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: 2020 October 7
Last Reviewed: 2020 October 7


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

Prohibited Activities - The following trip activities are considered high risk and are prohibited:

  1. Activities in Wilderness or Remote location including hiking, biking, skiing or camping trips outside Alberta and overnight backcountry trips within Alberta
  2. Aerial Gymnastics (excluding cheerleading)
  3. Airplane rides / Air Travel (not commercial flights)
  4. Air travel other than by commercial airline
  5. American Gladiator style events
  6. Amusement Parks/ Rides (except Heritage Park, curriculum based physics trips to West Edmonton Mall or Calaway Park & Disneyland and Disneyworld)
  7. Axe Training or Throwing
  8. Auto racing, drag racing
  9. Back Country Mountain Biking
  10. Boxing, kick boxing, or any martial arts with full contact blows or kicks
  11. Bungee Jumping
  12. Canoeing in moving water greater than grade 1 rapids
  13. Caving
  14. Demolition Derbies
  15. Demolition of derelict vehicles, equipment or buildings
  16. Diving into or sliding foam, mud, ice or snow
  17. Dunk Tanks
  18. Drag Racing
  19. Excursions to natural disaster areas – i.e. earthquakes, floods, hurricane, tornado zones
  20. Excursions to war zones – imminent or existing
  21. Excursions to regions with political or civil instability
  22. 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)
  23. Fencing
  24. Fireworks Display (No Participation by students – viewing only)
  25. Go-Karting
  26. Hang Gliding
  27. Hay and Sleigh Rides
  28. High Platform Diving – Jumping or Diving off High Platforms)
  29. Hiking in hazardous areas, such as West Coast Trail
  30. Horse Jumping
  31. Hot air balloon rides (tethered and untethered)
  32. Ice Climbing
  33. Inflatable Activities (Including Bouncy Castles, Sumo Suits and Hamster Balls)
  34. Luge & Skelton above the tourist start at Canada Olympic Park
  35. Martial Arts training involving contact
  36. Mechanical bull riding or simulated mechanical rodeo events
  37. Moto-cross (motorized or BMX bicycle)
  38. Motorcycling of any nature
  39. Mountain Biking (Unless in a controlled facility)
  40. Mountain climbing (but not including hiking in the mountains)
  41. Off Road / All-Terrain Vehicles
  42. Open water swimming, kayaking and canoeing
  43. Orbing / Zorbing (human hamster ball)
  44. Parasailing and paragliding
  45. Paintball / Laser tag or war games
  46. Parkour
  47. Performances involving / including open flames
  48. Personal Watercraft (“Seadoos”)
  49. Pyrotechnics
  50. Racing of watercraft
  51. Rifle Rangers or other activities involving firearms and winter biathlon
  52. Rock Climbing (wall climbing is permitted)
  53. Rocketry (Except for bottle rocketry which is a restricted (high risk) activity
  54. Rodeo event participation
  55. Scuba diving & snorkelling in open water
  56. Slip and slide devices
  57. Ski Jumping
  58. Skydiving
  59. Snowmobiling of any nature
  60. Stuntnastics
  61. Tobogganing, tubing, crazy carpet, bobsledding, and sledding on a slope of greater than five meters in height or with an incline of greater than 35 degrees
  62. Trampoline
  63. Ultra-light Plane Flight
  64. Water Skiing
  65. Winter biathlon with live ammunition
  66. White water rafting, Kayaking and Canoeing
  67. Zip Lining

Risk Activity – the following activities are considered high risk and 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.

