Board Policies & Administrative Procedures

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AP 2 – 09: Field Trips – Planning and Requirements

Related Policies:
Related Procedures:
Exhibits:

  1. Field Trip Application
  2. Acknowledgement of Risk and Informed Consent Form – Exemplars for Offsite Activities, Local Excursions, Sports Team and Typical Day Trips
  3. Medical Information and Medication Administration and Release Form
  4. Medication Administration Log

Initial Approval: 2014 April 08
Last Amended: 2022 October 20
Last Reviewed: 2022 October 20


PURPOSE

To ensure field trips provide a reasonably safe educational experience through effective organization and risk reduction.


SCOPE

This procedure applies to all staff planning field trips for students.


DEFINITIONS

Moderate Risk Activity – the list of moderate activities below are not for every grade or student.  These activities require special attention as there is the potential for risk and must be reviewed by the principal and reviewed against the Safety Guidelines for Physical Activity in Alberta.

Prohibited Activities - The list of prohibited activities below are considered high risk and are prohibited.

ACTIVITY NAME

CURRENT INFO / DEFINITION

CATEGORY

Amusement Park Rides

 

Moderate Risk

Archery - under qualified supervision

 

Moderate Risk

Baseball (Hardball)

A ball game played between two teams of nine on a field with a diamond-shaped circuit of four bases

Moderate Risk

Broom Ball

A game similar to ice hockey, usually played on a rink, in which the players use brooms instead of hockey sticks to shoot a volleyball into the opponent's goal.

Moderate Risk

Canoeing - up to and including Class II

Refer to Paddle Canada’s Paddling Association Risk Management Requirements – Annex C- International River Classification System.

Moderate Risk

Cheerleading (aerobatic)

A sport involving the performance of organized cheering, chanting, and dancing in support of a sports team at games

Moderate Risk

Classroom Flight Training

 

Moderate Risk

Crazy Carpet on a slope of less than five metres in height or with an incline of less than 30 degrees

 

Moderate Risk

Cycling

Cycling activities which follow the Safety Guidelines for Physical Activities in Alberta Schools

Moderate Risk

Diving

 

Moderate Risk

Farming Field Trips (including feeding livestock and upkeep of greenhouses)

As allowed by the Alberta Guide to Education

Moderate Risk

Firearms Courses (no live ammunition)

 

Moderate Risk

Fishing - Ice Fishing

Fishing through holes in the ice on a lake or river

Moderate Risk

Football

 

Moderate Risk

Gymnastics

Exercises developing or displaying physical agility and coordination. The modern sport of gymnastics typically involves exercises on uneven bars, balance beam, floor, and vaulting horse (for women), and horizontal and parallel bars, rings, floor, and pommel horse (for men).

Moderate Risk

Hockey - Ball Hockey

A form of hockey played in a gymnasium or arena, or on any outdoor surface without ice, using a hard plastic ball in place of a puck

Moderate Risk

Hockey - Field Hockey

A game played between two teams of eleven players who use hooked sticks to drive a small hard ball toward goals at opposite ends of a field.

Moderate Risk

Hockey - Floor Hockey

Floor hockey is an off-ice sport played by two teams whose main objective is to hit a puck or ball into the opponent's goal using a plastic stick.

Moderate Risk

Hockey - Ice Hockey

A fast contact sport played on an ice rink between two teams of six skaters, who attempt to drive the puck into the opposing goal with hooked or angled sticks

Moderate Risk

Horseback Riding

The sport or activity of riding horses

Moderate Risk

Hunter Training

Capturing of wildlife using traps, crossbows. (Firearms are prohibited)

Moderate Risk

Kayaking - Up to and including Class II

Refer to Paddle Canada’s Paddling Association Risk Management Requirements – Annex C- International River Classification System

Moderate Risk

Lacrosse(Field, Box)

A team game, originally played by North American Indigenous people, in which the ball is thrown, caught, and carried with a long-handled stick having a curved L shaped or triangular frame at one end with a piece of shallow netting in the angle.

