The Board of Education endorses the use of field trips to extend the educational program beyond the confines of the classroom.
A field trip is defined as a trip away from the school facility that is sponsored by the school to permit the opportunity for students to engage in first-hand experiences.
There are two types of field trips:
• Curriculum based, intended for all students in the class/grade.
• Generally scheduled during school hours
• Modest cost
• Subsidies available for need
• Could be overnight
• Generally not scheduled during school hours
• Costs borne by participants
The Board of Education encourages fundraising for Extra Curricular trips.
The Board of Education is responsible for approving all field trips that require the participants to leave the state or to stay away overnight. Request for Board of Education approval shall be made at least eight weeks prior to the trip or before there has been a commitment to any contract or financial obligation. No field trip can proceed without the specified student to adult ratio (10:1). Chaperones who are not employees of the Board of Education shall be required to be fingerprinted prior to accompanying an out-of-state or overnight trip. See Policy #1212.
Approval of the Board of Education shall be based on the following criteria:
1. educational value to the students
2. cost-effectiveness of the trip
3. cost-fairness to families
4. safety of the participants
5. adequate supervision
All other field trips shall be authorized by the Superintendent or designee.
All field trips shall be financed with Board of Education funds and/or with funds generated from fundraising activities and/or grant funds and/or with the personal funds of the participants or their families.
The Board of Education shall provide funding for those students who would be excluded from class trips because of demonstrated financial need.
In the case of an emergency or an unanticipated danger, a planned field trip may be cancelled at the discretion of the Superintendent, the school principal or designee. In the event of this cause for cancellation, the district is not responsible for the loss of fees or payments incurred by families if expended monies cannot be recovered. The safety of the children is paramount.
When the field trip extends and/or enriches the curriculum, all students in a class or grade for which the field trip is planned shall be allowed to attend, with parental permission. Additional students may be included with the permission of the principal and the parent/guardian. The exemption of students from participation in field trips shall be at the discretion of the building administrator or designee. Each school day that a student spends on a field trip shall be considered a school day for purposes of student attendance and discipline (e.g., student suspensions or expulsions). Students who attend field trips are obligated to complete missed assignments and classroom work/tests without penalty. Teachers may waive student assignments and classroom work/tests, without penalty, at their discretion.Any student who is suspended or expelled from school for a period of time that includes a field trip shall be precluded from attending that field trip just as they would be precluded from attending school.
A field trip is a school-sponsored activity and all school policies, rules and regulations that apply to school sponsored activities also apply to field trips.This has important implications for student, teacher and chaperone behavior.The Board shall enforce this standard regardless of any less restrictive local or national laws that may exist, or variances in culture or customs.Students, teachers and chaperones should be aware that they are required to comply with any local and foreign laws that are more restrictive than Connecticut and U.S. laws.
Any student or teacher who does not adhere to school policies, rules and regulations while on field trips or otherwise violates this Field Trip policy shall be subject to discipline, up to and including suspension and/or expulsion (in the case of a student) or termination (in the case of a teacher).All students on a field trip shall be appropriately supervised and shall be provided with necessary medical and other special requirements. Chaperones who violate this policy may forfeit any future opportunity to serve as a chaperone at the discretion of the Superintendent or his/her designee.
In addition, the school system may immediately require the return of any student, teacher or chaperone from the field trip for disciplinary reasons. Such student, teacher or chaperone shall be responsible for his or her full field trip costs regardless of any field trip time missed for disciplinary reasons.
All chaperones shall adhere to the same behavior policies as students.
Transportation on a field trip shall be provided by commercial transportation services. No personal vehicles may be used to transport students without the prior approval of the Superintendent or designee and the written permission of the student's parent or guardian.
If a student's parent or guardian receives permission from the Superintendent or his/her designee to transport students to and/or from a school-sponsored field trip, said parent or guardian's insurance (Automobile and Medical) takes precedence in case of an accident. Additionally, said parent or guardian must submit written permission forms for all students being transported by said parent or guardian including that of their own child. Such permission shall only be granted by the Superintendent or his/her designee in the presence of exceptional circumstances.
Any change in itinerary (mode of transportation, departure or return date or time, accommodations, etc.) must be approved on a timely basis by the Superintendent or his/her designee. All forms, permissions and other pertinent materials must be submitted to the office of the Superintendent for inclusion in the BOE packet on the Wednesday prior to the BOE meeting at which the field trip will be considered.
Cf: 5114.1 Suspension and Expulsion / Due Process
Cf: 1212 School Volunteers
Cf: 5131.61 Tobacco Policy
Cf: 5145.5 Sexual Harassment
Litchfield Board of Education
Policy Adopted: 6/5/2013
Policy Revised: 8/12/2015