You are here: Home About Us Policies and Procedural Directives Procedural Directives J. Students Field Trips

Field Trips

Contents

General Provisions
Definitions
Unauthorized Travel: Commercial Trips
Trip Sponsors
Chaperone Minimum Standards
Justification of Trip
Parent Permission to Attend Trip
Attendance
Transporting Students
Field and Activity Trip Expenses
Activity Trip Insurance
Approval Process Deadlines.

General Provisions

The superintendent, or his/her designee, may approve field trips for students that have a strong connection to curriculum and instructional goals of the district. The Superintendent, or his/her designee may approve activity trips that are non-educational in nature providing that the trips have been defined and structured as part of the educational environment and meet requirements outlined in administrative procedural directive.

Definitions

For purposes of this procedural directive, an "activity trips" means trips sponsored by school activity clubs or trips that are non-educational in nature and are used to reward academic, athletic or behavioral accomplishments.

For purposes of this procedural directive, a “field trip” means a school-sponsored trip for students, which is a first-hand educational experience to supplement curriculum and instructional goals away from the campus.

For purposes of this procedural directive, a “day student activity trip” means a one day trip which requires no overnight stay and from which students return to campus immediately following the event.

For purposes of this procedural directive, a “long student activity trip” means a trip out of the city limits of Albuquerque which lasts for more than two days and requires at least two nights stay in hotel or alternative housing.

For purposes of this procedural directive, a “short student activity trip” means a trip out of the city limits of Albuquerque which lasts for one to two days and requires at least one night stay in hotel or alternative housing.

For purposes of this procedural directive, a “student activity” includes extracurricular and co-curricular activities but excludes activity trips that are non-educational in nature and are used to reward accomplishments such as end-of-the-year trips to pools, parks or amusement parks.

For purposes of this procedural directive, a “trip sponsor” means any certified teacher, certified instructor or licensed coach organizing and executing a field or activity trip.

Unauthorized Travel: Commercial Trips

The school district shall not sponsor commercially promoted student trips. Commercially promoted student trips are defined as those sponsored by commercial travel firms for profit. Such trips fail to meet the criteria for field or activity trips and, therefore, shall neither be supported nor sponsored by the Albuquerque Public Schools. District employees or students who choose to represent companies promoting student trips shall be considered agents of that company. Companies and their agents that promote student trips shall not be permitted to use school resources to promote such trips and shall receive approval from the Communications Office prior to distributing any solicitation materials. A company or its agent(s) sponsoring student trips shall be responsible, and hence liable, for any and all accidents, injuries, and lawsuits, et al., resulting from its student trips.

Trip Sponsors

Trip sponsors shall be required to be a certified teacher, certified instructor or licensed coach currently employed by the Albuquerque Public Schools.  No other individuals shall be authorized to be a trip sponsor for an Albuquerque Public Schools field or activity trip.  Trip sponsors shall be required to attend the trip in its entirety.

Chaperone Minimum Standards

The trip sponsors shall be the primary chaperone for student field and activity trips.  All chaperones attending a trip shall be at least twenty-one (21) years in age. The district encourages trip sponsors to have parents/legal guardians as the majority of chaperones on the trip.  It is important to advise parents/legal guardians that non-school aged children shall not be allowed to attend the trip, since chaperones will need to provide full attention to the students on the trip. Principals shall review and approve a list of chaperones prior to each field trip. Principals and trip sponsors are responsible for the reliability of non-school staff chaperones.

The chaperone minimum standard for general education student supervision shall be:

  • Elementary School - 1 chaperone for every 7 students
  • Middle School - 1 chaperone for every 10 students
  • High School - 1 chaperone for every 15 students

These are minimum standards; higher chaperone/student ratios are encouraged to reduce the risk of student injury/accident.

The chaperone minimum standard for students with disabilities shall require higher chaperone/student ratios in order to reduce the risk of student injury/incident. Some students may need 1 to 1 supervision, whereas supervision ratios for others may be decreased as per the individual student's mobility, mental capacity and behavior. The principal and trip sponsor working with a particular group of students shall have authority to establish the appropriate ratio of supervision for students with disabilities.

Chaperones having unsupervised access to students including those transporting students in private vehicles shall be required to have successfully passed an Albuquerque Public Schools background check.

Justification of Trip

All trip sponsors wishing to organize and execute a field or activity trip shall be required to submit justification to the superintendent, or his/her designee, explaining why the trip compliments classroom curriculum activities and instructional goals of the district. 

Parent Permission to Attend Trip

Students shall be required to have written consent of the parent/guardian prior to the trip.  Students who do not have written consent shall not be permitted to attend the trip and shall be provided with alternate assignments.

Signed permission forms shall be in the possession of the trip sponsor at all times. A list of students who have signed permission forms shall remain in the school office during the trip. The list shall indicate which students with permission forms were absent. It is the teacher's responsibility to arrange for supervision of students who did not provide signed permission forms.

Attendance

The attendance or participation of a student on a field trip or excursion authorized by the district shall be considered attendance for the purpose of crediting attendance for apportionment from the average daily attendance counts in the fiscal year. Credited attendance resulting from such field trip or excursion shall be limited to the amount of attendance which would have accrued had the students not been engaged in the field trip or excursion. Credited attendance shall not exceed ten (10) school days except in the case of students participating in a field trip in connection with courses of instruction or school related educational activities and which are not social cultural, athletic or music activities.

