3000 - Educational Program

3320 - R School Trips - R&P

3320-R  - SCHOOL TRIPS - R&P

In order for any school related trip to be approved, the following regulations and procedures must be adhered to:


1. School Trip Committee: The principal is responsible for ensuring that all school trip plans satisfy Board policy and that school trips adhere to the plan submitted. As such, 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. The principal or designated administrator shall chair this committee. The committee shall review and consider for approval all school trip requests and ensure that:

a. All school trips are an integral part of the curriculum.

b. Student safety and supervision needs have been adequately addressed.

c. Loss of school time is kept to a minimum, and the time lost is justified by the educational opportunity provided by the trip.

d. Any fees for participation are as low as feasible and that provisions have been made for students facing financial hardship.

e. All provisions of School Board Policy 3320 and these guidelines are satisfied.

The committee shall obtain input from all school employees who are affected by such trips.

2. The teacher/sponsor shall submit a detailed plan for the school trip in writing to the School Trip Committee. The plan should include:

a. The purpose of the trip, including the curriculum objectives addressed and the place/places to be visited. The plan should demonstrate that all aspects of the trip provide highly effective means for accomplishing the objective of the curriculum, that the trip is consistent with the educational goals of the Board, and that the amount of school time lost is justified by the educational opportunity provided by the trip.

b. A detailed itinerary for the trip, including a schedule of locations, activities, dates, times, and places of departure and return.

i. No unapproved stops shall be made unless an emergency arises due to health or safety of students/or chaperones.

ii. All stops shall be listed on the itinerary; there shall be no unapproved stops. If a trip includes multiple locations, each location must meet the guidelines set forth herein. When determining locations, consideration should be given to parking and safety during the loading/unloading of students.

iii. If the full details of the itinerary are not finalized when the plan is submitted, the school trip committee may or may not give tentative approval. However, the detailed itinerary must be reviewed and approved by the school trip committee before final approval for the trip is granted. Once approved, the final detailed itinerary must be communicated to parents/guardians along with the permission slip request.

c. The number of students scheduled to attend, grade level, number of chaperones, and other details related to the safety and supervision of students during the trip.

d. The fees, if any, which shall be charged to students. The plan should also address a fee waiver process to waive and/or reduce the fees for any student who demonstrates economic hardship. No student will be denied participation in a school trip due to financial hardship.

e. A plan for coordinating with Child Nutrition to address:

i. Whether students will be eating while on the trip

ii. Whether Child Nutrition needs to prepare bagged lunches

iii. If students will be eating a lunch purchased while on the trip, whether Child Nutrition has been notified as to the approximate number of students involved so that they can plan for the reduced numbers when ordering and preparing lunch

iv. If students will be eating a lunch purchased while on the trip, whether provision has been made for students who receive free/reduced lunch

v. Whether the needs of any student with a food allergy can be appropriately accommodated.

f. The requirement that all participating students return a signed permission slip with a parent/guardian signature. The plan should also state that phone calls will be made to parents/guardians to ensure that every participating student returns a signed permission slip. 

g.  A plan for securing adequate supervision/chaperones.

i. The ratio of qualified adults to students shall be approved by the principal in advance of the school trip. In determining the number of adults assigned to supervise students during school trips, the principal shall consider such factors as the age, maturity level, special needs of the students, the length and location of the trip (including any chaperone requirements set forth by the destination), and the activities planned.

ii. Overnight trips require the ratio of the gender of chaperones be related to the ratio of the gender of the students participating.

iii. When more than one bus is used to transport students, there shall be at least one adult, other than the driver, on each bus.

iv. Ensure that a plan exists for adequate supervision of students at all times, including during the transportation of students to and from scheduled stops, and that this plan is communicated to all chaperones. If the trip is an overnight trip, additional details regarding the supervision and safety of students must be included.

h. A check out procedure for cases in which a parent/guardian is providing transportation to his/her own student, such that they will be allowed to check out the student if he/she is not returning to school on the bus. This request must be submitted in writing.

i. The teacher/sponsor should also submit to the chair of the School Trip Committee a completed Activity Bus Request form at least 2 weeks prior to the date of the trip.

3. The Board requires that any trips that may include water activities, amusement parks, and/or overnight trips be approved by the principal and Superintendent or designee. Any employee wishing to plan or oversee a trip of this nature will submit additional paperwork that may include the following:

a. Detailed itinerary

b. Contingency/back-up plans for precautionary or emergency situations

c. Insurance/liability documentation from the vendor/site

d. Student/participant insurance

e. Medical/health forms

f. Create and require a possible checklist for additional elements (ex. Documentation of a lifeguard on duty, increased chaperone ratio, etc.)

4. Prior Board approval is not required for overnight trips if the following conditions are met:

a. The travel is to a state or national conference in which a student has earned the privilege of participating, and;

b. 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.

