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IFCB – Field Trips and Excursions

  • Document Link: IFCB – Field Trips and Excursions
  • Title: Field Trips and Excursions
  • Section: I. Instructional Program
  • Adoption Date: 07/15/2021
  • Ref Code: O.C.G.A. 20-02-0072, O.C.G.A. 20-02-1074, O.C.G.A. 20-02-1075, O.C.G.A. 20-02-0188, O.C.G.A. 20-02-0411, Rule 160-5-1-.02, Rule 160-5-3-.04
  • Document Link:  CCSD Guidelines

Descriptor Code: IFCB
Field Trips and Excursions

The Cherokee County Board of Education supports and encourages field trips and expects the Superintendent, principals, and teachers to make every effort to ensure that both curricular and extracurricular field trips are effectively planned, well organized, capably implemented, properly supervised and affordable.

A Field Trip is defined as an optional learning experience designed to enhance student understanding through exploration with and exposure of content and artifacts in the authentic environment. Field trips are designed to enrich student learning by encouraging curiosity and discovery with subject matter that the student may otherwise not have had an opportunity to encounter.

Field trips are valuable options in educational programs and can be either a curricular or an extracurricular activity. Students are allowed to take field trips under the guidance of a certified employee, provided written permission is given by the parent/guardian. All field trips must be pre-approved by the Principal; and field trips that are both overnight and out-ofstate must also be pre-approved by the Superintendent and School Board.

The School Board hereby approves those field trips/excursions that result from a school team, squad, or individual qualifying for a state, regional, or national competition where recommended by the Superintendent. If circumstances require both an overnight and/or outof-state stay, relative to the above-mentioned excursions in this paragraph, the Superintendent or designee must approve the field trip request prior to the trip.

The Superintendent will establish administrative guidelines for administration of field trips that include provisions requiring the purchase of travel insurance and/or favorable cancellation policies and procedures.

ADOPTED: August 2, 2001        REVISED: July 15, 2021

CCSD Administrative Guidelines Regarding Field Trips and Excursions
Pursuant to the School Board’s Field Trips and Excursions Policy (IFCB), these administrative guidelines are to be utilized by CCSD staff in policy application:

1. The State Department of Education allows students to be counted present for up to ten (10) non-instructional (pep-rallies, school pictures, field trips, etc.) days per year. Field trips may be instructional in some classes and not in others (Example: Math field trips will be non-instructional in the English class). Any student exceeding the ten non-instructional days will be counted absent for the additional days.

2. Field trips can be either curricular or extracurricular activities. On an annual basis, the Office of Curriculum and Instruction will publish a list of curricular field trips (by grade level).

3. Participation in any field trip is voluntary and a quality alternative instructional plan must be provided for those students choosing not to attend.

4. Curricular field trips are funded by parent donations and/or civic and community sponsors. Individual students cannot be excluded regardless of the ability or willingness of their parents/guardians to donate funds in support of the field trip. However, field trips are subject to funding limitations and budget guidelines.

5. The total cost of a field trip will be considered to be those expenses incurred by students and chaperones in the normal execution of the trip. All revenue collected and incentives received in that regard must be utilized toward offsetting the aforementioned expenses.

6. Any benefits that accrue to the sponsor as a result of the field trip arrangements (e.g., free or discounted tickets, etc.) must be disclosed to the principal/work location administrator. In order to increase accountability, the following disclosure will be provided for review and approval by the Principal:

  • Scholarship donations
  • Business/corporate donations
  • Any booking incentives
  • Earned “compensation” / free slots

A disclosure form will be submitted to and be on file with the appropriate administrator in all cases when the revenue incentives received in the above-mentioned categories exceed $500.

7. No profit will be realized in excess of the cost of the trip. When funds collected exceed cost projections, the excess funds will be deposited in the school’s field trip account and used for scholarships for all students who cannot afford field trips. If excess funds are greater than $10 per student, then refund to the parents who paid is required.

8. The Principal will ensure that records of funds collected are kept according to guidelines provided by the Office of Financial Management.

9. Administrators have the authority to exclude the participation of students who do not have a 504 Plan or IEP, whose documented behavioral history suggest the possibility that they may endanger themselves or others; or cause a substantial disruption while on a field trip.

10. Pursuant to Section 504 and IDEA, students with disabilities will not be excluded from field trips because of transportation arrangements or accommodations, services and/or supports. 

