SUBJECT: Student Overnight Travel
- Board Directive
While study of the basic curriculum shall provide the basis of the educational program, the Board recognizes that extra curricular activities involving travel may provide worthwhile learning experiences for more mature students. Therefore, the Board delegates to the District Administration responsibility for developing policy for student travel which minimize disruptions in the basic education program, limit most overnight travel to high school students (or ninth grade students approved for high school activity/academic involvement), involve parents in planning, and safeguard students from undue pressure to participate.
- Administrative Policy
The Student Overnight Travel policy shall be administered according to the following administrative policy provisions:
- Principals shall be responsible for coordinating development of student activity and travel plans according to the following criteria:
- Whenever possible, student activities shall be scheduled in proximity to the local school and the need for long distance or overnight travel avoided. Using the travel proposal and request application process, the school must show why the requested activity experience cannot be obtained in proximity to the school. As a general rule, the Board of Education will not accept requests for travel outside the continental United States. There may develop, on rare occasions, the need for essential travel of this nature. If this becomes the case, the school principal may appeal to the Board by demonstrating in writing the absolute necessity of the travel and that all appropriate safety considerations have been addressed. The principal should be prepared, upon Board request, to appear before the Board for explanation and/or clarification of an appeal of this nature if necessary.
- Overnight travel shall not be included as part of the elementary and middle school educational programs. An exception may be granted to an individual student or group of students that wins a competition supported by the District and who qualifies for state or national level competition, e.g. history fair, science fair, geography bee, spelling bee, etc. Elementary and middle school students participating in approved competitions requiring overnight travel must be accompanied by a parent. The District is not responsible for any costs, including travel, associated with local, state, or national competitions. All travel for elementary and middle school students must comply with the provisions outlined in this policy (AA414). Non-overnight learning experiences away from the local school shall be provided as outlined in policy AA416—Field Trips.
- Overnight travel may be part of the educational program for high school students when the travel is for an activity sponsored by the Utah High School Activities Association, a state or nationally affiliated educational organization, or an approved high school program.
- Overnight travel may be part of the educational program for high school students when the anticipated educational benefits warrant the required expenditures, comparable experiences are not available at the local school, and the travel costs will not burden families unduly. All requestors of trips must demonstrate educational significance as to why the students are participating in the activity. The student overnight preliminary travel proposal form submitted by the principal shall require thorough responses to the following questions:
- What is the purpose of the trip?
- What will be the educational outcome of the experience?
- Can the educational experience be obtained closer to the home school? If not, explain why.
- Schools shall abide by the regulations governing intrastate competitions outlined in Article VI of the Utah High School Activities Association bylaws.
- Each school group or team shall be limited to one overnight travel experience during the academic year whether or not such travel necessitates missing days of school. No such experience shall cause a student to miss more than two (2) days of school. (Special circumstances requiring additional days from school for valid education purposes may be appealed to the appropriate Administrator of Schools.)
- Student organizations shall be limited to one overnight travel experience during the school year. An exception may be granted for up to eight (8) elected student leaders in each Career and Technical Education (CTE) organization if in the principal's judgment it is deemed essential to the successful completion of their program. (Note: Exemptions granted for leaders in Career and Technical Education (CTE)programs need not be counted as the one overnight travel experience.)
An exception may also be granted to an individual student or group of students if winning at the local, state, or national level provides an invitation to compete at the next level of competition sponsored by the same organization or entity. Such competition at the next level shall not count as the one (1) activity per organization nor the two (2) allowable days missed from school. If an invitation to compete does not allow a school time to comply with the stipulation to request leave 45 calendar days prior to a trip, the preliminary travel proposal must be submitted as soon as is feasible.
- Supervision for student travel must be provided at least a ratio of one (1) responsible adult age 21 years or older per ten (10) students. However, there must always be at least two (2) chaperones regardless of the total number of students traveling. Responsible adults providing supervision will complete the Responsible Adult Information Form. Each chaperone must have a completed background check through Jordan School District. Clearance will be verified with the Human Resource department prior to departure. Chaperones shall be primarily advisers and parents. Under no circumstance can a chaperone’s responsibility be delegated to an unapproved chaperone. Students can only be released to their parent/guardian.
- All expenses (including travel expenses for required chaperones) associated with the trip must be paid by the participants themselves, covered by fund raising, or financed by Career and Technical Education (CTE) or other state or federal monies provided expressly for the activity. School student body funds may not be used.
- The cost of substitutes for required advisers who are accompanying traveling students must be included as part of the travel expense and must be paid by either the travel participants or the individual adviser.
- Student body general funds may not be used to pay costs related to student travel.
- All student expenditures associated with the trip must be itemized in detail by listing exact costs per student:
- registration fees (when applicable)
- commercial insurance coverage (if not included in the package)
- individual post-departure travel insurance purchased through District travel buyer.
- other, i.e. event admissions
- chaperone/adult travel costs
- The total anticipated expenditure per student must be shown on the application form. The percentage of the total student cost that may be earned through fund raising efforts must also be listed.
- When, in the sole judgement of the Administration or the Board of Education, in consultation with the school and the participating students and patrons, travel is suspended due to safety or other consideration beyond the control of any or all involved, Jordan School District, the Board of Education, school employees and agents shall have no obligation and shall be held harmless with respect to refund of any expenditures. Participants should not expect refunds for cancellations either individually or as a group. It is the local school’s responsibility to make this explicit to participants during the required parent meetings and prior to the commitment of funds. The school administration must be certain that parents are aware of this condition and also require the parents to sign a statement of their understanding.
