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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Procedure 2320 - FIELD TRIPS

Note:  This policy and procedure does not cover regularly scheduled in-season athletic events; please see the athletics department for information on those trips.  Post-season play or other non-regularly scheduled events requires compliance with this procedure.

Waskowitz program trips that are run by the Waskowitz staff are not considered field trips.  All other uses of the Waskowitz facility must comply with this policy and procedure.

Field trip organizers are encouraged to start planning their trips as early as possible.  Organizers should gather the required approvals and order necessary supports concurrently rather than waiting for each step to be completed before moving to the next one.  For example, transportation can be ordered while the medical review is underway.

School-day field trips and overnight trips that occur on one or more school days run by district-approved partner organizations must comply with all district field trip rules and requirements.  See Section V.

I. School-Day Field Trips

1. Definitions

a.  “School-Day Field Trips” at the K-8 level are local trips that last no longer than one school day.  The trip must start and end within school hours. 

b.  “School-Day Field Trips” at high school are local trips that last no longer than one school day.  The trip must return by 5 pm.

c.  All other field trips must follow the process in Section II.

2. When planning a school-day field trip, the organizer(s) must:

a.  Obtain initial approval for the trip from the school principal (Form 2320F1), or, if the trip involves multiple schools, each of the principals involved

1. Immediately upon initial approval the trip organizer(s) should begin the medical review process—see Number 8, below

b. If the trip is on the list of pre-approved school-day trips (see list below), forward the principal approval form to the ILED for the school(s); Note—the ILED reserves the right to deny a trip, even a trip on the pre-approved list, if the trip will cause an undue hardship on the school or district or if the trip is not integrated with the curriculum and coordinated with classroom activities.

c. If the trip is NOT on the pre-approved school-day trip list, forward the principal approval form to the ILED for approval

d. Notify the family of each student who is eligible to go on the trip

1. Notice must be at least two weeks prior to the date of the trip

2. Notice must include trip details, including the organizer’s contact information if the parent/guardian has questions about the trip; the location; time the trip will begin and end; the method of transportation; and any costs or requirements for the trip (for example, if the student needs to bring lunch or special equipment)

3. The notice must also remind the parent/guardian that they need to contact the school immediately if the student’s medical or dietary needs have changed

4. Notice will require parent/guardian signatures if private transportation will be used

3. Transportation Details

a. If district transportation will be used, complete the online transportation request form with the transportation office (‘staff’ ‘collab’ ‘departments’ ‘transportation’ at www.highlineschools.org)

b. Use of Private Vehicles

1. Private vehicles, rated for no more than nine passengers plus the driver and having seat belts for every passenger, may be used for groups if funds for other modes of transportation are not available. All staff members who drive students in their own vehicle must have appropriate insurance.

2. Community volunteer drivers are required to have prior written approval from a school official. This approval is obtained by completing the Volunteer Driver Form 2320F4 and an approved Volunteer form (policy and procedure 5630).

3. If a parent/guardian requests that their son/daughter drive himself/herself to the site, Form 2320F5, Parent/Guardian Approval of Student Use of Private Car, must be completed by the parent/guardian. At no time are students authorized to drive other students (except siblings) to a school sponsored field trip/activity.

c. Walking Field Trips

1. A map of the proposed route must be filed with security

2. Walking field trips must involve at least two adults, one at the front of the group and one at the rear, who are wearing safety reflective vests

3. Staff are to take roll call prior to leaving, at all transition points, and on arrival at the desired location and upon return to the school.

4. Staff are to have a method, i.e. two-way radio or cellular phone, to communicate with school, security department or authorities in case of an emergency. Staff and students must follow pedestrian safety guidelines by using crosswalks and following all traffic signals

4. Prior to the date of the trip, the organizer(s) must file a list of chaperones with the principal

a. Chaperones must be at least age 21 and must have an approved volunteer application on file at the school

b. Secondary Schools: 1:10 ratio for chaperones per students

c. Elementary Schools: 1:5 ratio is recommended whenever possible

d. All chaperones (staff and volunteers) must have a signed Chaperone Guidelines form (form F 10 or F 11) submitted prior to final approval.

5. When the list of students participating in the trip is finalized, the trip organizer must identify any student(s) who have a photo opt-out identified in in the student information system, indicating the student’s parent/guardian does not want their child’s photos published.  It is the trip organizer’s responsibility to ensure that students with photo opt-outs are not photographed during the trip.