Transporting Students

All trip sponsors shall explain mode of transportation for students during the approval process.  If the required mode of transportation is not adhered to, the field or activity trip shall not be approved.

Within APS District boundaries: Preferred mode of transportation is contracted bus.

In-State (Outside of APS District Boundaries): Preferred mode of transportation is contracted bus.

Out-of State: Required mode of transportation shall be commercial carrier. Upon reaching their destination, commercial carrier shall continue to be the preferred mode of transportation. Airport/hotel shuttles may be utilized for transportation to and from the airport.  Rental cars may be allowed provided optional liability and loss/damage insurance is purchased on each vehicle, each vehicle is driven by a chaperone and has a sufficient number of seat belts for all passengers. Each chaperone that will be driving a rented vehicle shall obey all local traffic laws and have a valid driver’s license. No vans that seat more than nine passengers shall be allowed. A signed release from each parent/guardian authorizing their student to ride in a rented vehicle and driven by a licensed chaperone shall be required. All of these guidelines shall be verified by the principal/sponsor prior to departure of the out state field trip.

Out-of-Country: Required mode of transportation shall be a commercial carrier.

In the event that a contracted bus is not available or a viable option for travel within district boundaries or In-State (But Outside of APS District Boundaries), everyone, including employees and chaperones transporting students in a privately owned vehicle shall:

  • Have a valid driver's license;
  • Insure their vehicle is in safe operating condition;
  • Carry liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage as required by state law;
  • Obey all traffic laws;
  • Have available and use seat belts or child restraint devices for all students transported as required by State law;
  • Sign a certification of compliance for the above to be kept on file by the principal or other administrator in charge of the activity. INS for 72E should be used for this purpose.
  • Successfully pass an Albuquerque Public Schools background check.

When transporting small groups of students in-state, but out of district boundaries, small groups limited to twenty persons, including students and chaperones, may be allowed to take no more than four private vehicles.

The use of passenger vans (9 passengers or greater) to transport students shall be prohibited.

Field and Activity Trip Expenses

In the event that participation in a field or activity trip or excursion is mandatory for a class requirement and a student may be excluded from participating due to lack of sufficient funds, the trip sponsor shall utilize fund raising sources and/or assign that student with an alternative assignment that will take the place of the field or activity trip. Alternative assignments shall consist of useful work related to valid instructional goals. They shall not be punitive or burdensome in length of time or type of work required. Expenses for student participation in a field or activity trip or excursion to any state, District of Columbia, or a foreign country authorized by the district shall not be paid with school district funds. Expenses of instructors, chaperones, and other personnel participating in a field or activity trip or excursion may be paid from school district funds with appropriate approval, as well as incidental expenses for the use of school district transportation.

An explanation of field or activity trip expenses shall be required during the approval process.

The district shall not be liable for field and activity trip expenses that were not authorized as part of the trip authorization. 

Activity Trip Insurance

Activity Trip Insurance shall be purchased through the Risk Management Department prior to submitting the trip for approval.  Please refer to Risk Management for the most current process to purchase insurance.

Approval Process Deadlines

Within District boundaries

Written request on Request for Field Trip or Activity Trip form, five (5) days in advance for principal approval.

In-State (But Outside of District Boundaries)

Written request on Form Request for Field Trip or Activity Trip form, ten (10) days in advance for principal and appropriate superintendent/designee approval. Information copies will be forwarded to Transportation and Risk Management.

Out-of State:

Written request on Request for Field Trip or Activity Trip form, fifteen (15) days in advance or principal and appropriate superintendent/designee approval. Information copies will be forwarded to Risk Management.

Out-of-Country:

Written request on Request for Field Trip or Activity Trip form, twenty (20) days in advance for principal and appropriate superintendent/designee approval. Information copies will be forwarded to Risk Management. 

Approval of international travel will be subject to United States Department of State travel advisories and warnings. Travel warnings are issued when the State Department decides based on all relevant information, to recommend that Americans avoid travel to a certain country. No district sponsored international travel will be approved if warnings have been issued for the specific country or countries of travel or if a worldwide caution has been issued at the time of request for approval. The trip will be canceled if warnings or cautions to specific countries are issued between the approval date and the departure of the trip.

Participants in out-of-country travel are required to purchase Foreign Travel Insurance through the Risk Management Department.

The purpose of out-of-country field trips is to familiarize students with the language, history, geography, natural sciences, and other studies relative to the district's course of study for such students. If student field trips involve awarding of credit, follow the Procedural Directive regarding Alternative Methods of Earning Credits.

Administrative Position:            Associate Superintendent for Elementary
                                                     Education/Associate Superintendent for Middle
                                                     Schools/Associate Superintendent for High Schools

Department Director:                 School Principals

References:
Legal Cross Ref.:                             
Board Policy Cross Ref.:                   IJ1 Student Travel: Field and Activity Trips
Procedural Directive Cross Ref.:      Alternative Methods of Earning Credit
                                                         Student Travel
Forms Cross Ref.:                            Request for Field Trip or Activity Trip form
                                                         INS 72E Notification of Responsibilities and Liabilities when Transporting
                                                         Students form

NSBA/NEPN Classification:      IJOA

Revised: May 1995
Revised: April 1996
Revised: June 1997
Draft: November 2002
Approved: November 2002
Revised: December 2004
Revised: September 2005
Reviewed: August 13, 2014

 

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