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San Mateo Un HSD |  BP  6153  Instruction

School-Sponsored Trips   

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The Board of Trustees recognizes that field trips supplement and enrich the classroom learning experience, lead to increased student achievement, and foster student engagement. The Board encourages field trips to reinforce and increase learning opportunities and to enhance district programs.

(cf. 0460 - Local Control and Accountability Plan)

Field trips shall be conducted in connection with the district's course of study or school-related social, educational, cultural, athletic, school band, or other extracurricular or cocurricular activities. A field trip to a foreign country may be permitted to familiarize students with the language, history, geography, natural science, and other studies relative to the district's course of study. (Education Code 35330)

(cf. 6143 - Courses of Study)

(cf. 6145 - Extracurricular and Cocurricular Activities)

(cf. 6145.2 - Athletic Competition)

Requests for field trips involving out-of-state, out-of-country, or overnight travel shall be submitted to the Superintendent or designee. The Superintendent or designee shall review the request and make a recommendation to the Board as to whether the request should be approved by the Board. All other field trips shall be approved in advance by the principal.

(cf. 3312.2 - Educational Travel Program Contracts)

The principal shall establish a process for approving a staff member's request to conduct a field trip. When planning trips, staff shall consider student safety, objectives of instruction, the most effective use of instructional time, the distance from school, district and student expense, and transportation and supervision requirements. Principals may exclude from the trip any student whose presence on the trip would pose a safety or disciplinary risk.

(cf. 3530 - Risk Management/Insurance)

(cf. 3541.1 - Transportation for School-Related Trips)

(cf. 5142 - Safety)

(cf. 5143 - Insurance)

(cf. 5144 - Discipline)

(cf. 5144.1 - Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process)

No field trip shall be authorized if any student would be excluded from participation because of a lack of sufficient funds. The Superintendent or designee shall coordinate with community groups to supply funds for students in need. (Education Code 35330)

(cf. 1230 - School-Connected Organizations)

(cf. 1321 - Solicitation of Funds from and by Students)

(cf. 1700 - Relations Between Private Industry and the Schools)

The Board may approve the use of district funds for student expenses for in-state, out-of-state, or out-of-country field trips or excursions when permitted by law. In addition, expenses of instructors, chaperones, and other personnel participating in such trips, as well as incidental expenses for the use of district equipment during the trip, may be paid from district funds. (Education Code 35330)

International School Sponsored Trips

In order for an international trip to be presented to the Board, it must receive approval of the principal of the high school and the Management Policy Group which is convened by the Superintendent, at least six months in advance of the trip.

Travel Limitations: Athletic School-Sponsored Trips

1. All regular season competitive athletic contests, including practice games, scheduled by a high school of the district shall be held within the 9 Bay Area Counties or Central Coast Section.

2. Travel to Central Coast Section playoffs and finals and state competitions and overnight stay when appropriate are provided under this policy for students qualified to compete in such events.

3. Special exception to the policy may be made for specific sports upon request to the Superintendent or designee by the principal of the school.

Non-School-Sponsored Field Trips/Excursions

A non-school-sponsored field trip/excursion is defined as one that is organized and promoted by an outside organization whether or not it is of an educational value or is somehow connected to a particular course of study. This includes trips that are organized by organizations that may be affiliated with the district (i.e., parent organizations, cultural groups, etc.). Such travel may involve youth who are students but it is not related to or approved in any way by the school system. The school does not excuse absences. Teachers are not responsible for creating school work ahead of time.

Students must make up missed academic work. The school system bears no responsibility for travel arrangements. Non-sanctioned field trips organized by employees acting as independent contractors/agents involving students on a volunteer, self-supporting basis are not approved by the district and are not considered a part of the curriculum. Total responsibility for privately planned field trips or tours rests with the individual(s) and agency sponsoring them. The district assumes no legal or financial responsibilities for non-sanctioned field trips. Any meeting or communication of non-school-sponsored field trips or excursions must adhere to district facility-use policies.

Legal Reference:


8760 Authorization of outdoor science and conservation programs

32040-32044 First aid equipment: field trips

35330 Excursions and field trips

35331 Provision for medical or hospital service for pupils (on field trips)

35332 Transportation by chartered airline

35350 Transportation of students

44808 Liability when pupils not on school property

48908 Duties of pupils; authority of teachers


17550-17550.9 Sellers of travel

17552-17556.5 Educational travel organizations

Management Resources:


American Red Cross:

California Association of Directors of Activities:

U.S. Department of Homeland Security:


adopted: June 7, 2018 San Mateo, California