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Escondido Union ESD |  AR  6153  Instruction

Field Trips   

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All planned trips away from school ground are subject to this regulation.

Students must have written parental permission in order to participate in field trips. The district shall provide an alternative educational experience for students whose parents/guardians do not wish them to participate.

School-Related Trips

The district may provide transportation for students, employees, and other individuals for field trips and excursions approved according to board policy and administrative regulations.

The superintendent or designee shall determine the most appropriate and cost-effective mode of transportation for each approved trip.

When district transportation is provided, students may be released from using district transportation only with the advance written permission of their parent/guardian.

School-related organizations requesting transportation shall be fully responsible for the costs of their trips unless funding has been approved by the superintendent.

The superintendent or designee shall ensure that the district has sufficient liability insurance when field trips or excursions involve either transportation by district vehicles or travel to and from a foreign country. When a trip to a foreign country is authorized, liability insurance shall be secured from a carrier licensed to transact insurance business in that country. (Education Code 35330)

Trip Approval

Teachers planning a trip shall make a request through the standardized district approval form (S.Pers 190), which shall be submitted to the principal at least four weeks for prior approval of all routine field trips. Arrangements and notifications are to be made by the teacher for cafeteria service and health services for the student at least four weeks prior to the trip.

A standardized district approval form (S.Pers 190) shall be submitted to the superintendent or designee for prior approval by the board of all extended field trips.

The principal or designee shall review a request for a routine field trip and notify the teacher if the request is approved or disapproved. If the trip is disapproved, the principal or designee shall state the reason.

Principals may exclude from the trip any student whose presence on the trip would pose a safety or disciplinary risk.

Principals shall approve no activities, which they consider to be inherently dangerous to students or pose unacceptable, unmitigated risks.

Signed parent/guardian permission form (Pupil #56) shall be secured for each student participating in each approved field trip. Permission forms shall also inform parents/guardians about the time, location, means of transportation, duration, and purpose of the field trip.


Students on approved trips are under the jurisdiction of the board and subject to school rules and regulations.

Teachers or other certificated personnel shall accompany students on all trips and shall assume responsibility for their proper conduct.

Chaperones shall be 21 years of age or older.

Before the trip, teachers shall provide any adult chaperones who may accompany the students with clear information regarding responsibilities.

Chaperones shall be assigned a prescribed group of students and shall be responsible for the continuous monitoring of these student's activities. Teachers and chaperones shall not consume alcoholic beverages or use controlled substances, including cigarettes or any other tobacco product, while accompanying and supervising students on a field trip.

Transportation by Private Vehicle

The superintendent or designee may authorize the transportation of students by private vehicle when the vehicle is driven by an adult age 21 or older who has a good driving record and who has registered with the district for such purposes. Drivers shall be required to possess a valid California driver's license and at least the minimum insurance required by law. Drivers shall complete the "Permit to Drive Private Vehicle" form.

Drivers shall receive safety and emergency instructions which shall be kept in their vehicle.

All student passengers shall provide permission slips signed by their parents/guardians. Teachers shall ensure that each driver has a copy of the permission slip for each student riding in his/her vehicle.

Vehicle owners, drivers, and passengers shall be informed that the registered owner and his/her insurance company are responsible for any accidents or violations that may occur.

Parents/guardians or volunteers who use their personal cars or other vehicles to transport students on field trips or school events must:

1. Be 21 years of age or older. Non-driving volunteers must be 18 years of age or older.

2. Verify that they possess a valid California driver's license

3. Safety check their vehicle's tires, brakes, lights, horn, suspension, etc.

4. Check the adequacy of liability insurance coverage, as they are liable in case of an accident, injury, or death resulting from use of their vehicle

5. Carry only the number of passengers (not to exceed 9) for which the vehicle was designed. The number of occupants my not exceed the number of safety belts available. Pre-school and school-age children must be restrained in the rear seat using proper restraints (car seat if applicable)

6. Carry only the number of occupants in a pickup or motor truck that can safely sit in the passenger compartment. Motorhomes may not be used to transport students. Students are forbidden to ride in the cargo area of pickups or motor trucks, whether or not cargo areas are enclosed by camper shells or other protective coverings.

7. Travel caravan style for use of more than one vehicle

Passenger Restraint Systems

All drivers shall wear seat belts in accordance with law. (Vehicle Code 27315)

SB 42 (Ch. 84, Statutes of 2001) amended Vehicle Code 27360 and 27360.5 to raise the age and weight limits for which a child's car seat or booster seat is required. The California Highway Patrol and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration generally recommend rear-facing car seats for infants up to one year of age and 20 pounds, forward-facing car seats for children over age one and between 20-40 pounds, and booster seats for children over age four and between 40-60 pounds.

