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IJOA - Field Trips and Excursions

IJOA - Field Trips and Excursions

The Board recognizes the educational value of field trips and excursions as a means of extending the curriculum and as a vehicle for encouraging and supporting student participation in academic, artistic and athletic competitions.

School-Sponsored Trips

School-sponsored trips include field trips, competition trips, and school-sponsored excursions. The Superintendent and Board must approve, in advance, all school-sponsored overnight trips.  

For all school-sponsored trips, adequate supervision must be provided to maintain discipline and safety and to respond to emergencies. Students participating in all school-sponsored trips will conduct themselves in a manner consistent with Board policies and school rules. Students who violate Board policy or school rules will be subject to disciplinary consequences. 

A.   Field Trips 

“Field Trip” means a trip that takes place during the school day and is organized and conducted by an MSAD 35 employee as a means of accomplishing particular curriculum objectives. To be educationally beneficial, a field trip requires thoughtful selection, careful advance planning, and opportunities for students to assimilate the experience during and at the conclusion of the trip. All students within the class or grade will be eligible to participate.

Field trips must be approved in advance by the building principal.

Teachers and principals will be expected to consider the following factors in planning and approval of field trips:

A. Objectives of the proposed trip and the anticipated learning outcomes;

B. Specific learning activities to be experienced during the trip;

C. Suitability of the activity and distance traveled to the age of students;

D. Mode and availability of transportation;

E. Arrangements for meals (if applicable); and

F. Availability of funding through the school budget or other appropriate sources.

In addition, the Superintendent and the Board require that for all field trips:

A. Parents/guardians give written permission for field trip participation;

B. Students and parents may be responsible only for minimal incidental expenses;

C. School bus transportation be used when arrangements can be made to do so without disrupting regular school bus schedules; 

D. Adequate supervision be provided to maintain discipline and safety and to respond to emergencies; and

B.  Competition Trips

“Competition trip” means any trip related to an academic, artistic, athletic, or other student competition or performance that involves individual students or teams. The Board recognizes that some competition trips are earned through success in qualifying events and do not lend themselves to advance planning. 

Any competition trip that is outside of those scheduled for the year must be approved in advance by the Superintendent and Board. Approval may be contingent upon availability of funding through the school budget or other sources.

C.   School-Sponsored Excursions 

“School-sponsored excursions” are trips that are organized and conducted by an employee of MSAD 35 as a non-essential supplement to the curriculum, a class social activity, or an activity planned by a student club or organization. Such trips may include overnight, long-distance in-state or out-of-state travel. 

Same-day excursions must be approved in advance by the building principal.

Teachers and principals will be expected to consider the following factors in planning and approval of school-sponsored excursions:

A. Objectives of the trip and anticipated outcomes;

B. Specific learning activities to be experienced

C. Number and grade(s) of students;

D. Criteria for selecting students;

E. Maximum number of students who may participate;

F. Cost per student, including funds requested from District and from individual students;

G. Fundraising plans (if applicable);

H. Transportation arrangements;

I. Itinerary;

J. Arrangements for meals and lodging;

K. Adequate supervision must be provided to maintain discipline and safety and to respond to emergencies;

L. Plans for safety and emergencies;

M. Plans for communicating information to parents and obtaining parental permission;

N. Accountability for student conduct; and

O. Students are expected to use district transportation to and from school-sponsored excursions unless alternative transportation arrangements have been approved by a building administrator.

Criteria for Consideration of Overnight School-Sponsored Trip

The Board and Superintendent will additionally consider the following factors for any school-sponsored overnight trip:

A. Itinerary, including review of any travel advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State (where applicable);

B. Confirmation of MSAD35 insurance coverage for the trip;

C. Total trip cost and cost per student, including fundraising plans (if applicable);

D. Arrangements for lodging;

E. Number of and information about chaperones;

F. Plans for providing trip information to parents and chaperones; and

G. Plans for emergencies

Non-School-Sponsored Trips and Excursions

Travel that is not an extension of the instructional program and has not been approved as a school-sponsored trip or excursion by a principal, the Superintendent or Board in compliance with this policy will be considered a non-school-sponsored trip and excursion.

Non-school-sponsored trips are any trips or excursions organized by District employees, parents, students, non-school groups, community members, or others acting independently of the schools. These trips or excursions involve students on a voluntary and self-supporting basis, are not approved under the authority of the Board, and are not part of or associated with the curriculum, co-curricular, or extracurricular activities.

All responsibility for non-school-sponsored trips and excursions lies with the individual(s) or group(s) organizing them. The Board accepts no responsibility for non-school-sponsored trips or excursions, and organizers should be aware that such trips or excursions are not covered by the District’s liability insurance.

To minimize the impact of these trips or excursions on the instructional program and operation of the schools, the trip should be scheduled for non-school days unless alternative arrangements have been approved by the building principal.

Instructional time may not be used to promote the trip or distribute materials. Individuals or groups who wish to use the schools for the purpose of publicizing trips or recruiting participants may do so in accordance with the Board’s facilities use policy. Individuals or groups wishing to distribute promotional materials may do so only in accordance with Board policy.  Non-school-sponsored trips and excursions must not be represented as school functions or as related to, or an extension of, the District’s instructional, co-curricular or extracurricular programs.

While private activities of staff cannot be regulated by the school, it is the responsibility of any staff engaging in such trips to notify the parents of the participating students that this is not a school activity, but a private volunteer excursion undertaken by that teacher or staff member.


Cross References: EEAG - Use of Private Vehicles or School Buses

JLCD-ER2 – Administration of Medication to Students on School Field Trips

JICEC – School-Sponsored and Non-School-Sponsored Student Publications

KHB - Advertising in the Schools

KF – Community Use of School Facilities


Policy Adopted: October 7, 1970

Policy Revised: November 4, 1992, November 10, 1993, November 19, 1996, August 15, 2001, November 17, 2004, April 25, 2012, June 20, 2018