- Transportation shall be by commercial carrier, or by Jordan District Transportation Services for all overnight travel. No private aircraft may be used for student travel. Ground transportation guidelines are as follows:
- Only those commercial carriers licensed to operate in Utah and in other states (when utilized) shall be used.
- Jordan District buses may be used in the following circumstances:
- The trip is to take place when school is not in session.
- The travel is to be within the state.
- The request for services is submitted at least one month in advance.
- The request is approved by the Director of Transportation.
- Overnight travel: Drivers will be compensated for a minimum of eight (8) hours for each day traveling to and from the field trip destination. Drivers will be compensated for at least eight (8) hours for each day at the destination. In accordance with Federal Department of Transportation Regulations, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 395, a Jordan School District bus driver may only be on duty for 15 hours, followed by a full eight (8) hours of off-duty rest time. A driver may only drive for ten (10) of those 15 on-duty hours. Care should be taken to make sure our drivers are well rested so they can operate the bus safely. The schools will be responsible to provide for the expenses incurred to be in compliance with this regulation, to include a separate hotel room for each driver and any mileage or travel expenses for additional relief drivers.
- Jordan School District buses are not authorized to operate between 1:00 A.M. and 4:00 A.M.
- When students are engaged in an activity where a change of clothing is required, schools should make arrangements for a changing room for students. School buses shall not be used as a dressing room.
- No private vehicles may be used in overnight travel or school sponsored excursions that exceed 150 miles one way. Parents or legal guardians wishing to transport their own children, with the approval of the administration and/or the team coach/adviser, will not be under the jurisdiction of Jordan School District.
- Commercially rented buses or other modes of ground transportation may be used upon arrival at destination. Appropriate ground transportation insurance must be in place. If the destination is over 150 miles one way, a commercial carrier, with a professional, licensed operator, must be utilized.
- Upon arrival at a destination, local ground transportation may be operated by an adult adviser/chaperone who is at least 21 years of age or older if the distance traveled is less than 150 miles one way, and the operator does not have any prior drug/alcohol related driving citations. The vehicles used for this transportation should never exceed eight passenger capacity. Fifteen passenger vans are strictly prohibited for any student travel. Appropriate ground transportation insurance must be in place.
- Students are not allowed to drive when participating in overnight travel.
- A preliminary travel proposal outlining a desired overnight travel experience will be submitted to the Administrator of Schools prior to any discussion or meetings with parents and at least 45 days prior to the proposed trip. The preliminary travel proposal for Administrator of Schools and Business Administrator approval shall include:
- The name of the group requesting permission to travel.
- The objectives of the trip, including valid and complete documentation of the educational outcomes.
- The proposed destination, mode of travel, and number of students involved.
- The number of school days missed. (May not exceed two).
- The estimated total student cost of the trip including percentage of fund raising used to fund the trip per student. (Section II.A.9.)
- Specific and clearly defined reasons why the educational objectives cannot be met at another location closer to home.
- The principal's signature of approval. (Cannot be a designee.)
- The final overnight travel request form shall be submitted to the appropriate Administrator of Schools and Business Administrator seven (7) days prior to departure. In addition to the information named in B. above, the request form shall also include complete documentation and summary of results of a required parent meeting as outlined in D below.
- A parent/guardian meeting must be held in conjunction with student travel requests.
- This meeting with parents will be held to discuss all costs and the itinerary associated with the proposed trip for the parents of potential student participants. A parent survey may be utilized if a parent(s) is unable to attend the meeting.
- In this meeting parents will be informed, by a school administrator or the adviser in writing, of the proposed travel itinerary, anticipated expenditure per student, fund raising efforts, and the potential for non-refunds or expenditures when trips are cancelled.
- If 85 percent of the parents support the plan, a parent approval list will be submitted along with the application request.
- If the plan is not supported by 85 percent of the parents, all proposals for the trip will be abandoned.
All necessary forms will be provided and completed at this meeting.
- A notarized statement granting the adviser permission to seek medical treatment for a student, in the event of an emergency, must be provided at the parent meeting or prior to the commencement of the trip.
- All overnight student travel participation is strictly optional. Students who, for any reason, do not participate in activity travel shall not be penalized. Nonparticipation shall not impact grades or the student's status in the class or organization.
- Advisers may not use an excessive amount of class/instructional time to plan and promote the trip. The trip may only be advertised and promoted to Jordan School District students.
- Jordan District schools shall not sponsor activity travel for post-graduate students such as graduation trips, music tours, etc.
- Evidence of Insurance coverage in addition to that provided by Utah State Risk Management shall be provided by the student organization from one of the following:
- The tour provider (vendor)
- A commercial group insurance carrier
- CHIPS insurance, sold to individual students through the school at reasonable cost
- Additional coverage from Utah State Risk Management
In addition to the above insurance coverage, every traveling member will be required to purchase individual post-departure travel insurance through the District travel buyer. These costs shall be shared by the trip participants on an equal basis. A student shall show proof of family health insurance coverage. This proof must be on file with the school adviser and provided to the school administration.