6. Approved School-Day Trip Locations
School-day trips on this list require notification to the ILED but not approval.  Organizers may begin planning (requesting transportation, medical review, etc) without written approval.  ILEDs reserve the right to deny a trip if the trip would have an undue impact on the school or district or if the trip is not integrated with the curriculum and coordinated with classroom activities.  Trips that do not meet the definition of a “school day” trip must still receive ILED approval even if the location is on this list.

  • Museums (e.g. SAM, Children’s Museum, Museum of Flight);
  • Cultural centers (e.g. Hibulb Cultural Center);
  • Theaters/artistic venues (e.g. Burien Playhouse, ACT, Pacific Northwest Ballet),
  • Local attractions (e.g. Woodland Park Zoo, Highline Historical Society, Pacific Science Center, Pike Place Market)
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Career/Jobsite tours (e.g. Boeing, Alaska)

7. Non-approved Trip Locations
Based on risk factors, certain trips will never be approved.  This includes trips such as water parks, shark chumming, or swimming at private residences.

8. Medical Review
The School Nurse will be consulted as soon as possible after initial approval by the school principal, but not less than 10 school business days prior to scheduling any field trip to assure the availability of: nurse staffing, medications, and health care provider orders. A list of all potential students attending the field trip must be submitted to the School Nurse at the time of the initial consult.  A field trip checklist will be utilized by the school nurse to ensure adequate coverage of medical needs.  In order to ensure appropriate review the goal is for the final student list to be given to the School Nurse at least 10 school business days in advance of the trip.  Trips may be denied for health or safety reasons.

For larger than average trips the medical review process should be started as soon as the trip is identified as a possibility.

9. Sack Lunches

a. Sack lunches may be available for field trips.   Information must be provided to the Nutrition Services department at least two (2) weeks before the date of the trip.  Please visit the Nutrition Services website on Collab for more details.

II.    Non-School-Day Field Trips
All field trips that do not meet the definition of a “school day field trip”, including overnight trips, must follow these procedures.

1. Obtain approval for the trip from the school principal (Form 2320F2), or, if the trip involves multiple schools, each of the principals involved.  Immediately upon initial approval the trip organizer(s) should begin the medical review process—see Number 6, below.

2. All non-school-day trips must be approved by the ILED; forward the principal approval form to the ILED for the school(s) involved; Note—the ILED reserves the right to deny a trip if it will cause an undue hardship on the school or district or if the trip is not integrated with the curriculum and coordinated with classroom activities

3. Obtain a signed permission slip from the parent/guardian

a. Parent/Guardian Consent for non-school-day field trip, Form 2320F4, must be completed by parent/guardian and on file in the school office before a field trip begins.

b. A written description of the trip must be sent to the parent/guardian along with the permission form.

c. It is expected that student conduct on field trips will remain the same as when they are in school. The Code of Conduct form, 2320F7, is available for use at the discretion of the school and is recommended for use for overnight and/or extended field trips for high school students.

4. Prior to the date of the trip, the organizer(s) must file a list of chaperones with the principal

a. Chaperones must be at least age 21 and must have an approved volunteer application on file at the school

b. For overnight trips chaperone gender must match student gender

c. Secondary Schools: 1:10 ratio for chaperones per students

d. Elementary Schools: 1:5 ratio is recommended whenever possible

e. All chaperones (staff and volunteers) must have a signed Chaperone Guidelines form (form F 10 or F 11) submitted prior to final approval.

5. When the list of students participating in the trip is finalized, the trip organizer must identify any student(s) who have a photo opt-out identified in in the student information system, indicating the student’s parent/guardian does not want their child’s photos published.  It is the trip organizer’s responsibility to ensure that students with photo opt-outs are not photographed during the trip.

6. Medical Review

The School Nurse will be consulted as soon as possible after initial approval by the school principal, but not less than 15 school business days prior to scheduling any field trip to assure the availability of: nurse staffing, medications, and health care provider orders. A list of all potential students attending the field trip must be submitted to the School Nurse at the time of the initial consult.  A field trip checklist will be utilized by the school nurse to ensure adequate coverage of medical needs.  The goal is to have a finalized list to the School Nurse at least 10 school business days prior to the trip.  Trips may be cancelled for health or safety reason.

