3000 - Educational Program

3320 School Trips

3320 School Trips

School trips designed to stimulate student interest and inquiry may be appropriate classroom extensions and may enhance learning in the classroom. School trips may help meet educational goals and objectives by connecting learning with experiences outside of the classroom environment.


1.      The Superintendent shall be responsible for development of procedures for the request and approval of school trips.

2.      The principal is responsible for ensuring that all school trip requests satisfy Board policy and that school trips adhere to the plan submitted.

3.      A school trip occurs when a student or group of students leaves a school campus under the sponsorship of the school and under the supervision of school employees to extend the educational experiences of that student or group. All school trips must be related to the curriculum of the school or to a co-curricular activity (e.g., clubs, student council). Any trip made by school students which has not been approved by the Board or school in accordance with School Board Policy shall not be considered to be a school trip.

4.      A non-school-sponsored trip is defined as a trip organized by a school employee acting as an independent individual, without the sponsorship of the school or school system. Because the Board neither sponsors nor endorses such travel, school employees who organize non-school-sponsored trips involving school students must inform parents/guardians and students that the trip is not sponsored by the school system and that the school system and school officials assume no responsibility or liability for the trip.

5.      Staff members must file a detailed plan for the school trip in writing, and the principal or designee must approve the trip in advance. The principal/designee should submit the School Trip Approval Form to the Superintendent or designee for approval by the deadlines set by the Superintendent.

6.      All school trips require the prior approval of the Superintendent. Some categories of trips require Board approval. If the request requires Board approval, the school shall make a presentation to the Board of Education.

7.      The principal shall appoint a committee of faculty members representing curricular and co-curricular areas of the school to serve as the school trip committee. This committee shall be chaired by the principal or designated administrator and shall review and consider for approval all school trip requests and shall obtain input from affected staff members. If the principal is not the chair of the school trip committee, all reports or requests generated or approved by the committee shall have the principal’s approval prior to leaving the building.

8.      The committee shall also develop an annual plan for all school trips and provide the plan to the Superintendent or designee at the beginning of each year and shall update that plan to provide a summary report to the Superintendent at the end of the year.

9.      General guidelines for school trips. Deviations from these guidelines require prior approval of the Board of Education. Schools requesting an exception shall make the request via a presentation to the Board. The Board discourages requests that deviate from these guidelines and expects such requests to be supported by compelling reasons. In the case of state and national conferences in which students have earned the privilege of participating and prior Board approval is not possible due to time constraints, the superintendent or designee may approve the trip and report to the Board at their next regular meeting.

a.      All school trips must:

1)      Provide the single most effective means feasible for accomplishing curriculum objectives;

2)      Be consistent with the educational goals of the Board; and

3)      Keep to a minimum any disruptions of other educational programs and/or loss of instructional time.

b.      Elementary and middle school trips shall not involve an overnight stay without board approval except state and national conferences in which students have earned the privilege of participating and prior Board approval is not possible due to time constraints. In these situations, the superintendent or designee may approve the trip and report to the Board at their next regular meeting.

c.       School trips involving an overnight stay shall have chaperones of the same gender as the participating students.

d.      Elementary school trips out of system shall not involve competitions unless approved by the Superintendent/designee.

e.      School trips should not involve potentially dangerous activities, including but not limited to non-commercial airplane rides, rock climbing, and water related activities such as wading, swimming, diving, boating, sailing, or cruise ship travel except in limited situations where they provide a unique educational opportunity that directly relates to the curriculum or to a co-curricular activity and are approved by the Board. 

f.        School trips to amusement parks are prohibited. Trips to attend competition events being held at an amusement park must be approved by the Board of Education.

g.      School trips out of the continental United States are prohibited.

h.      School trips may be cancelled when necessary by the principal, Superintendent, or Board of Education. The school system cannot guarantee reimbursement when such cancellations occur.


1. Students must not be charged a fee for any required school trip for which credit is granted. Fees for other non-required school trips shall be as low as feasible.

2. Any fees imposed for school trips will be waived or reduced for students who demonstrate real economic hardship.

3. Monies collected by the school for the purpose of school trips have been given in good faith; thus, any funds remaining after school trip expenses have been paid should be returned to the students or parents/guardians.


1. Written parental/guardian permission on forms provided by the Superintendent’s office is required for each student who participates.

2. All school employees, volunteers, and students remain subject to all state, school, district, and Board policies, rules, and procedures during the school trip.

3. Since an approved school trip is deemed to be a necessary part of the instructional program, students shall not be denied participation due to prior instances of inappropriate behavior. However, students who are suspended from school during the time in which the school trip will take place will not be eligible to attend.

4. If it becomes necessary to remove a student from a trip or from an activity during a trip, reasonable supervision of that student must be provided by a teacher/chaperone until he/she is released to the physical custody of a parent/guardian. Any costs incurred, such as the cost of transportation, shall be the responsibility of the parent/guardian.


1. Policy 6320, Use of Student Transportation Services, applies to the use of vehicles for all school trips. Because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has determined that passenger vans with a seating capacity of 11 or more, including the driver, can be unsafe in certain conditions, the use of such vehicles to transport students is prohibited. This includes what are commonly referred to as 12- or 15-passenger vans.

2. School-provided transportation may be provided for students, staff, and approved volunteers only. Students are expected to travel to and from the school trip or school activity destination with the school group using the school-provided transportation. The principal may allow a student to travel to and/or from the destination with his or her parent/guardian provided the principal has received written permission from the parent/guardian.

3. When privately-owned vehicles are to be used by parents/guardians for transporting their own students, parents/guardians are to be notified and the owner of the vehicles and the parents/guardians must acknowledge in writing that they have received notice that the Board's liability insurance does not cover the use of private vehicles to transport students for school activities.


1. Adequate supervision must be provided. The ratio of qualified adults to students shall be approved by the principal in advance of the school trip, but it shall not be less than one adult per 5 elementary students and one adult per 8 secondary students, with a minimum of two adults in any case. In determining the number of adults assigned to supervise students during school trips, principals shall consider such factors as the age, maturity level, and special needs of the students, the length and location of the trip, the activities planned, and other relevant factors.

2. No staff member or volunteer, who is attending a school trip as an organizer or chaperone or in any other official capacity, shall bring any children or students on the trip who are not members of the group attending the school trip.

3. All chaperones and volunteers accompanying students on school trips must meet the standards established by policy 5015, School Volunteers, which requires background checks and adequate training to be complete before the trip occurs. The principal is responsible for ensuring that this occurs.

Legal References:

G.S. 115C-47, -276, -288, -307

Cross References:

School Safety (policy 1510/4200/7270), Goals and Objectives of the Educational Program (policy 3000), Student Behavior Policies (4300 series), Student Fees (policy 4600), School Volunteers (policy 5015), Visitors to Schools (policy 5020), Use of Student Transportation Services (policy 6320)

Adopted: April 11, 2011

Revised: January 09, 2012; July 12, 2013











Legal References:
G.S. 115C-47, -288, -307
Cross References:
School Safety (policy 1510/4200/7270), Goals and Objectives of the Educational Program (policy 3000), Student Behavior Policies (4300 series), Student Fees (policy 4600), School Volunteers (policy 5015), Use of Student Transportation Services (policy 6320)
Monday, 11 April 2011
Last Updated:
Friday, 12 July 2013