Moderate Risk

Martial Arts Training

Various sports or skills, mainly of Japanese origin, that originated as forms of self-defence or attack, such as judo, karate, and kendo (refer to Safety Guidelines for Physical Activity in Alberta Schools)

Moderate Risk

Mountain Biking(Cross Country)

Cross-country courses and trails consist of a mix of rough forest paths and single track (also referred to as double track depending on width), smooth fire roads, and even paved paths connecting other trails

Moderate Risk

Orienteering

A competitive sport in which participants find their way to various checkpoints across rough country with the aid of a map and compass, the winner being the one with the lowest elapsed time

Moderate Risk

Ringette (Ice)

A game resembling ice hockey, played with a straight stick and a rubber rin

Moderate Risk

Rocketry - Bottle Rockets

A firework typically consisting of a cylindrical case that is partly filled with combustible material and fastened to a guiding stick which may be placed in a bottle to control the direction of the rocket's launch

Moderate Risk

Roller Blading

A boot with a single row of small wheels on the bottom that you wear in order to travel along quickly for enjoyment

Moderate Risk

Ropes Courses (low)

A series of cables, ropes, and obstacles strung between trees or poles, 12 to 18 inches above the ground

Moderate Risk

Rugby

 

Moderate Risk

Sailing

 

Moderate Risk

Scuba diving in a swimming pool (Minimum standards)

 

Moderate Risk

Self Defence (no weapons)

The defence of one's person or interests, especially through the use of physical force, which is permitted in certain cases as an answer to a charge of violent crime

Moderate Risk

Skateboarding / Skateboarding Parks

 

Moderate Risk

Skating - Ice Skating

 

Moderate Risk

Skating - Ice Skating - Outdoor

Skating on ice surfaces where there is a risk of penetrating the ice.

Moderate Risk

Skiing - Downhill

 

Moderate Risk

Sledding on a slope of less than five metres in height or with an include of less than 30 degrees

 

Moderate Risk

Slingshot

Following the guidelines for Archery in Spheres and the Safety Guidelines for Activity in Alberta Schools

Moderate Risk

Snowboarding

 

Moderate Risk

Softball

A sport similar to baseball played on a small diamond with a ball that is larger than a baseball and that is pitched underhand

Moderate Risk

Swimming - in a pool or controlled swimming area

Supervision Required

Moderate Risk

Swimming (Synchronized)

A sport in which members of a team of swimmers perform coordinated or identical movements in time to music.

Moderate Risk

Team Handball or “European Handball”

A game played between two teams of seven players each, the object being to throw the ball into a hockey like goal at either end of the rectangular court. The ball is moved by dribbling and passing with the hands

Moderate Risk

Tobogganing on a slope of less than five metres in height or with an incline of less than 30 degrees

 

Moderate Risk

Track and Field - in field events: Includes discus, javelin, shot put, and high jump

 

Moderate Risk

Tubing on a slope of less than five metres in height or with an incline of less than 30 degrees

 

Moderate Risk

Wall Climbing (in licensed facilities)

 

Moderate Risk

Water Polo

A seven-a-side game played by swimmers in a pool, with a ball like a volleyball that is thrown into the opponent's net

Moderate Risk

Water slides / water park

 

Moderate Risk

Weightlifting

The sport or activity of lifting barbells or other heavy weights.

Moderate Risk

 

ACTIVITY NAME

CURRENT INFO / DEFINITION

CATEGORY

Activities in Wilderness or Remote Locations

Taking any activity including but not limited to hiking, biking, or camping into wilderness or remote areas greatly increases the risk.

Backcountry refers to remote, undeveloped rural areas or sparsely inhabited rural areas; wilderness

Prohibited

Aerial Gymnastics (excluding cheerleading)

A stunt in which the gymnast turns completely over in the air without touching the apparatus with his or her hands

Prohibited

Aerial Parks

Parks which have various structures or layouts usually with ropes and bridges elevated by man made structures or in a forested area

Prohibited

Air travel other than by commercial airline

 

Prohibited

American Gladiator Style Events

An athletic competition game show where contestants, referred to as "contenders", competed against the show's titular Gladiators in a series of physical games called "events" with the goal to be crowned the Grand Champion

Prohibited

Auto Racing

Auto racing is a motorsport involving the racing of automobiles for competition

Prohibited

Axe Throwing

 

Prohibited

Axe Training

Learning how to handle and utilize and axe

 

Bobsledding

 

Prohibited

Boxing

Contact is Prohibited

Prohibited

Bungee Jumping

The activity of leaping from a high place while secured by a long nylon-cased rubber band around the ankles

Prohibited

Canoeing - water greater than Class II

Refer to Paddle Canada’s Paddling Association Risk Management Requirements – Annex C- International River Classification System.