5. International travel

a. International trips shall occur only during non-instructional times (spring break, summer break, winter break, etc.).

b. The teacher or sponsor shall meet with Superintendent (or designee) to discuss PCS policy and regulations for out of country travel

c. In addition to the requirements from Sections #2 and #3 above, international trips require the following documentation:  

i. Use of approved vendors for international trip planning

ii. A Customized Informed Consent Form regarding hazards specific to the trip shall be developed in collaboration with the Superintendent or designee

iii. A current Review of Threat Assessment per the Department of Homeland Security

iv. A Certificate of Liability Insurance Form from the tour company listing the Pender County Board of Education Employees, Agents, Teachers, and Volunteers as additional insureds and as certificate holder

v. A detailed safety plan

vi. Tour company information regarding policies and procedures

d. Items due to the Superintendent (or designee) at least one week prior to departure:

i. A list of all Pender County student participants including school and grade-level

ii. A list of all other participants (adults, chaperones etc.) and verification that all adult participants are on the county approved list.

iii. Updated/Final Itinerary and Safety Plan – including flight (or other transportation) information, hotel information, and emergency contact phone numbers of each participant (student and non-student), copy of passports, and health insurance card.

B. APPROVAL PROCESS - No employee shall advertise, promote, organize or announce any of these types of trips until final approval is obtained.

1. The following trips require School Field Trip Committee AND Principal approval and should be submitted two (2) weeks prior to the trip.

a. In county/local single day general education trips that do NOT involve water

b. High/Middle School Band, Chorus, Fine Arts

c. High/Middle School Chorus

d. Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp

e. High School/Middle School/Elementary Interscholastic Competitions that do not involve overnight accommodations

f. Pre-approved County Field Trips

2. In addition to School Field Trip Committee and Principal Approval, the following trips require approval at the Director level and should be submitted three (3) weeks prior to the trip.

a. Out of county

b. Other transportation (i.e. charter buses, public transportation)

c. Non-North Carolina High School Athletics Association athletic events

d. Any trip when District level funding is required or requested.

3. In addition to School Field Trip Committee, Principal, and Director approval, the following trips require approval by Superintendent, or designee and should be submitted four (4) weeks prior to the trip.

a. Overnight

b. Out of State or those over 150 miles from the school

c. Water-related

4. In addition to School Field Trip Committee, Principal, Director, and Superintendent, or designee the following requires approval by Board after all other approvals have been secured.

a. International Trips

i. Should be presented to the School Board at its regularly scheduled meeting occurring at least 6 months before the trip is scheduled to occur

5. If a plan for a school trip is not approved by the School Field Trip Committee, the committee may establish a process whereby denied requests may be re-submitted for consideration once concerns have been addressed.


1. All school employees, volunteers, and students remain subject to all state, school, and district policies during the school trip.

2. Chaperones should be provided with a plan that ensures that reasonable supervision is provided to students at all times, including during the transportation of students to and from scheduled stops, and the minimum expectations for student supervision.

3. All chaperones/volunteers must have an approved background check before the trip occurs.

4. Only those parents/guardians, and volunteers serving as approved chaperones or drivers are allowed to ride the activity bus or other school system provided transportation.

5. Chaperones should actively supervise students, making a reasonable effort to keep all students in view including while on transportation.


1. All students remain subject to all applicable Board Policies including, but not limited to Policy 1510/4200/7270, School Safety, as well as the student behavior policies in the 4300 series, the Code of Student Conduct, and all school rules while participating in a school trip.

2. 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.

3. If it becomes necessary to remove a student from a trip or from an activity during a trip, that student must be supervised by a teacher/chaperone at all times. If a student is sent home, he/she must be accompanied 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. Guidelines for medication administration during overnight school trips will follow Policy 6125, Administering Medications to Students. All required documentation must be submitted at least two (2) weeks prior to the school trip.

2. If the parent/guardian accompanies students on a trip, he/she will be responsible for medication administration unless otherwise noted. If the parent/guardian does not accompany students on a trip, the student’s teacher, principal, or other designated school employee will be responsible for medication administration. The parent, teacher, principal, or other designated school official shall be responsible for maintaining the student’s medication in a secure location throughout the duration of the trip. If held by someone other than the student’s parent, the medication should be returned directly to the student’s parent at the conclusion of the trip.

3. Each school employee designated to administer medications will receive Medication Administration training by the school nurse prior to the school trip.

4. Upon returning from the trip, the school nurse or designated school employee will file medication documents in the health record of the student’s cumulative file.


Legal References:
G.S. 115C-47, -276, -288, -307
Cross References:
School Trips (policy 3320), 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), Administering Medicine to Students (policy 6125), Use of Student Transportation Services (policy 6320)
Friday, 12 July 2013
Last Updated:
Tuesday, 11 June 2019