman, Waskowitz, Killoqua), all camp-like activities (e.g., overnight at the Pacific Science Center) or an activity where students will be under the care, supervision or instruction of employees of the vendor (e.g., Waterhouse Ropes Course).

After receiving preliminary approval for the field trip, send a copy of the vendor’s agreement or contract along with a request to obtain a certificate of insurance to the Business Office.  Be aware that it sometimes takes up to two weeks to obtain the certificate of insurance from vendors.  Please submit the request to the Business Office as soon as you know you will need one.

The Business Office will review and revise as recommended by the Risk Management Pool, any hold harmless or indemnification language in the contract and will obtain a certificate of insurance and endorsement from the vendor.  The contract and certificate will be returned to the school as soon as possible.

Before submitting a field trip request, the coordinating staff member is required to review the District’s current “Rating of Field Trip Activities” to determine if activities proposed for the trip are classified as “Low Risk”, “Moderate Risk”, “High Risk” or “Prohibited”.  “Low Risk” activities do not require any additional review.  If the proposed activity has been classified “Moderate Risk” or “High Risk”, the activity may be allowable for some students and prohibited for others, based on grade level and/or special needs of the students.

Refer to the “Activity Approval Matrix” on the front of the “Rating of Field Trip Activities” to see what level of approval (Principal or Executive Director) is required for the various risk ratings, by category of field trip.   No District-sponsored trip will include activities listed as “Prohibited” in the “Rating of Field Trip Activities.” 

Informed Consent

Parent permission will be obtained for every field trip.  The coordinating staff member is responsible for obtaining parent permission before the trip begins.  After a field trip has been approved, the coordinating staff member will send an Informed Consent form and written field trip itinerary to parents/guardians of each student who will participate.  The itinerary will include the dates and time of departure and return, type of transportation, description of all planned activities, meal plans and any special equipment or clothing requirements.

The coordinating staff member is responsible to ensure that all Informed Consent forms have been completed and returned for each student prior to departure.  No student will be permitted to leave on a field trip without submitting an Informed Consent form signed by their parent/guardian.  Only signed Informed Consent forms will be accepted. 

Student Conduct

The coordinating staff member will review in advance with students and adult supervisors, the standards of conduct for the trip.  The provisions of the Mukilteo School District Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook apply during a field trip. 

Transportation

Non-District sponsored trips will not use any District transportation including school buses, vans or cars.

In most circumstances, transport for District-sponsored field trips will be by one of the following:

  • District school bus
  • licensed, insured commercial carrier approved by the Transportation Department
  • District-owned vehicles driven by District staff
  • vehicles rented through the approved District process
  • regularly scheduled commercial airline

Vans used to transport students will not be rated to carry more than ten people, including the driver. 

General Requirements for District Transportation

The coordinating staff member is responsible to ensure that all Transportation requests forms are complete. This includes checking appropriate boxes for special requirements needed and destination address. All incomplete forms will be returned to coordinator unprocessed.

All changes to field trip requests need to be in writing via fax or e-mail.

Transportation Fees

  • All requests received by the Transportation Department two weeks or less prior to the event will be assessed a $50.00 late fee.
  • Trips canceled with less than 48 hours notice may be assessed a cancellation fee.
  • Mileage and hourly rate for billing will be determined yearly by the Business Office.

Personal Vehicle Use

Personal vehicles may be used to transport small groups of students when the principal determines it is allowable and approves the “Approval for Use of Private Vehicle” form.  Staff and non-staff members providing transportation on District-sponsored trips will be required to complete a Mukilteo School District  ” Approval for Use of Private Vehicle” form and provide evidence that they hold adequate primary automobile insurance.  Drivers of private vehicles will be informed that the District carries no comprehensive or collision insurance on their vehicle and that their own vehicle liability insurance is primary.

Staff members generally are covered by the District’s liability insurance when acting within the scope of employment; it covers non-employees only to the extent that they are acting as volunteers and to the extent that they are acting at the request of and under the supervision of an employee on an official District activity.

Approvals and Timelines:  All timelines are minimums.

Category 1:  Single Day, In-State Field Trips

Single day, District-sponsored field trips are defined as trips when students depart and return on the same day, when such travel is integral to the curricular or extra-curricular programs and when students are under the supervision of a District employee acting within the scope of District employment.  For the purpose of these procedures, Portland, Oregon, Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia are considered in-state destinations if the trip is completed in one day.

Approval:  The planning, evaluation and approval process is conducted at the building level.  The principal and/or program manager is authorized to approve Category 1 field trips. Alternative plans will be provided for students who do not attend the field trip which include appropriate supervision and meaningful learning experiences planned by the coordinating staff member.

Timelines:  All timelines are minimums.      

Fifteen (15) School Days Prior:  The coordinating staff member is responsible for completing and submitting the “Field Trip Request Form” and submitting it to the building principal.  Once preliminary approval is received the coordinating staff member will complete and submit for approval as required:   

  • Transportation Request form (Note: Be aware of Transportation Department deadlines and late penalties.)