Prohibited

Caving

Also known as spelunking - the exploration of caves

Prohibited

Crazy Carpet on a slope of greater than five metres in height or with an incline of greater than 30 degrees

 

Prohibited

Demolition Derbies

A competition in which typically older cars are driven into each other until only one is left running

Prohibited

Demolition of derelict vehicles, equipment or buildings

 

Prohibited

Diving - High Platform

Diving from a platform 5m or above.

Prohibited

Diving into or sliding on foam, mud, ice or snow

Any of these activities irrespective of method used or height of the activity

Prohibited

Drag Racing

A race between two or more cars over a short distance, usually a quarter of a mile, as a test of acceleration

Prohibited

Dunk Tanks

An attraction at a carnival or similar event in which contestants throw balls at a target with the aim of triggering a mechanism that causes a seated person to drop into a tank of water

Prohibited

Excursions during or immediately after extreme weather or geological events (earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, etc.)

 

Prohibited

Excursions to regions with political or civil instability

 

Prohibited

Excursions to war zones – imminent or existing

 

Prohibited

Extreme Sports (recreational activities perceived as involving a high degree of risk. These activities often involve speed, height, a high level of physical exertion, and highly specialized gear)

 

Prohibited

Fencing

The sport of fighting with swords, especially foils, épées, or sabres, according to a set of rules, in order to score points against an opponent

Prohibited

Float Rides (example – a parade float)

 

Prohibited

Go-Karting

 

Prohibited

Hand Gliding

The sport of launching oneself from a cliff or a steep incline and soaring through the air by means of a hang glide

Prohibited

Hay Rides

 

Prohibited

Hiking in hazardous areas

Hiking in areas where the inherent risk of injury is higher due to the difficulty of the terrain or exposure to rapidly changing conditions that increase risks to a level which cannot be adequately managed

Prohibited

Horse Jumping

 

Prohibited

Hot air balloon rides (tethered and untethered)

 

Prohibited

Ice Climbing

 

Prohibited

In flight air school hours (i.e. flying solo)

 

Prohibited

Inflatable Activities (Including Bouncy Castles Sumo Suits and Hamster Balls)

 

Prohibited

Kayaking – In moving water greater than Class II

Refer to Paddle Canada’s Paddling Association Risk Management Requirements – Annex C- International River Classification System.

Prohibited

Kickboxing

Contact is prohibited

Prohibited

Laser Tag

 

Prohibited

Martial Arts - with full contact

Contact is prohibited

Prohibited

Mechanical bull riding or simulated mechanical rodeo events

 

Prohibited

Moto-cross (motorized or BMX bicycle)

 

Prohibited

Motorcycling of any nature

 

Prohibited

Mountain Biking – Back Country

Biking in remote areas with no access to communication and health care. Backcountry refers to remote, undeveloped rural areas or sparsely inhabited rural areas; wilderness

Prohibited

Mountain Biking (Trail, Enduro and All-mountain Riding, Freeride and Downhill)

Trail Mountain Biking is a more aggressive type of cross country riding. It generally means riding less fire roads and easy tracks and replacing them with more technical single tracks both up and down. Enduro and all-mountain riding is faster, steeper and more aggressive, involving bigger drops and jumps. Unexpected terrain hazards are involved. Freeride and Downhill: This level of mountain biking is designed for the advanced and extreme riders involving high speed, technical sections and massive drops. Generally held in mountain biking parks.

Prohibited

Mountaineering

 

Prohibited

Moving water programs in waters greater than Class II

 

Prohibited

Off road/All-Terrain vehicles

 

Prohibited

Orbing/Zorbing (human hamster ball)

An extreme sport in which a person is strapped inside a very large plastic ball and rolled down a hillside

Prohibited

Paintball

 

Prohibited

Parasailing and paragliding

 

Prohibited

Parkour

The activity or sport of moving rapidly through an area, typically in an urban environment, negotiating obstacles by running, jumping and climbing.