11. When Community-Based Instructional (CBI) field trips/excursions are included within the IEP for students eligible for special education services under the IDEA, a monthly calendar of such curricular excursions is developed to conform to IEP requirements and submitted for review and approval to the school Principal, the Office of Special Education, and the Office of Transportation.

12. When an activity associated with a required signed waiver or contract of liability form is included in a proposed field trip agenda, prior approval must be received by either Office of School Operations (Athletic Field Trip) or by Office of Curriculum and Instruction (Academic Field Trip).

13. The completed Field Trip Request Form must be sent to the Transportation Department ten (10) school days prior to the proposed trip.

14. Use of a travel agent other than CCSD-approved travel vendors to coordinate the field trip (or some facet of the trip) must be discussed in advance with the Office of Curriculum and Instruction for advice to proceed. If allowed to proceed, the travel agent’s proposed contract must be submitted with the field trip application in a timely manner so that the Office of Risk Management, Safety and Employee Benefits may properly review.

15. Field trips will not be scheduled for the last week of school or on Districtwide testing dates, except with the approval of the Superintendent of Schools.

16. Field trip applications that are both out-of-state and overnight must be submitted to the appropriate District-level office at least six (6) weeks prior to a regularly scheduled board meeting for the Superintendent’s recommendation and Board approval. (Curriculum-based field trip requests will be sent to the Office of Curriculum and Instruction and Athletic/Activity-based field trip requests will be sent to the Office of School Operations.) Applications for overnight field trips for grades K-3 will not be approved. Applications must be accompanied by a Field Trip Disclosure Form. Applications must also include a detailed trip itinerary and plans for student safety, supervision and emergency response with the Request:

  • departure date, time and location
  • major events/activities including tours
  • educational benefit/goals
  • travel arrangements
  •  housing/sleeping arrangements
  • eating arrangements
  • planned stops and locations to be visited
  • date, time and location for return
  • pricing quote 

IMPORTANT NOTE ON OUT-OF-COUNTRY TRAVEL:  Field trip applications must be submitted to the appropriate District-level office at least six (6) months prior to a regularly scheduled board meeting for the Superintendent’s recommendation and Board approval. Refer to CCSD ADMINISTRATIVE GUIDELINES Addendum A: OUT-OF-COUNTRY TRAVEL.

17. When out-of-state and overnight field trip reservations are being finalized, the Principal or field trip sponsor must secure an opt-out clause, which provides for full reimbursement of all travel and itinerary costs, relative to a Federal or a State Department issuance of a safety related travel advisory (e.g. heightened terroristic threat level). 

18. The Office of Transportation will review all field trip requests to determine transportation safety issues. Field trips determined to be unsafe by the Transportation Department will not be approved.

19. The Offices of School Operations, Curriculum and Instruction and Risk Management will work cooperatively to review the proposed travel agent contract (if and when applicable) and provide any necessary feedback to the Principal prior to the finalization of that document.

20. Any field trips that are both overnight and out-of-state must have Board approval before the Permission Forms are sent out. The Principal must approve all other field trip requests before the Permission Forms are sent out.

21. If school is closed due to inclement weather or conditions occur making the field trip inadvisable or potentially hazardous, the Superintendent/designee may postpone the field trip. Postponed field trips must be taken within the next five (5) school days or a new request must be submitted for approval.

22. An adequate number of chaperones, which includes teachers, must accompany students on field trips. The chaperones are to be equally divided on the buses. The bus driver will not be considered as one of the chaperones. The minimum required number is:

  • K-3 grades – 1 per 5 students
  • 4-8 grades – 1 per 10 students
  • 9-12 grades – 1 per 12 students

Specific written justification to waive the above requirements must be attached to the field trip request form and approved by the Principal.

23. A complete roster of students and chaperones on each bus must be completed before the buses leave the school. One copy must be turned into the Principal/designee, one copy must be given to the bus driver and one copy must be on the bus with the designated teacher/field trip coordinator.

24. The bus driver’s per hour pay rate and mileage cost will be established through the annual budget process and will be detailed in the Cherokee County School District Allocation/Salary Handbook and Annual Operating Budget. A field trip/mileage report form must accompany payment of the transportation cost and be sent to the Transportation Department within five (5) days following the trip.