  • Informed Consent form

  • Field Trip Itinerary listing all proposed activities

  • Number and ratio of proposed adult supervisors

  • Written instructions to adult supervisors

  • If applicable, send facility rental or vendor services contract and request to obtain certificate of insurance to Business Office

Ten (10) School Days Prior:  Obtain final approval from principal and/or program manager.  Provide Informed Consent forms and Itinerary to parents of all students who will participate in the trip.   The coordinating staff member will confirm transportation and facility/activity arrangements, and inform the nurse/health room assistant of the pending field trip.

One (1) School Day Prior:  Require return of Informed Consent form signed by parent/guardian and adult supervisors.  Provide nurse/health room assistant with all participant medical information obtained from the Informed Consent Forms. Submit a list of all medications as well as health care professional orders to the school health room staff, if required. Be aware, Nurses' schedules in your building may require earlier submission.

Day of Trip:  Adult supervisors will receive written instructions and be trained in their responsibilities.  The staff member designated to administer medications will review medication and health needs with the nurse/health room assistant. 

Category 2:         Overnight or Out-of-State (Extended) Field Trips

These procedures apply to trips and outdoor education programs when students depart and return on a different day and/or when students leave the State.  For the purposes of this procedure, overnight trips to Victoria and Vancouver B.C. are considered Category 2 trips.  All overnight and out-of-state travel will be conducted under the supervision of a District employee acting within the scope of their employment.  Extended field trips must be of significant educational value to warrant consideration for approval. 

Approval:  The initial planning, evaluation and approval process is conducted at the building level.  The principal and/or program manager is authorized to give preliminary approval for Category 2 field trips. Final approval from the Executive Director of Elementary or the Executive Director of Secondary is required.

Timelines: All timelines are minimums.  The Executive Director of Secondary Education may waive timelines for trips involving athletic or other student competitions.

Thirty (30) School Days Prior:  The coordinating staff member is responsible for completing and submitting the “Extended Field Trip Request” and meeting with the principal to discuss the trip and request preliminary approval to proceed with planning.  The principal’s preliminary approval must be obtained before any promotion of the trip or detailed planning occurs.  The principal’s signature on the “Extended Field Trip Request” indicates preliminary approval.

Once preliminary approval is received, the coordinating staff member will complete and/or submit for approval as required:

  • Transportation Request

  • Informed Consent

  • Field Trip Itinerary listing all proposed activities

  • Number and ratio of proposed adult supervisors

  • Housing information for overnight trips

  • Extended Field Trip Health Questionnaire

  • Alternative plans for students who do not attend the field trip which include appropriate supervision and meaningful learning experiences planned by the coordinating staff member

  • Written instructions to adult supervisors

  • If applicable, send facility rental or vendor services contract and request to obtain certificate of insurance to Business Office

Twenty-Five (25) School Days Prior:  Forward to the appropriate Executive Director for review, the “Extended Field Trip Request” along with the Itinerary approved by the principal. 

Twenty (20) School Days Prior:  The coordinating staff member will provide Informed Consent forms and Itinerary to parents of all students and adult supervisors who will participate in the trip.  The coordinating staff member will confirm transportation, hotel reservations and facility/activity arrangements.  Parents will also be provided written information including alternative plans for non-attendees, budget and fund-raising plans, arrangements for adult supervision and notification that all school rules and consequences apply during the trip.

Fourteen (14) School Days Prior:  Require return of Informed Consent Form and Extended Field Trip Health Questionnaire signed by parent/guardian and adult supervisors.  Provide nurse/health room assistant with all participant medical information obtained from the Extended Field Trip Health Questionnaire.  Duplicate all Informed Consent Forms and Extended Field Trip Health Questionnaire- one copy to remain at the school, one copy for adult supervisors and the original to be carried by the coordinating staff member.

Five (5) School Days Prior:  Adult supervisors will receive written instructions and be trained in their responsibilities.  The staff member designated to administer medications will review medication and health needs with the nurse/health room assistant.  A list of all medications as well as health care professional orders will be submitted to the nurse/health room assistant.  All medications must be delivered to the school nurse/health room assistant to be distributed to the staff member designated to administer medications on the day of the trip. Be aware, Nurses' schedules in your building may require earlier submission.

Category 3:   International Travel

International travel is defined as travel outside the borders of the United States, including Canada, (except for the Victoria and Vancouver BC areas).  International travel that involves the expenditure of any District funds (General or ASB), requires students to miss any regular school days or staff to miss any work days is District sponsored and will conform to the approval requirements, process and timelines below.

The building principal and/or program manager and the appropriate Executive Director are authorized to give preliminary approval Category 3 field trips. Final approval from the Board of Directors is required.

Timelines: All timelines are minimums.        

