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Petaluma City Schools |  AR  6153  Instruction

School-Sponsored Trips   

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All planned trips away from school grounds, including athletic trips and outdoor education programs, are subject to this regulation.

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that adequate supervision is provided on all school sponsored trips and that there is an appropriate ratio of adults to students present on the trip. If the trip involves water activities, this ratio shall be revised as necessary.

Students must have written parental permission in order to participate in trips requiring transportation. (Education Code 35350) The district shall provide an alternative educational experience for students whose parents/guardians do not wish them to participate in a trip.

All persons making the field trip or excursion shall be deemed to have waived all claims against the district or the State of California for injury, accident, illness, or death occurring during or by reason of the field trip or excursion. All adults taking out-of-state field trips or excursions and all parents/guardians of students taking out-of state field trips or excursions shall sign a statement waiving such claims

Safety and First Aid

1. While conducting a trip, the teacher, employee or agent of the school shall have the school's first aid kit in his/her possession or immediately available. (Education Code 32040, 32041) Whenever trips are conducted in areas known to be infested with poisonous snakes, the first aid kit taken on the trip shall contain medically accepted snakebite remedies. In addition, a teacher, employee, or agent of the school who has completed a first aid course which is certified by the American Red Cross and which emphasizes the treatment of snakebites shall participate in the trip. (Education Code 32043)

2. Before trips of more than one day, the principal or designee shall hold a meeting for staff, chaperones, parents/guardians and students to discuss safety and the importance of safety-related rules for the trip.

3. For overnight field trips, chaperones shall be subject to the California Department of Justice fingerprint clearance.


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

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

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

4. Chaperones shall be 21 years of age or older.

5. Chaperones shall be assigned a prescribed group of students and shall be responsible for the continuous monitoring of these students' activities.

6. Teachers and chaperones shall not consume alcoholic beverages or use controlled substances while accompanying and supervising students on a trip.

7. When a trip is made to a place of business or industry, the teacher shall arrange for an employee of the host company to serve as conductor.


No student shall be prevented from making a trip because of a lack of sufficient funds. No trip shall be authorized if any student would be excluded from participation because of a lack of sufficient funds. (Education Code 35330)

Trip Approval

1. Teachers planning a trip shall make a request in writing to the principal at least 10 days prior to the date desired. Whenever practical, an alternate date should also be listed. The purpose of the trip and its relation to the course of study shall be stated in the request.

2. The principal shall approve or disapprove the request and notify the teacher. If the trip is disapproved, the principal should state the reasons.

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

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

Trips Which Include Swimming or Wading

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

2. No private facilities (including back-yard pools) may be accessed for swimming.

3. Swimming Activities

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

b. 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.

c. The ratio of adult chaperones to students shall be at least one to 10. In grades 4-6, this ratio shall be one to eight. In grades K-3, this ratio shall be one to four.

d. 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.

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

f. Staff and chaperones assigned to supervise students must wear swim suits and know how to swim.

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

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


approved: June 25, 2002 Petaluma, California

revised: September 25, 2007