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  • Section I: Instruction


The following will serve as guidelines for any trip, district wide.

A. Types of Trips

A field trip is a planned educational activity in which a class or group of students leaves
the school grounds for the purpose of continuing, extending or enriching the
instructional program as an integral part of the curriculum. The trip should be designed
to stimulate student interest and inquiry and provide opportunities for social growth and
development. A statement of purpose shall accompany each trip request. Field trip
requests shall also include instructional activities that will be utilized during the trip. To
be educationally beneficial, a field trip requires thoughtful selection, careful advance
preparation of the students, and opportunities for the students to assimilate the
experience during and at the conclusion of the trip. Application for a field trip will follow
the normal procedures for approval including a statement of purpose, preparation of a
detailed itinerary, budget, supervision (including volunteer chaperones), transportation,
and academic requisites outlined above.

Trips between schools, Town Hall, and other facilities for school programs are not
considered as field trips - they are a necessity

A competition trip is a regularly scheduled competition attended by organized math
teams, music competition groups, athletic teams, and other inter-scholastic competition
teams. Competition trips will be approved by the appropriate administrator (AD for
athletic trips, principals for other inter-scholastic teams), unless they require an
overnight stay (Board approval required for overnights). Any athletic or competition
activity that involves an overnight stay must comply with the authorization process for
this type of travel. Application for an overnight competition trip will follow the normal
procedures for approval including a statement of purpose, preparation of a detailed
itinerary, budget, supervision (including volunteer chaperones), accommodations,
transportation and academic requisites outlined above. If a school team or group
qualifies for a competition that requires an overnight stay and is unable to meet the
Board’s parameters or meeting schedule, the Board authorizes the Superintendent to
approve overnight trips at his/her discretion, with notification provided to the Board as
soon as possible.

Extracurricular or co-curricular trips are trips that do not replace regular classroom
instruction, are taken by a district recognized group or organization, and may not
include all students (i.e. community volunteer activities). Application for a school-
sponsored extra-curricular/co-curricular trip will follow the normal procedures for
approval including a statement of purpose, preparation of a detailed itinerary, budget,
supervision (including volunteer chaperones), accommodations, transportation, and
academic requisites outlined above.

An international trip is an organized activity that is directly related to the curriculum (i.e.,
language and culture studies, exchange programs, etc.). Application for an international
trip will follow the normal procedures for approval including a statement of purpose,
preparation of a detailed itinerary, budget, supervision (including volunteer chaperones),
accommodations, transportation, and academic requisites outlined above.
International trips may be special in nature and may include group language study in a
recognized institution overseas.

B. Overnight/International Travel

All overnight trips or international trips must have the approval of the Principal, the
Superintendent, and the Board of School Directors. All students who participate in an
overnight trip must provide proof of health insurance. In addition, students who
participate in international trips must provide proof of international health coverage and
emergency evacuation insurance.

Trips not specifically approved as an RSU 21 field trip, competition trip, co-curricular or
extra-curricular trip and/or international trip will not be covered by the District’s liability
insurance or District Legal Counsel. In addition, a trip not approved through the
standard process may not represent the school or RSU 21 in any manner.

C. Non-sanctioned Trips

Non-sanctioned trips are trips that are not an integral part of the instructional program
and have not been authorized by the Board. Non-sanctioned trips are any trips or
excursions organized by District employees, parents, non-school groups, community
members or others, acting independently of the schools. These trips involve students on
a voluntary and self-supporting basis, are not approved by the Board, and are not part
of or associated with the curriculum, co-curricular or extracurricular activities. All
responsibility for non-sanctioned trips and excursions lies with the individual(s) or
group(s) sponsoring and organizing them. Non-sanctioned trips may not represent the
school and/or RSU 21 in any manner.

Recruitment and planning of non-sanctioned trips is prohibited during instructional time
and during the employee’s regularly scheduled workday.

Non-sanctioned trips must not represent themselves as school functions or as related to
or an extension of instructional, co-curricular or extracurricular programs including, but
not limited to, any use of school logo. While private activities of staff cannot be
regulated by the school, it is the responsibility of any staff engaging in such trips or
activities to notify the parents of the participating students that this outside vent is not a
school activity but a private volunteer excursion undertaken by that teacher or staff

Individuals or groups who wish to use the schools for the purpose of publicizing trips or
recruiting participants must submit a request following the same procedures required of
other individuals or non-school groups requesting use of school facilities (Policy KF
Use of School Facilities)

D. Trip Chaperones

All RSU 21 authorized trips must be accompanied by adult chaperones who have been
authorized by the RSU 21 Board of School Directors.

