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Vista USD |  BP  6153  Instruction

School-Sponsored Trips   

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The Board of Education recognizes that school-sponsored trips are an important component of a student's development and supplement and enrich the classroom learning experience. School-sponsored trips may be conducted in connection with the district's course of study or other extracurricular or co-curricular activities.

Any District approved educational activity involving the transport of students from the school campus while under the direct supervision of site personnel is defined as a school sponsored trip. A school-sponsored trip must have both site and District approval and be under the direct, continuous supervision of site personnel.

Requests for school-sponsored 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 school-sponsored trips shall be approved in advance by the principal and the Superintendent or designee.

The Board authorizes the Superintendent or designee to approve contracts and enter into agreements for school-sponsored trips. Employees of the District may not enter into contracts or agreements authorizing school-sponsored trips.

The district shall maintain a process for approving a staff member's request to conduct a school-sponsored 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.

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

District funds shall not be used to pay expenses of students, instructors, chaperones, and other personnel for out-of-district field trips or excursions. (Education Code 35330)

Any excursion, trip, tour, cruise, or other venture involving school age youngsters that is not site-approved or is not under the direct supervision of site personnel is not a site/school-sponsored trip. The school district assumes no responsibility or liability for any such activities that are not site-sponsored as defined above. Additionally, no excursion, trip, tour, cruise, or other venture not specifically approved in advance by the site and District will be promoted as a site activity. Only when those requests for school-sponsored trips are consistent with applicable laws, regulations, and district- and site-sponsored trip policies, will they be considered for site approval.

All school-sponsored trips must meet the following criteria and procedural safeguards.

1. The trip is consistent with district educational goals;

2. The trip will provide the students with unique experiences that are not available in a classroom setting;

3. The learning opportunities for students justify the time and expense in planning and conducting the trip;

4. The trip does not unduly distract from the students' regular classroom responsibilities;

5. The trip is planned and coordinated by employees of the site;

6. The trip will not expose the district to an unreasonable degree of liability and proper and adequate supervision of students shall be undertaken; site personnel supervising students will sign a statement acknowledging their supervision responsibilities.

7. All persons making the school-sponsored trip shall be deemed to have waived all claims against the district or State for injury, accident, illness or death occurring during or by reason of the school-sponsored trip. All adults or parents/guardians of students taking school-sponsored trips shall sign a statement waiving such claims as part of the written consent process for the trip;

8. Site personnel are responsible for the supervision of volunteers during the course of any field trip or excursion. Appropriate behavior by these volunteers is the responsibility of the site employees who have planned and supervised the trip. Site personnel are responsible for the continuous supervision of students while on the trip.

9. Site personnel, volunteers and chaperones shall not use or be under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or controlled substance, as defined in 21 USC 812, while supervising a school-sponsored trip.

10. Students on approved, sponsored trips are under the jurisdiction of the Board and subject to school rules and regulations.

11. While conducting school-sponsored trips, the teachers, employee or agent of the school shall have the school's first aid kit in his/her possession or immediately available.

12. Chaperones shall be under the supervision of site personnel and may be assigned a prescribed group of students; they shall be responsible for the continuous monitoring of these students' activities.

13. Transportation for all trips shall comply with Board Policies regarding transportation for school related trips (AR 3541.1).

School-Sponsored Trip Approval Process

1. Staff planning a school-sponsored trip shall make the request in writing to the principal prior to the date desired. No distribution of materials or fund-raising activities may be conducted prior to receiving principal's permission.

2. The principal shall approve or disapprove the request. If the trip is approved, the request will be forwarded to the Superintendent or designee for final approval and action. If the trip is disapproved the principal should state the reasons. Included as a requirement for the site approval is the submission of a supervision safety plan.

3. Signed parent/guardian permission forms must be on file prior to the scheduled activity or trip.

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

5. Prior approval by the Board is required for all overnight trips, out-of-state travel, or travel to a foreign country. No distribution of materials or fund-raising activities may be conducted prior to receiving written permission for overnight or out-of-state trips from the Board.

Non-Sponsored Activity Trips

No distribution of materials or fund-raising activities promoting non-sponsored educational tours may take place on school district premises until written permission has been received from the Superintendent or designee.

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


17540 Travel promoters

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: November 18, 2010 Vista, California