Twelve (12) Months Prior:  The coordinating staff member is responsible for completing and submitting the "Extended Field Trip Request" form and meeting with the principal to discuss the trip and request preliminary approval to proceed with planning. The principal's preliminary approval must be obtained before any detailed planning occurs. The coordinating staff member may, with the knowledge of the principal, conduct preliminary meetings and engage in informal communication with parents and students to gauge the level of interest and determine the potential support for an international trip prior to formally requesting preliminary approval. The principal's signature on the "Extended Field Trip Request" indicates preliminary approval. Once preliminary approval is received, the coordinating staff member will complete and/or submit for approval as required:

  • Informed Consent

  • Field Trip Itinerary listing all proposed activities

  • Number and ratio of proposed adult supervisors

  • Housing information

  • Extended Field Trip Health Questionnaire

  • If trip will occur during regularly scheduled school days, alternative plans for students who do not attend the field trip which include appropriate supervision and meaningful learning experiences planned by the coordinating staff member

The principal will forward the plans to the responsible Executive Director.  The Executive Director will review the request and field trip plans.  The Executive Director will forward the request, the itinerary and Informed Consent Form to the Business Office. The Business Office will review the trip documents to determine the extent/limitations of District’s liability insurance coverage for planned itinerary and activities and make amendments as necessary to assure liability coverage.   If the Executive Director approves it, the field trip request will be forwarded to the Superintendent with a recommendation that the trip be approved by the Board of Directors.  No communications, publicity or fund-raising will take place until after the Board approves the trip.

Only after Board approval is obtained, the coordinating staff member can proceed with communications, fund-raising, volunteer selection, reservations and other planning activities for the approved international travel.

Six (6) Months Prior:  The coordinating staff member will meet with principal to determine if all requirements have been met.  Informed Consent Forms will be sent to parents/guardians and adult supervisors.  Information meetings with parents/guardians will be held to discuss and answer questions about District approval timelines, destination, dates of travel, itinerary, alternative plans for non-attendees, trip budget and fund-raising plans, arrangements for adult supervision and all school rules and consequences that will apply during the trip.  The coordinating staff member is responsible to assure that all fund-raising activities are consistent with District policies and procedures. The coordinating staff member will submit the Transportation Request Form to the Transportation Department and any facility rental or vendor services contracts, to the Business Office.

Ninety (90) School Days Prior:  Submit final trip plans, including travel dates, itinerary, contact information, accommodation information, number of students and adult supervisors, mode of transportation, emergency contact information, and written instructions to adult supervisors.

Sixty (60) School Days Prior: Require return of Informed Consent Form and Extended Field Trip Health Questionnaire signed by parent/guardian.  Provide nurse/health room assistant with all participant medical information obtained from the Extended Field Trip Health Questionnaire.  Duplicate all Informed Consent forms and Extended Field Trip Health Questionnaires.  One copy of each will remain at the school, one copy for adult supervisors and the originals to be carried by the coordinating staff member.

Thirty (30) School Days Prior:  Coordinating staff member will confirm all transportation and accommodation arrangements, supervision plan and adult supervisors, room assignments, final itinerary and medical/health plans.

Ten (10) School Days Prior:  Adult supervisors will receive written instructions and be trained in their responsibilities.  The staff member designated to administer medications will review medication and health needs with the nurse/health room assistant.  A list of all medications as well as health care professional orders will be submitted to the nurse/health room assistant.  All medications must be delivered to the school nurse/health room assistant to be distributed to the staff member designated to administer medications on the day of the trip. Be aware, Nurses' schedules in your building may require earlier submission.

II.      Non-School District Trip Guidelines

Non-School District trips such as “senior parties” or “graduation trips” that take place after high school graduations or trips sponsored by staff or parent groups outside of the regular school calendar are not approved, sponsored or otherwise endorsed by the District.  These trips are private, and/or commercial ventures.  The District does not pay wages or any other trip-related expenses for any staff member to supervise the trip and the District has no control over organization of the trip.  Such activities are not District “field trips.”

Any staff member and/or parent group/organization conducting a non-school District-sponsored trip should state prominently on all correspondence and communications regarding the trip that:

  1. The trip is not a School District field trip and that the Mukilteo School District accepts no liability for the trip.  Neither the name Mukilteo School District, nor the name of the school (except to identify the specific parent group sponsor), will be used in correspondence or communications regarding the trip.

  2. The District is not responsible for any information, claims or representations promulgated to students and/or parents regarding the trip.

  3. The name of the parent group/organization sponsoring the trip must be clearly noted on all correspondence and communications.

  4. Staff participating in a non-school District-sponsored trip will be responsible for assuring the following:

    1. All handling of student money/funds will be by the sponsoring organization and collected outside of the instructional day, including lunch periods.

    2. There will be no participation in a trip during regularly scheduled school/work days.

    3. Review the liability coverage of the sponsoring organization and consult with personal insurance company for additional coverage. The District’s liability insurance does not cover any participants, including students, staff or parents on non-District sponsored trips.

    4. Do not sign any contracts/agreements as a Mukilteo School District employee on behalf of the sponsoring organization or District.

    5. Do not accept any compensation from the sponsoring organization other than travel-related expenses.

    6. Use of school facilities for planning meetings will be in compliance with District facility use procedures.

    7. Use of District equipment and other resources is limited to musical instruments, sheet music, uniforms, costumes and other ancillary performance items that may be checked out by teachers/students/parents.

    8. Student participation must be voluntary and staff must avoid any actions that might otherwise appear to recommend or promote participation in the trip as related to the educational program.


April 21, 1998
Revised: May 8, 2006
Revised: December 16, 2010
Revised: November 2, 2015