Types of Field Trips (District Activities Only)
REGULAR CLASS FIELD TRIP -- A regular class field trip is one that takes place during the school day, is of an educational nature and relates to the unit under study, includes a certified employee of the District to supervise the group and is approved by the school Principal.
EXTENDED DAY FIELD TRIP -- An extended day field trip is one that is initiated during the school day and extends beyond dismissal time or is conducted after school, on Saturday, Sunday, and/or a holiday and is approved by the school Principal. These trips would include participants in competitive and performing groups. Principals are responsible for ensuring supervision and transportation plans.
SPECIAL FIELD TRIP - BEYOND 200 MILES AND/OR OVERNIGHT -- Special Field trips are those beyond 200 mils or overnight. All trips in this category must have prior approval by the Principal, by the Superintendent or Designee and the Board of Education. (Exception: Prior Board of Education approval is not always possible for athletic teams and other groups involved in tournament competition.) Principals are responsible for ensuring and approving supervision and transportation plans. The minimum supervision requirement shall be one adult per 15 students. An adult is a person 21 years of age or older.
OUT OF STATE AND/OR FOREIGN TRAVEL FIELD TRIP -- Requests for approval for out-of-state or foreign travel for a student group should be made by the sponsor to the Principal early enough in the planning stage of the trip to allow the administration and Board of Education to approve, modify, or deny the request.
Parental Release Procedures and Written Consent
SPONSORED ACTIVITIES (Regular and Extended Day Field Trips)
The written consent of parents and/or legal guardians must be obtained for every student participating in a field trip. This includes parents who will ride along with the students as chaperones. Permission slips must inform parents and/or legal guardians of the following:
- Name and description of the event
- Dates and times of departure and return
- Mode of transportation to be used on the field trip
- Name of district employee(s) in charge of the field trip
- The parent/legal guardians must be informed of the potential hazards or dangers in the trip including bodily injury or death
The appropriate forms, which include a pre-incident release of all claims under terms of Education Code Section 35330, should handle most situations.
Notwithstanding the terms of Education Code Section 35330, a district is liable for safety of students while on a field trip. Case law requires school districts use ordinary care when supervising students or else the district can be held legally liable for injury sustained by a student during the course of a field trip.
OVERNIGHT SPONSORED ACTIVITIES
The following steps are applicable to a District sponsored special field trip, overnight field trip, or out of state and/or foreign travel field trip:
- A completed District Overnight Field Trip form, for either an adult or student participant, is always required and must be completed in addition to any forms required by the event venue. The waiver portion of these forms cannot be altered without permission from Risk Management. Information regarding the nature of the field trip, level of supervision, vendor selection, travel arrangements, and a detailed itinerary of all activities related to the trip must be attached to the field trip form. Individuals cannot participate without the full completion of the form. The description should state that reasonable efforts have been made to insure that proper airlines, accommodations, and ground transportation have been chosen, but that there is no assurance of same.
- Parents of students that require assistance with medication should provide a medication authorization signed by the student’s treating doctor. The school nurse should be consulted on arrangements that are required for students with special medical needs including any assistance with medications that will be provided by an adult volunteer.
- Lodging arrangements should be stated and acknowledge if there will not be certificated supervision.
- Whenever practical, the school principal should select camps for overnight trips that provide for emergency medical services and medical services for students with special needs.
- Students and parents should be reminded that the District's policy on student behavior is the same on the trip as it is at school. Students who are caught in violation of the policy are subject to the regular disciplinary procedures including being sent home at the parent's expense.
- Site Administrators are responsible to ensure compliance with all guidelines established for special, overnight, and out of state field trips.
- Copies of the completed and signed Field Trip forms, providing for emergency treatment of students, should be taken on the trip.
- Where an event/venue requires a contract with the District, a copy of the contract should be sent to Risk Management for review prior to signing.
- Contact Risk Management should the event/venue require a Certificate of Insurance.
The most important factor is to insure that parents are informed of every step and that they acknowledge in writing and agree with planned protocol; and then, of course, it is important to see that the protocol is strictly followed.
HIGH RISK ACTIVITIES
The Alliance of Schools for Cooperative Insurance Program (ASCIP) recommends the following student/parent release form be completed for District Sponsored Voluntary High Risk Activities. Examples of high-risk activities include but are not limited to horseback riding, surfing, skiing, adventure hikes, camping, and more. If a site is unsure whether the activity is high risk, please contact the District's Risk Management Office at 310-450-8338 x310.
GUIDELINES ON CO-SPONSORED FIELD TRIPS
When all or a portion of a Regular, Extended Day, Special, Overnight, or Out of State Field Trip is paid for by an organization such as the PTA or another type of vendor/party the Alliance of Schools for Cooperative Insurance Programs (ASCIP) recommends the District Co-Sponsor the event or activity. A good rule of thumb in determining if the District is Co-Sponsoring the event is when the District is reporting the student's attendance as part of its average daily attendance during the date and time of the event or activity.
If an event or activity is co-sponsored, use the appropriate student/parental release form referenced in this guidelines. Students and parents should be informed that the event or activity is co-sponsored by the District. When an event is co-sponsored, the other party co-sponsoring may request the parent sign their own student/parental release form.