Prohibited

Performances involving/including open flames

Open flame devices are defined as candles, torches, butane burners or any other flame producing device

Prohibited

Personal watercraft (“Seadoos”)

 

Prohibited

Pole Vault (Track and Field)

 

Prohibited

Pyrotechnics

Pyrotechnics is the science and craft of using self contained and self-sustained exothermic chemical reactions to make heat, light, gas, smoke and/or sound

Prohibited

Racing of watercraft

Competition using water vessels or waterborne vessels. Watercraft are vehicles used in water, including boats, ships, hovercraft and jetskis. Watercraft usually have a propulsive capability (whether by sail, oar, paddle or engine) and hence are distinct from a simple device that merely floats, such as a log raft

Prohibited

Rifle Ranges or other activities involving firearms

A place for practicing shooting with rifles and/or firearms

Prohibited

Rock climbing (wall climbing is permitted)

The sport or activity of climbing rock faces, especially with the aid of ropes and special equipment.

Prohibited

Rocketry

Use of model rockets designed to reach low altitudes and be recovered by a variety of means.

Prohibited

Rodeo event participation

American style professional rodeos generally comprise the following events: tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc riding, bull riding and barrel racing.

Prohibited

Scuba diving - Open Water

Open water - any natural body of water, rivers, lakes, and oceans

Prohibited

Ski Jumping

Descending from a specially designed ramp on skis.

Prohibited

Skiing – Cross Country (Back Country)

Skiing - Cross Country  in remote areas with no access to communication and health care. Backcountry refers to remote, undeveloped rural areas or sparsely inhabited rural areas; wilderness

Prohibited

Skydiving

A sport in which a person jumps from an aircraft and falls for as long as possible before opening a parachute

Prohibited

Sledding sledding on a slope of greater than five meters in height or with an incline of greater than 30 degrees

 

Prohibited

Sleigh Rides

 

Prohibited

Slip and Slide Devices

 

Prohibited

Snorkeling – Open water

Open water - any natural body of water, rivers, lakes, and oceans

Prohibited

Snowmobiling

A sport in which a person operates a motorized vehicle designed for winter travel and recreation on snow.

Prohibited

Swimming – Open Water

Swimming in ocean, large lakes or moving water

Prohibited

Tobogganing on a slope of greater than five meters in height or with an incline of greater than 30 degrees

 

Prohibited

Trampoline

The sport of jumping and tumbling on a trampoline

Prohibited

Tubing sledding on a slope of greater than five meters in height or with an incline of greater than 30 degrees

 

Prohibited

Ultra-light plane flight

Ultralight aviation (called microlight aviation in some countries) is the flying of lightweight, 1- or 2-seat fixed wing aircraft

Prohibited

War Games

 

Prohibited

Water skiing

Water skiing is a surface water sport in which an individual is pulled behind a boat or a cable ski installation over a body of water, skimming the surface on two skis or one ski

Prohibited

Winter biathlon with live ammunition

The biathlon is a winter sport that combines crosscountry skiing and rifle shooting

Prohibited

Zip lining

A cable suspended above an incline to which a pulley and harness are attached for a rider

Prohibited

Field Trip - see Administrative Procedure 2-22 Field Trip Approval

Field Trip Leader – for Educational Field Trips, a certificated teacher employed by the Division or, for ExtraCurricular Trips only, a volunteer or any staff member approved by the Principal.

Loco Parentis – in the place of a parent


PROCEDURES

Field Trip Approval

1. No staff member shall embark on a field trip without electronic approval from the authorizing authority, as described in Administrative Procedure 2-22 Field Trips – Approval. As early as is practically possible, staff members should inform the Principal of their intention to plan a field trip.

2. Staff members who are seeking approval of a field trip must make an electronic application for approval in accord with the terms and timelines set out in Administrative Procedure 2-22 Field Trips – Approval. 