  • Archery
  • Amusement Park Rides
  • Bamfield Marine Station
  • Baseball with a hard ball
  • Ball hockey
  • Bottle Rocketry
  • Broom Ball
  • Canoeing in moving water of grade 1 or less
  • Cheerleading (aerobatic)
  • Cycling
  • Climbing walls (in licensed facilities)
  • Diving
  • Downhill skiing, Cross Country Skiing & Snowboarding (Not Self Evaluated must be trained by ski hill)
  • European Handball
  • Field Hockey
  • Firearms Courses (No live ammunition)
  • Football
  • Gymnastics
  • Horseback Riding (Vetted and Accredited Facility – example trail riding)
  • Hunter Training
  • Ice Fishing
  • Ice skating
  • Ice hockey
  • In-Line skating
  • Kayaking
  • Lacrosse (Field, box)
  • Martial Arts Training (No contact Involved/No Weapons)
  • Mountain biking
  • Orienteering
  • Ringette (Ice)
  • Roller blading
  • Ropes Courses (High and Low)
  • Rugby
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving (in a pool)
  • Self Defense (No Weapons)
  • Skateboarding/Skate Board Parks
  • Softball
  • Swimming (in pool with Lifeguard present)
  • Swimming (In Hotel with Direct Supervision of Staff)
  • Snow blading
  • Track and Field – in field events: includes javelin, shot put, pole vault and high jump
  • Tobogganing, tubing, crazy carpet and sledding on a slop of less than five metres in height or with an incline of less than 35 degrees
  • Water slides/Water Park (Parks need to be vetted)
  • Weighlifting
  • Wrestling
  • Winter camping and Summer Camping

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 written 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 written 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 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 Contact telephone numbers for the parents/guardians of all participating students and supervisors.

13.4 Contact information for emergency authorities at the destination and any other locations visited.

13.5 Phone numbers of school administrators.

13.6 EX 2 – 09.4 Medication Administration Log.

13.7 A class / participant list.

13.8 Any medication approved by parents under EX 2 – 09.3 Medical Information and Medication Administration and Release Form.

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 prepare a Parent Information Letter (based on the EX 2-09.2 Acknowledgement of Risk and Informed Consent 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.
  • The need for parents to complete EX 2-09.2 Acknowledgement Risk and Informed Consent Form, EX 2- 09.3 Medical Information and Medication Administration and Release Form.
  • 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 a signed copy of the complete EX 2-09.3 Acknowledgement Risk and Informed Consent Form, EX 2-09.5 Medical Information and Medication Administration and Release Form is received for each student participating in the activity prior to any participation in the activity.

18. A single copy of each of EX 2-09.2 Acknowledgement Risk and Informed Consent Form, EX 2-09.3 Medical Information and Medication Administration and Release Form may be used for repetitive field trips, if:

18.1 The field trips form part of a class or a school team event (such as athletic teams and physical education classes) and provided the letter the Parent Information Letter including EX 2-09.2 Acknowledgement Risk and Informed Consent Form lists the destinations, the dates, and the modes of transportation for each activity.

18.2 When the field trips consist of short unscheduled walking excursions.

Record Keeping/Retention

19. 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 EX 2-09.3 Medication Administration and Release Form, the Field Leader shall enter the event in EX 2.09.4 Medication Administration Log. The completed EX 2.09.4 Medication Administration Log shall be delivered to the Principal at the completion of the trip.

20. Prior to the departure date, the Principal shall collect all trip documentation or copies thereof and retain those records at the school for three years after the school year in which the field trip occurred. The field trip records that the Principal shall collect and retain include:

20.1 EX 2 – 09.1 Field Trip Application.

20.2 EX 2 – 09.2 Acknowledgement of Risk and Informed Consent Form – Exemplars for Local Excursions, Sports Teams, Typical Day Trips and Offsite Activities.

20.3 EX 2 – 09.3 Medical Information and Medication Administration and Release Form.

20.4 EX 2 – 09.4 Medication Administration Log.

20.5 List of participating students.

20.6 Completed Accident Report Forms.

20.7 Agenda, minutes and attendance records from all field trip meetings (including parent meetings).

20.8 Copies of any correspondence, memorandums, receipts, booking confirmations, etc. relating to the trip.

21. 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 forward the field trip records listed in the previous procedure to the Superintendent to be retained in Central Filing for the current school year plus ten additional years.

General

22. Field Trip Leaders shall prepare a list of the names of all participants, including supervisors and volunteer drivers, and their phone numbers and shall submit a copy of that list, at time of departure, to the bus driver, to each supervisor and to the Principal.

23. 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