Board Policies & Administrative Procedures

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AP 2 – 22: Field Trips Approval

Related Policies:
Related Procedures:
Exhibits:
Initial Approval:
Last Amended: 2022 October 20
Last Reviewed: 2022 October 20


PURPOSE

To ensure field trips provide a safe educational experience.


SCOPE

This procedure applies to principals, the Superintendent, and the Board when approving field trips.


DEFINITIONS

Category 1 Field Trips - are within the province of Alberta and are a maximum of four days in length and involve a cost per student of less than $500.00.

Category 2 Field Trips - are within Alberta that involve more than four days to complete and/or involve a cost per student of $500.00 or more or field trips that involve Canadian destinations outside Alberta. Kindergarten to Grade 5 school students are not normally eligible to participate in Category 2 trips.

Category 3 Field Trips - involve destinations outside Canada. International field trips to any location other than the continental United States will not be considered for approval. Kindergarten to Grade 8 school students are not normally eligible to participate in Category 3 trips.

Field Trip – A student activity occurring off the school site.

Off Campus activities associated with the following programs or activities are not included in the definition of a field trip.

  1. Job shadowing programs (eg. Take Our Kids To Work – TOKW).
  2. Student conferences in which staff supervision is not provided (eg. Forum for Young Canadians, Encounters with Canada).
  3. Off Campus programing, including Work Experience Programs, dual credit programs and pre-employment courses.
  4. Registered Apprenticeship Program
  5. Green Certificate Program
  6. Other activities as determined by the Superintendent.

Field Trip Leader – the certificated teacher employed by the Division or a volunteer approved by the Superintendent.

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


PROCEDURES

General

1. Approval to embark on a field trip shall only be granted, if the person or persons authorized to approve the field trip is convinced that:

1.1 That the experience will provide educational benefit to the students.

1.2 Students and staff will be safe at all times during the field trip.

1.3 The field trip does not include any Prohibited Activities.

1.4 There is adequate safety planning for high risk activities.

1.5 That there are plans to deal with emergencies.

1.6 That parents have given informed consent.

1.7 That the timing of the field trip has a minimum negative impact on the student’s regular educational program.

1.8 The Field Trip Leader has met the requirements outlined in Administrative Procedure 2-09 Field Trip - Planning.

2. All Category 1 field trip approvals are communicated to the field trip leader through the Laserfiche field trip approval system. Category 2 and 3 field trips must be communicated to the school principal, through a field trip application prior to the application coming to the Superintendent or designate for approval.  

3. The principal shall ensure that alternative meaningful “in school” experiences shall be provided for students who do not participate in the trip.

Category 1 Field Trips

1. The principal is authorized to approve Category 1 field trips.

2. The principal may cancel or postpone any trip they have approved.

3. 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.

4. A field trip leader should submit an electronic field trip application through Laserfiche to the school principal at least two weeks prior to the anticipated departure date.

5. The application shall contain detailed information on the following:

5.1 Education value and curriculum relevance.

5.2 Student background including the number of students and their grade(s).

5.3 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.

5.4 Supervision plan including number of teacher supervisors, number of parent supervisors and supervision ratio.

5.5 The Parent Information Letter (as described in Administrative Procedure 2-09 Field Trip Planning).

5.6 A hazard and risk assessment with reference to the Alberta School Boards Insurance Exchange (ASBIE) Off-site policy and procedures manual and Safety Guidelines for Physical Activities in Alberta Schools.

5.7 Cost and funding arrangements.

5.8 Emergency and communication arrangements.

5.9 Security precautions and evacuation procedures, if applicable.

Category 2 Field Trips

6. The Superintendent or designate is authorized to approve Category 2 field trips.

7. The Superintendent or Board may cancel or postpone any trip they have approved without providing compensation for monies lost by the school or families due to cancelation.

8. The field trip leader shall submit an electronic field trip application through Laserfiche to the principal, for endorsement.

9. If the principal endorses the field trip he or she shall submit it to the Superintendent or designate, at least two months prior to the anticipated departure date. The application shall contain detailed information as follows:

a) All the information required under Section 5 above.

b) A schedule and draft agendas for planned parent meetings.

c) A contingency plan in case the destination(s), accommodations or methods of transportation become unavailable or unsuitable.

10. Typically the principal shall receive approval for the field trip prior to any fund raising or collection of money designated for a specific trip. However, the principal may approve fund raising or collection of money in advance of the trip approval, provided he or she develops a plan, approved by the Superintendent or designate, to deal with monies lost to deposits or monies needing to be returned due to non-approval or cancelation.

Category 3 Field Trips

11. The Superintendent or designate is authorized to approve Category 3 field trips and will inform the Board of approved trips at the next Board meeting.

12. The Board may cancel or postpone any trip that has been approved without providing compensation for monies lost by the school or families due to cancellation.

13. To receive approval in principle, the field trip leader shall submit an electronic field trip application through Laserfiche to the principal, who shall submit it to the Superintendent or designate, at least six months prior to the anticipated departure date, however, it is recommended that principals seek approval in principle one year prior to the anticipated departure date. Applications that are not submitted at least six months prior to the anticipated departure date will not be considered for approval by the Superintendent or designate and Board. The application shall contain detailed information as follows:

13.1 All the information required under Section 4 above.

13.2 A schedule and draft agendas for planned parent meetings.

13.3 A contingency plan in case the destination(s), accommodations or methods of transportation become unavailable or unsuitable.

13.4 Applicable Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (travel.gc.ca) Advisories.

14. To receive final approval, the field trip leader, at least one month prior to departure, shall provide to both the principal and the Superintendent or designate copies of

14.1 Any updates to the application submitted in section 11.

14.2 Copies of all travellers’ passports.

14.3 A communication plan including contact information suitable for international travel.

15. Typically the principal shall receive approval for the field trip prior to any fund raising or collection of money designated for a specific trip. However, the principal may approve fund raising or collection of money in advance of the trip approval, provided he or she develops a plan, approved by the Superintendent, to deal with monies lost to deposits or monies needing to be returned due to non-approval or cancelation.


REFERENCE AND LINKS

Education Act
Safety Guidelines for Physical Activities in Alberta Schools
Safety Guidelines for Secondary Interschool Athletics in Alberta
Administrative Procedure 5 – 06 Transportation of Students in Private Vehicles


HISTORY

2010 Mar 30 Amended
2013 May Amended
2012 Aug 29 Amended
2012 May 7 Amended
2012 April 23 Amended
2015 Dec 9 Amended
2016 Jan 13 Amended
2017 Sep 20 Amended
2017 Oct 11 Amended
2018 Nov 14 Amended
2018 Dec 14 Amended
2019 Nov 28 Amended
2020 Oct 7 Amended
2022 Oct 20 Amended