Field Trip Leader Responsibilities 

3. Every field trip as described in this procedure must have a designated Field Trip Leader approved by the school Principal. The Field Trip Leader plans and organizes the field trip and is responsible for:

3.1 Identifying risks and providing methods of addressing safety concerns. For High Risk Activities, reviewing the hazards and implementing the risk control measures recommended in ASBIE Off-Site Policy and Procedures Manual.
3.2 Following timelines, completing electronic forms, obtaining permissions and fulfilling the requirements outlined in this Procedure.
3.3 Ensuring that no student(s) are excluded from a curriculum trip on the basis of ability to pay. In those cases, where students do not participate in a trip necessitated by the curriculum, the Field Trip Leader must make appropriate alternate learning experiences available to those students.

Requirements for Supervision of Students

4. Field Trip Leaders are responsible for the level and quality of supervision on each trip, giving consideration to the following factors:

4.1 The number of participants.
4.2 The age, maturity and competency of the participants.
4.3 The distance involved.
4.4 The duration of the field trip.
4.5 The nature of the venue(s) being visited.
4.6 The type of transportation being used.
4.7 The nature of the activities to be undertaken and the risks associated with them.
4.8 The extent to which the teacher supervisor is familiar with the venue(s) and activities.
4.9 The supervision guidelines suggested in the Safety Guidelines for Physical Activity in Alberta Schools and ASBIE Off-Site Policy and Procedures Manual. For High Risk Activities, the Field Trip Leader shall consider the ASBIE Off-Site Policy and Procedures Manual recommendations for the required qualifications that supervisors require.
4.10 Other factors which are important to the successful and safe implementation of the trip.

5. Field Trip Leaders may only assign supervisory duties to adults 21 years of age or older.

6. Field Trip Leaders shall consider the following guidelines to determine adequate supervision levels.

6.1. For trips of less than 2 hours where students are walking to the destination, typical school day supervision levels are deemed to be adequate.
6.2. For trips to destinations of less than 30 kilometres from the school or for trips of less than 12 hours in duration, the recommended levels of supervision at the destination is:
   - one adult to ten students (1:10) for students in kindergarten to grade five.
   - one adult to fifteen students (1:15) for grades six to twelve.
6.3 For trips to destinations of more than 30 kilometres from the school or longer than 12 hours in duration, the recommend levels of supervision at the destination is: - one adult to five students (1:5) for students in kindergarten
   - one adult to eight students (1:8) for students in grades one to three - one adult to ten students (1:10) for students in grades four to eight - one adult to fifteen students (1:15) for students in grades nine to twelve.
6.4 Staff at the destination maybe considered to be supervisors provided that they are providing direct instruction, coaching, or supervision to the students.
6.5 Typically, recommended levels of supervision during transportation to and from the destination are the same as the recommended levels of supervision at the destination (see 6.1 and 6.2). If the students are being transported by school bus and the trip is less than 30 kilometres or less than 2 hours in duration, typical school day supervision levels are deemed to be adequate.

7. Field Trip Leaders shall ensure that there are both male and female supervisors for overnight trips where students of both genders are participating.

8. Field Trip Leaders shall ensure that students are supervised at all times. An adult supervisor must be available to students at all times (24 hours per day) on all field trips.

Emergency Planning

9. Field Trip Leaders must ensure that all personnel involved in field trips shall be familiar with the doctrine of in “loco parentis”.

10. Field Trip Leaders shall determine the extent to which it is necessary for trip supervisory personnel to possess a current knowledge of basic first aid, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and/or other emergency procedures. When determining the first aid qualifications that supervisors require, Field Trip Leaders shall consider, identified student medical needs, the risks of injury associated with the trip, and the response time for medical support.

11. Field Trip Leaders shall ensure that all students and supervisors, participating in field trips to destinations outside Canada, provide evidence to demonstrate that appropriate out of country medical coverage has been obtained.

12. Field Trip Leaders shall ensure that students are informed of specific strategies they should use should they become lost or separated. The Field Trip Leader will, where appropriate, provide students with the following:

12.1 A muster location.
12.2 The Field Trip Leader and supervisor’s cell phone numbers.
12.3 The address and phone number for hotels, airlines, Canadian embassy or consulate, etc.