For larger than average trips, including all-school trips, the medical review process should be started as soon as the trip is identified as a possibility.

The School Nurse may require additional notification time for out-of-state field trips or trips during non-school days.  Due to limits of authority there may be special circumstances involving treatment and medication that may require a conference with the parent/guardian to determine the best and safest outcome for students.

7. Sack Lunches

a. Sack lunches may be available for field trips.   Information must be provided to the Nutrition Services department at least two (2) weeks before the date of the trip.  Please visit the Nutrition Services website on Collab for more details.

8. District Transportation

a. If district transportation will be used, complete the online transportation request form with the transportation office

b. For bus and van travel, contact the Transportation department. 

c. For extended field trips, it is necessary to receive approval for the transportation arrangements through the Transportation Department or the Chief Operating Officer.

9. Use of Private Vehicles

a. All volunteer drivers must complete the Volunteer Driver Checklist (Form 2320F5) and must have an approved Volunteer form on file (see policy and procedure 5630)

b. Private vehicles, rated for no more than nine passengers plus the driver and having seat belts for every passenger, may be used for groups if funds for other modes of transportation are not available. All staff members who drive students in their own vehicle must have appropriate insurance.

c. If a parent/guardian requests that their son/daughter drive himself/herself to the site, Form 2320F6, Parent Approval of Student Use of Private Car, must be completed by the parent. At no time are students authorized to drive other students (except siblings) to a school sponsored field trip/activity.

III.  Foreign Field Trips

1. At this time, field trips to locations other than the United States or Canada are not recommended.  Proposed trips to Canada must be discussed with the ILED prior to completing application for the trip.

IV.  Non-District Sponsored Educational Tours
While these tours may have educational benefit for students, they are not at this time sponsored nor endorsed by the school district. Instead, these are tours conducted by individuals or organizations who offer extend educational tours for students during non-school time.

a. Such individuals, if an employee of the district, shall further expressly state that they are not acting in his/her capacity as an employee or as an agent of the school district.

b. Parents of students involved in the tour must sign a Letter of Understanding, Form 2320F8, which constitutes a contract with the district that the parties agree that the tour is not approved, endorsed, or otherwise sanctioned by the district; and that participants, their families, and heirs release the district from any liability associated with such tours.

c. Individuals shall not be allowed to use school time whether or not they are employees to promote or solicit such activities or tours, or duplicate and distribute materials.

d. Exceptions to this are as follows:

    i. A poster advertising such tours may be displayed but only on school bulletin boards consistent with the building Principal’s instructions.

     ii. Non-promotional announcements may, at the building Principal’s discretion, be included in school newsletters or announcements.

     iii. The school may provide a room for use before or after the student’s school day for planning consistent with Board Policy and Procedures No. 4330 (Use of School Facilities).

V.   Field Trips Run by District-Approved Partners
Field trips run by district-approved partners that occur during all or a part of any school day must follow the district’s school-day field trip procedures.  Overnight trips that include a school day must follow the district’s non-school-day procedures.  These requirements include appropriate notice to nursing services, having an appropriate number of chaperones, and having at least one district staff member in attendance.  If students will be missing school, partners must work closely with the administration of the school(s) the student(s) attend to ensure the following:

  • The student(s) on the trip can be excused from school without negatively impacting their education
  • The location of the field trip is appropriate for the age range of students attending the trip
  • Substitute coverage has been obtained for the district staff member(s) who will be attending the trip
  • All required pre-trip approvals have been obtained

While field trips can be an important educational tool, partners are encouraged to remember that a student’s primary responsibility is to be in school.  If a school’s administration or the district’s partnership office feel that an excessive number of trips are planned, or that certain students are missing an excessive amount of time, the partner maybe asked to reschedule, delay, or cancel the trip.

VI.  Large Field Trips
All-school trips, or trips that will involve a large number of students at a school, need significant advance planning.  Organizers planning a substantially larger than average trip should contact the Chief Operations Officer as soon as possible to begin the planning process.

 Revised by the Board: 2.87, 12.87, 4.88, 6.90, 8.95, 3.97, 12.00, 1.01, 9.04, 9.09, 10.09, 10.10
Revised by the Superintendent: 8.15, 8.16, 8.17