25. Neither curricular nor extracurricular field trips will interfere with any regular daily bus routes and/or any regular driver assignments.

26. When there is a field trip requested to attend an event or program which on the surface would appear to represent entertainment as opposed to educational inquiry and instruction, there must be written justification that clearly demonstrates the advisability and intended positive result of such a field trip. If the field trip is related to a performance by the requesting group, the Principal will also include the letter of invitation with the Field Trip Request Form.

27. The use of bus transportation, contracted carriers, and/or private vehicles for any school-related activity requires written consent from each student’s parent or guardian. Type of Transportation (i.e., School Bus, CCSD Approved Coach Line, Parent) Parent provided means parents are handling the transportation requirements outside the purview of the school district (the school district, including teacher, is not involved in the sponsoring, organizing or provision of the transportation. Vans are not to be used for transporting students to and from school or school-related events). School District provided transportation options are either school bus or approved CCSD charter bus company.

28. A current list of approved contract carriers is maintained by the Office of Risk Management, Safety and Employee Benefits and provided to School Principals. Selection of a contracted carrier must be made from the approved list.

29. Field Trip Request Forms, the appropriate Field Trip Checklist and the Field Trip Disclosure Form (if applicable) must be completed for each trip.

30. Pursuant to statutorily required retention schedules for School District financial records (which would include all receipts and documented expenses associated with field trips), such records must be retained for a minimum of five (5) years. The Field Trip Request files must be retained for a minimum of three (3) years, except if a student sustains an injury on the trip, in which event the Field Trip Request file would become part of the Student Injury Case File. The Field Trip Request file includes a copy of the approved Field Trip Request Form and signed Permission Forms for each student. All of these records must be kept on file at the school site.

31. The Cherokee County School District would not exclude a student from attending an Instructional field trip because of having no insurance. The parent is personally responsible for any medical expenses that would arise because of an accident or illness.

32. Student check out and selection of chaperones during a field trip or upon returning to school is at the principal’s discretion.

Addendum A: Out-of-Country Travel Guidelines These guidelines are in addition to the District’s usual field trip procedures.

1. Use of CCSD’s approved Travel Services Company is required for planning CCSD sponsored Out-of-Country travel through an agency. The list of approved agencies for travel services is maintained by the Purchasing Department and provided to School Principals.

2. Field trip applications for Out-of-Country Travel Requests must be submitted to the appropriate District-level office at least six (6) months prior to a regularly scheduled board meeting for the Superintendent’s recommendation and Board approval. Applications must include a detailed trip itinerary and plans for student safety, supervision and emergency response with the Request:

  • departure date, time and location
  • major events/activities including tours
  • educational benefit/goals
  • travel arrangements
  •  housing/sleeping arrangements
  • eating arrangements
  • planned stops and locations to be visited
  • date, time and location for return
  • pricing quote 

3. Once a Request for Out-of-Country travel is submitted as required and reviewed by the appropriate District-level Office(s), the school will be notified regarding approval to move forward with Superintendent Recommendation and Board approval.

4. Following Board approval, complete required paperwork with the Travel Services Company including contract terms, and present the proposed plan to the parents/guardians of the students participating, either in writing or verbally through group meetings.

5. Keep records of the dates of group meetings, the number of parents in attendance, and any handouts/information included. Provide parents/guardians and students with a planned itinerary for the trip. It is recommended that a Travel Services Company representative attend critical meetings with parents to present important information and other considerations related to foreign travel.

6. Provide information about traveling in a foreign country.

  • Discuss potential safety risks of the particular country being visited with the students, parents/guardians and chaperones prior to departure.
  • Ensure that students and chaperones have the proper immunizations, identification (passports, visas, etc), and knowledge of laws specific to the country regarding drugs and prescription medication.
  • Discuss insurance provisions and health insurance considerations.
  • Review information from the U.S. Department of State International Travel website at: http://travel.state.gov/travel/travel_1744.html for tips on traveling abroad, requirements for U.S. citizens, and for travel warnings.
  • Consult with the local Consulate office of the foreign country for specific requirements of visitors to that country.
  • Include information on cultural protocols specific to countries listed in itinerary.
  • Advise non-US citizens to determine their immigration status before entering a foreign country and to take appropriate credentials with them.
  • Advise all students to take appropriate identification and any required travel documents including an original passport or visa.