13. Field Trip Leaders shall construct a Resource Kit for each field trip. A Resource Kit should consist of, but not necessarily be limited to:

13.1 A first aid kit, unless a first aid kit is otherwise readily available.
13.2 A cell phone or other reliable means of communication, given the nature of the trip.
13.3 The Field Trip Package created through the Laserfiche Field Trip application which includes: Emergency student contact information, condensed medical information, medication administration log,  contact telephone numbers for the parents/guardians of all participating students and supervisors, Contact information for emergency authorities at the destination and any other locations visited, Phone numbers of school administrators.

14. If an accident occurs during a field trip, the Field Trip Leader shall have a plan to:

14.1 Communicate the need for rescue, assistance or ambulance as required.

14.2 Communicate to the supervisors, Principal and parents changes made to field trip agendas and destinations in the event of an emergency.

14.3 Complete an accident report.

Transportation

15. Field Trip Leaders shall ensure that all travel shall be by approved school bus, school owned bus, approved public transportation or approved private transportation. When using private transportation, the Field Trip Leader must follow Administrative Procedure 5 – 06 Transportation of Students in Private Vehicles. Informed Parental Consent

16. Field Trip leaders shall attach a Parent Information Letter in the electronic field trip form which includes, depending on the nature and complexity of the field trip, but is not limited to the following:

  • A description of the purpose and educational benefits of the activity.
  • The Field Trip Leader’s name and contact information (school phone number).
  • An itinerary that includes, for each activity, its date and time of departure and arrival, the location, mode of transportation used to get to the site, and any accommodation.
  • A map of the area or the address of the destination.
  • Risk assessment and controls for each activity. For High Risk Activities, the parents must be advised of the hazards listed in ASBIE Off-Site Policy and Procedures Manual.
  • Student cost and/or financial arrangements of the activity as well as cancellation and refund policy.
  • Advise that the Superintendent and Board retain the right to cancel any trip without providing compensation for monies lost by the school or families due to cancelation.
  • Supervisory arrangements.
  • Need for additional medical coverage for out of country trips.
  • Parent meeting dates, if any.
  • Any other related information that may change the parent’s decision to allow the student’s participation.
  • Information regarding the parents’ rights to deny participation.
  • The responsibility of the parent to provide their child’s medical history.
  • A method for parents to ask and receive answers to questions.
  • For out of country trips, a Consent Letter for Children Traveling Abroad must be completed. See http://travel.gc.ca/ for a sample letter.

17. Field Trip Leaders must ensure that there is an electronic signed copy completed and on file in Laserfiche for each participating student. 

Record Keeping/Retention

18. On every occasion that the Field Trip Leader or any supervisor authorized by the Field Trip Leader gives a student medication as permitted by the parent in the electronic field trip package it must be noted in the Medication Administration form. 

19. Prior to the departure date, the Principal shall ensure the filed trip leader has all required electronic approvals from parents and a filed trip package from Laserfiche. This information is retained for three years in Laserfiche. Completed accident forms are to be uploaded into the field trip in Laserfiche. 

20. In the event of an incident that a reasonable person would consider to be out of the ordinary for the nature of the activity including but not limited to an accident, injury, student discipline issue, the Principal will upload the paperwork to the field trip in Laserfiche and this will be kept for an additional ten years.


General

21. Field Trip Leaders shall  share a copy of the student participant list with emergency phone numbers and include supervisors and volunteer driver's phone numbers to the bus driver, each supervisor, and to the Principal.

22. Field Trip Leaders shall make changes to the planned itinerary only with permission of the school principal, except in situations where the Field Trip Leader determines that the safety of a field trip participant is endangered.


REFERENCE AND LINKS

Education Act
Safety Guidelines for Physical Activities in Alberta Schools
SPHEReS - School Physical Activity, Health & Education Resource for Safety
Administrative Procedure 5 – 06 Transportation of Students in Private Vehicles


HISTORY

2010 Mar 30 Reviewed
2012 Apr 23 Reviewed
2012 May 07 Reviewed
2012 Aug 29 Reviewed
2013 May 01 Reviewed
2013 July 01 Reviewed
2014 Apr 08 Amended
2017 Oct 11 Amended
2019 Nov 25 Amended
2020 Oct 7 Amended