The ratio of faculty and adult chaperones should be 10 students to 1 adult
chaperone/faculty, unless the site being visited has different requirements. The
requirement for chaperone ratios may be adjusted according to the type of trip and/or
the destination. Application for the trip may request a lower or higher ratio of
chaperones. Rationale for change in ratio must accompany the application.

E. Application for Authorization for Trips

All trips will have specific information forms filled out and returned to the appropriate
administrators within the deadlines required. The forms packets will be available in the
administrators’ offices and also online. Online submission is preferable as the district’s
efforts to conserve paper are important. RSU 21 forms for trip application/transportation
request, itinerary, budget, parental information, emergency contact, medical information,
informed consent, and other necessary trip information will be available in the principals’
and superintendent’s offices and online. Only RSU 21 forms may be used for trip
purposes. For security reasons, only the summary application information will be made
public. Detailed itinerary information will be kept on file in the principal’s office and the
superintendent’s office.

A specific budget will be developed for such trips; funds needed beyond those budgeted
may be raised through approved fundraising activities. In addition, a reasonable fee
may be collected from each student. Provisions for covering such fees shall be made for
those students unable to pay. All money must be collected prior to departure

F. Parental Permission

Each student participating in a trip must have a permission form signed by a parent or
guardian. Each trip notification will include the purpose of the trip, a detailed copy of the
trip itinerary with trip leader contact information, including departure and arrival times if
needed (trips that begin and/or end before or after regular school hours) cost of the trip
to the student, transportation utilized, and notice that the student will not be deprived of
a trip because of inability to pay. In addition, any trip that includes an overnight and/or
out-of-state travel requires parental/guardian-signed emergency contact and medical
information forms that will be confidential.

Parents/guardians and students will also receive written expectations that the Code of
Conduct and all disciplinary action available to school officials will be in force during the
trip. On all international or overnight trips, both students and parents/guardians shall
sign the Code of Conduct statement. In the case of major infractions of school rules,
parents may be notified during the trip and, depending on the seriousness of the
infraction, may be required to pick students up at the trip location or provide for
immediate transportation home for the student.

G. International Trip Orientation

All international trip participants, parents/guardians, trip leaders, and chaperones will
attend a mandatory orientation prior to departure. The orientation will include (but is not
limited to) expected behavior and attire, culture and the destination, protocol and
etiquette, transportation, medical facilities and processes, safety and security issues,
and emergency procedures. At the conclusion of the orientation, all participants and
their parents, trip leaders, and chaperones will provide RSU 21 with signed informed
consent forms (formerly referred to as a liability waiver).

H. Staff responsibilities to be completed prior to the trip

  • Office approval signed by Principal.
  • Commitment from chaperones confirmed in writing for said date and activity.
  • Transportation request sheet submitted.
  • Parental permission slips for all participants turned in.
  • Copy of trip itinerary with address and phone number of host organizations
    included in parent and student itinerary.
  • Student medical sheet filled out and returned.
  • Written expectations provided to students with adherence to Code of Conduct
    and disciplinary codes.
  • Method of funding reported to building principal, including cost to
  • Statement signed, indicating that no student has been deprived of trip because of
    inability to pay.
  • Student money collected.
  • Cafeteria notified about number of fewer lunches or bagged snacks for trips.
  • Colleagues notified of absences of students via email.
  • Purposes of the trip clearly stated, established and understood by both the
    students and those persons who will act as group leaders.
  • Student home phone numbers, parent/guardian names and work numbers, and
    adult phone numbers/name who are acting in place of the parent recorded on a
    master sheet.
  • Medical conditions listed on the same master sheet.

Staff responsibilities the day of the trip:

  • Obtain First aid kit.
  • Secure emergency phone numbers for district contacts (principal, transportation,
    district office, athletic director if athletic trip).
  • Turn in updated departure list to front office and cafeteria upon departure. Master
    sheet with student home phone numbers, parent/guardian names and work
    numbers, adult phone numbers/name who are acting in place of the parent, and
    medical conditions shall be turned in to school office; copies shall also be taken
    on the trip.
  • Review the Code of Conduct and the disciplinary code with all students and
    chaperones going on the trip.
  • Ensure group leaders have nametags and a list of students for whom they are
  • Ensure the purposes of the trip are clearly stated, established and understood by
    both the students and those persons who will act as group leaders. The
    preparation for any trip should consist of questions discussed before and after
    the trip.


  • Conduct appropriate follow-up activities (i.e., thank you notes to host
    organizations and chaperones.), curriculum integration, and follow up
  • Notify Principal by phone of any difficulties with trip. Upon return, write up action
    taken and submit Trip Incident Report to principal.
  • Evaluate trip based on trip request descriptions of purpose, and instructional
  • Submit a copy of the evaluation to the building principal.

Reviewed: 01/25/2010

Amended: 04/22/2013

  • Section I