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HICA Field Trips and Excursions

Adopted: April 13, 1983
Amended: October 7 1996, October 8, 2002, February 13, 2008, February 10, 2009, March 21, 2011, March 18, 2013

Policy

The Board of Trustees supports the practice of curricular, co-curricular or extra-curricular field trips and excursions.

Background

The Board believes that the complete education of the child involves experiences beyond classrooms and textbooks. These experiences may be curricular, co-curricular or extra-curricular in nature.

The Board recognizes that teachers and students may, from time to time, need to travel to other communities for experiences unavailable in Fort McMurray. While field trips and excursions have positive educational value, care must be taken to ensure that trips or excursions are organized in a manner that maximizes educational benefit and ensures the protection and safety of travellers. The Board of Trustees supports such travel.

Guidelines

  1. Student Travel Categories All student travel will be assigned to one of three categories (in order of general priority for approval):
    1. Curricular:  Travel relates directly to the students' study in one or more subject areas and participation is on a class basis (e.g. class field trip to Edmonton).  Direct curricular ties must be established.
    2. Co-curricular: Travel develops from the school’s program and/or students’ studies.  Similar opportunities may not be available to students within the District.  Curricular ties that are established may be indirect.
    3. Extra-curricular: Travel relates indirectly to the school's program and curriculum.  Indirect curricular ties should be outlined.
  2. Priority

    Priority shall be given first to travel within the District, with travel elsewhere within the province or out-of-province being authorized only when a similar experience is not available locally. In-province travel shall have priority over out-of province travel; Canadian travel shall have priority over inter national travel.

  3. Funding

    The school may pay a portion of the costs related to all categories of student travel. Some costs may be the responsibility of the participants, either through direct payment or through fund-raising activities.

  4. Special Funding for Students

    Notwithstanding Guideline 2, no child shall be prevented from participating in curricular or co-curricular travel due to financial considerations.  If a student appears unable to participate due to financial considerations, the principal may provide financial support from the school budget.

  5. Approvals

    For those field trips requiring Board of Trustee approval, it is important that approval
    in principle be obtained prior to any non-refundable financial commitments

  6. Categories

    Destinations

    C (Curricular)

    a.  Within 100 km of Fort McMurray

    CC (Co-Curricular)

    b.  Beyond 100 km and within 1000 km of Fort McMurray

    EC (Extra Curricular

    c.  Beyond 1000 km of Fort McMurray within Canada

    d. Outside Canada

    Trip

    Approval in Principle

    Final Approval

    Approval Authority

    Ca, CCa

    X

    X

    Principal

    Cb, CCb

    X

    X

    Principal with notification to the Superintendent at least one (1) month before departure

    Cc, CCc

    To Principal two (2) months in advance To Superintendent one (1) month prior to departure Superintendent of Schools

    Cd, CCd

    To Superintendent five (5) months prior to departure To Board of Trustees two (2) months prior to departure Board of Trustees

    ECa, ECb

    To Principal two (2) months in advance To Superintendent one (1) month prior to departure Superintendent of Schools

    ECc

    To Principal two (2) months in advance To Superintendent one (1) month prior to departure Superintendent of Schools

    ECd

    To Superintendent five (5) months prior to departure To Board of Trustees two (2) months prior to departure Board of Trustees

    NOTE:  All decisions are final.

  7. Responsibilities of the Principal

    The principal of each school is responsible to:

    1. Develop an annual plan, which provides for anticipated student travel.
    2. Monitor curricular travel to ensure its direct relationship to the Alberta
      Program of Studies and to ensure that sufficient preparation and follow-up occurs with students. (Field Trip Educational Summary)
    3. Monitor co-curricular and extra-curricular travel to ensure that such travel is an integral part of the school's co-curricular and extra-curricular programs and linked to the Alberta Programs of Study. (Field Trip Educational Summary)
    4. Gather and file applicable certification for supervisors of extra curricular excursions.
    5. Maintain detailed files at school level to support student field trips and excursions.
  8. Responsibilities of Parent/Guardian/Independent Student

    Successful student travel is dependant on support from parent, guardians and independent students.

    1. Review information provided by school.
    2. Provide student medical information, passport/birth certificate if necessary, arrange for adequate insurance for international travel.
    3. Discuss school expectations with student.
    4. Attend meeting(s) to receive information and give consent in person for Board of Trustee approved travel.
  9. Supervision of Students
    1. The principal is responsible for the safety of students involved in school sponsored travel and will ensure adequate supervision. A District teacher must accompany each group involved in student travel. Other adults whose participation is approved by the principal may also accompany students.
    2. The minimum supervision ratio shall be one adult for every ten students.
    3. In determining the supervision ratio, consideration must be given to the age and nature of the students, and the type of activities planned. A detailed itinerary of each trip shall be approved by the principal. If the supervisors deviate from that itinerary, they shall receive prior approval from the principal.
  10. Use of Privately Owned Vehicles

    The use of privately owned vehicles to transport students is prohibited with the exception of vehicles designated at each school, by the principal, for the transportation of students in emergency circumstances. The Board will reimburse owners of these vehicles annually for the additional cost of increasing their third-party liability coverage to $1,000,000.00. Owners shall assume responsibility for appropriate notification concerning the use of their vehicles.

  11. Trips Outside Alberta
    1. Age of Students

      Priority will be given to students who are older, more mature, and able to behave appropriately.

    2. Scheduling of Trips

      As far as possible, scheduling for trips should take place to coincide with vacation periods.

    3. Personnel
      1. Each activity will have a supervisor responsible for the trip.  A Fort McMurray Public School District teacher must be the supervisor or one of the chaperones
      2. Ratio of students to adults shall be not more than 10:1 Mixed groups shall include supervisors of both genders. The ratio of paid staff to volunteers, e.g. parents, etc., shall not be greater than 1:2.
    4. Proposals

      Proposals for trips shall be submitted, with the required detail, for approval according to the schedule as outlined in 5 above.   Applications must be submitted to the Superintendent’s office at least 7 working days in advance of the Board meeting for curricular and co-curricular trips and 12 working days for extra-curricular trips. Further information may be requested.

    5. Financing
      1. In general, the cost of the trip will be borne by students and personnel accompanying them. In special circumstances, the Board may authorize assistance to the maximum of $100.00 per student or $1,500.00 in total whichever is less.
      2. Estimated budget information must be provided with the proposal.
    6. Assessment of Risk Factors

      In order to ensure the safety of students and accompanying personnel, areas selected for overseas travel should be ones in which:

      1. There has been a history of political stability for at least five
        years and no indications that political turmoil may erupt within the next twelve months.  Information can be obtained from website:  www.voyage.gc.ca/destinations/menu_e
      2. Risk in other areas (e.g. health, transportation, geographical
        features) is not substantially greater than those that would be experienced by students travelling within Alberta.
      3. Risk/safety assessment is completed and parents, guardians, and independent students have been informed.
    7. Academic Standing

      Students selected should be ones whose academic grades will not be substantially jeopardized by the trip.

    8. Documents

      The Principal and supervisor of the program will consult with the Superintendent and Associate Superintendent-Business and Finance with regard to insurance, passports, and financing of the trip.

  12. ALL trip sponsors will be required to submit the appropriate forms for approval.
  13. The Board reserves the right to waive approval requirements in exceptional circumstances.

References

Cross Reference:

EEAE Student Transportation in Private Vehicles

HICA Forms Table of Contents

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