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Austin Public Schools

Policy 610 - Field Trips

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I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for student trips and to identify the general process to be followed for review and approval of trip requests.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

The general expectation of the school board is that all student trips will be well planned, conducted in an orderly manner and safe environment, and will relate directly to the objectives of the class or activity for which the trip is requested. Student trips will be categorized within three general areas:

  • Instructional Trips: Trips that take place during the school day, relate directly to a course of study, and require student participation shall fall in this category. These trips shall be subject to review and approval of the building principal and shall be financed by school district funds within the constraints of the school building budget. Fees may not be assessed against students to defray direct costs of instructional trips. (Minn. Stat. § 123B.37, Prohibited Fees)
  • Supplementary Trips: This category pertains to those trips in which students voluntarily participate and which usually take place outside the regular school day. Examples of trips in this category involve student activities, clubs, and other special interest groups. These trips are subject to review and approval of the activities director and/or the building principal. Financial contributions by students may be requested. (Minn. Stat. § 123B.36, Authorized Fees)
  • Extended Trips
    • Trips that involve two or more overnight stops fall into this category. Extended trips may be instructional or supplementary and must be requested well in advance of the planned activity. An extended trip request form must be completed and approved at each level: student, principal, superintendent, and school board. Exceptions to the approval policy may be granted or expedited to accommodate emergencies or contingencies (e.g., tournament competition).
    • The school board acknowledges and supports the efforts of booster clubs and similar organizations in providing extended trip opportunities for students.

III. REGULATIONS

  • Rules of conduct and discipline for students and employees shall apply to all student trip activity.
  • The school administration shall be responsible for providing more detailed procedures, including parental involvement, supervision, and such other factors deemed important and in the best interest of students.
  • Transportation shall be furnished through a commercial carrier or school-owned vehicle.
  • An employee may use a personal vehicle to transport staff or personal property for purposes of a field trip upon prior, written approval from administration.
  • An employee must not use a personal vehicle to transport one or more students for purposes of a field trip.
    • If immediate transportation of a student is required due to an emergency or unforeseen circumstance, such as the illness or injury of a child, and the transportation does not constitute regular or scheduled transportation, a personal vehicle may be used. To the extent a personal vehicle is used, the vehicle must be properly registered and insured.
    • An employee must obtain preapproval by administration of student transportation by a personal vehicle, pursuant to Section III.E.1, if practicable. If preapproval by administration of use of a personal vehicle cannot be obtained in a reasonable time given the circumstances, an employee shall report the relevant facts and circumstances justifying the need for use of a personal vehicle to administration as soon as practicable. The relevant facts and circumstances for use of a personal vehicle shall be documented by administration.

IV. SCHOOL BOARD REVIEW

The superintendent shall at least annually report to the school board upon the utilization of trips under this policy.


Legal References:

  • Minn. Stat. § 123B.36 (Authorized Fees)
  • Minn. Stat. § 123B.37 (Prohibited Fees)
  • Minn. Stat. § 123B.49 (Cocurricular and Extracurricular Activities; Insurance)
  • Minn. Stat. § 169.011, Subd. 71(a) (Definition of a School Bus)
  • Minn. Stat. § 169.454, Subd. 13 (Type III Vehicle Standards – Exemption)
  • Sonkowsky v. Board of Educ. for Indep. Sch. Dist. No. 721, 327 F.3d 675 (8th Cir. 2003)
  • Lee v. Pine Bluff Sch. Dist., 472 F.3d 1026 (8th Cir. 2007)

Cross References:

  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 403 (Discipline, Suspension, and Dismissal of School District Employees)
  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 423 (Employee – Student Relationships)
  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 506 (Student Discipline)
  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 707 (Transportation of Public School Students)
  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 709 (Student Transportation Safety Policy)
  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 710 (Extracurricular Transportation)

Policy adopted: 10/19/94
Policy revised: 10/15/97
Policy revised: 5/12/14
Policy reviewed: 2/8/16
Policy reviewed: 1/14/19

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