Drivers shall ensure that any child who is under age six or under 60 pounds, unless exempted by law, is properly secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint system meeting federal safety standards. A child who is age six or older or weighs 60 pounds or more shall use a safety belt. (Vehicle Code 27360, 27360.5, 27363)

Safety and First Aid

A list of the names of students participating on the day of the planned field trip shall be filed by the teacher in the school office. Teachers will take a copy of student's emergency cards with them on the field trip as well as a first aid kit.

In the event of an emergency during the trip, the certificated employee(s) in charge shall notify the school and the school shall determine the need for further notifications and appropriate procedures according to Education Code 35331.

Medically Fragile Students

Students requiring specialized medical care should be chaperoned by a school nurse or other medically trained equivalent. This would be necessary for students needing insulin injections or other medically specialized procedures. Parents may attend a field trip or designate an adult to attend in their place in order to relieve the necessity for a licensed nurse to attend in order to dispense medication(s) or perform specialized procedures. Students needing medication(s) which require trained staff to administer should be chaperoned by a CPR/first aid person trained in administering the medication(s), i.e., Epipen/Glucagon.

For students requiring medical procedures, while conducting a field trip, the teacher, employee, or agent of the school shall have the school's first aid kit and a copy of student's emergency card in his/her possession or immediately available. (Education Code 32040, 32041) The students requiring medical procedures shall stay with the person who will be administering medication(s) or treatments.

Prior to taking an extended field trip that has been approved by the board, the principal or designee shall hold a meeting for staff, parents/guardians, and students to discuss safety and the importance of safety-related rules for the trip. For noncertificated adults who will be chaperoning or assisting in the supervision of students on the trip, the principal or designee may also hold a meeting to explain how to keep appropriate groups together and what to do if an emergency occurs.

Teachers are responsible to ensure that student(s) who carry/self-administer their own medication(s) have their medication(s) with them prior to leaving the school.

Trips Which Include Swimming and/or Other Water Activities

When wading in the ocean, bay, river, or other body of water is part of a planned, supervised field trip, teachers shall ensure a number of chaperones to provide a ratio of one adult to ten students in grades six, seven, and eight, one adult to eight in grades four through five, and one adult to four in grades kindergarten through three.

Off-campus swim parties fall under the parameters of the field trip policy, which means they may not take place during the regular school day.

Off-campus swim parties must be located at public pools staffed by certified American Red Cross lifeguards.

Trips Which Include Swimming or Wading

1. No swimming or wading shall be allowed on trips unless planned and approved in advance.

2. When wading in the ocean, bay, river, or other body of water as part of a planned, supervised outdoor education activity, teachers shall provide for a number of chaperones to exceed the normal one to ten ratio and shall instruct both chaperones and students of the real and potential risks inherent in such activities and the precautions necessary for their safety.

3. Swimming Activities

a. Parents/guardians must provide written permission for the student to swim and must indicate the student's swimming ability.

b. Swimming facilities, including backyard pools, must be inspected by the principal and teacher before the trip is scheduled.

c. Owners of private pools must provide a certificate of insurance, designating the district as an additional insured, for not less than $500,000 in liability coverage.

d. Lifeguards must be designated for all swimming activities. If lifeguards are not provided by the pool owner or operator, the principal shall ensure their presence. Lifeguards must be Red Cross certified or equivalent and must be at least 21 years old.

e. The ratio of adult chaperones to students shall be at least one to ten. In grades 4-6, this ratio shall be one to eight. In grades K-3, this ratio shall be one to four.

Specific supervisory responsibilities shall be determined in advance to accommodate the varying swimming abilities of students. These responsibilities shall be clarified in writing and reviewed verbally before the trip.

f. Emergency procedures shall be included with written instructions to adult chaperones and staff.

g. Staff and chaperones assigned to supervise students must wear swimsuits and know how to swim.

h. The principal may require students to wear flotation devices, depending upon their age and swimming ability.

i. A buddy-system or other means of surveillance shall be arranged in advance and strictly enforced during swimming activities.

Specific supervisory responsibilities shall be determined in advance to accommodate the varying swimming abilities of students. These responsibilities shall be clarified in writing and reviewed verbally before the trip.


October 12, 2006 Escondido, California