Administrative Procedure 260
The Division supports quality educational field trips for students that are aligned with instructional programming and Alberta curriculum.
The Division’s expectation is that the safest form of transportation of students to and from such activities is by Division owned or commercial carriers.
Field Trip A:
is an off-site activity within the immediate community.
Field Trip B:
is an off-site activity outside of the immediate community, but within Alberta.
Field Trip C:
is an off-site activity outside of Alberta, but within Canada.
Field Trip D:
is an off-site activity outside of Canada.
Extended Field Trip:
involves students remaining overnight at a destination, provincially, nationally, or internationally.
relates directly to the students’ study in one or more subjects and participation is on a class basis. Direct curricular ties must be established.
develops from the school’s program and/or student’s studies. Similar opportunities may not be available to all students within the Division. Curricular ties that are established may be indirect.
- All field trips shall:
- have a curriculum focus that is linked directly to, or is an extension of, Alberta Education’s Program of Studies; and
- have curriculum outcomes that cannot be accomplished in the regular school setting.
- Student age/grade will be used as a determiner for the level of field trip:
- Kindergarten - Grade 3 are limited to A and B trips within 200 kilometres of their immediate community.
- Grades 4 - 6 are limited to A and B trips within 500 kilometres of their immediate community.
- Grades 7 - 9 are limited to A, B, and C trips that do not exceed seven calendar days.
- Grades 10 - 12 are limited to A, B, C, and D trips that do not exceed seven consecutive school days.
- Recognizing the potential for increased risk in any educational opportunity away from the regular school setting, every field trip in the Division shall have as its prime consideration the safety of all participants. No activity that is identified as being high risk shall be approved unless:
- qualified and/or certified instructors will be present;
- all rules and regulations will be reviewed with students on an on-going basis;
- strict behaviour guidelines and discipline actions will be maintained;
- approved safety equipment appropriate to the activity will be used at all times; and
- a signed parental consent is on file.
- All field trips shall adhere to the planning and approval procedures stipulated in detail within administrative procedures.
- Equity, costs, loss of instructional time for participating students, and impact on instruction for non-participating students shall all be considered.
- The Principal shall provide tentative approval for all day field trips prior to any information being shared with students and parents/guardians.
- The Associate Superintendent of Supports for Students, in consultation with the Principal, shall provide tentative approval for extended field trips with a provincial, national, or international destination prior to any information being shared with students and parents/guardians.
- Only field trips that are approved by the Principal or Division (where required) and adhere to this procedure shall operate under the name of the school, a school club, or the School Council.
- Access to school resources for field trips shall only be given to participants on Principal or Division approved field trips.
- Field trips organized by external organizations that involve Division students, but which are not approved by the Principal, shall not involve Division staff in order to avoid the perception of Division approval and responsibility.
- Division resources are not to be utilized by private groups for trips not approved by the Division.
- In some circumstances, field trip organizers may be required to meet with the Superintendent to discuss curricular alignment, risks, emergency plans, supervision, etc.
- The Superintendent has the absolute right to deny a field trip request based on circumstances including risk to students and/or staff or lack of alignment with curricular or instructional programs.
- Wherever possible, field trips shall be conducted during the school day utilizing regional resources.
- Although other adults (minimum age: 21 years) can be authorized by the Principal as a field trip chaperone, a teacher supervisor shall be present on all trips.
- Parents are not permitted to organize field trips on their own, in the name of the school. Field trips involving planning by school parents and participation by students of the school shall take place only with the Principal’s approval and with teacher field trip leader involvement in planning, organizing, and supervising the field trip.
- The supervisor shall ensure that all field trip activities adhere to the guidelines listed in the Safety Guidelines for Physical Activity in Alberta Schools.
- The Principal may deny the right of student(s) to participate in field trips if their behaviour or lack of skills may have a negative impact on the success/safety of the trip.
- The use of alcohol or illicit drugs by any student or adult involved in any field trip is strictly prohibited.
- Any bonus or rewards achieved from a tour/travel company or agency shall be reported to the Principal and shall become the property of the school, not of the individual organizer or supervisor.
- The Principal shall maintain on file, for a period of two years, all information relevant to each field trip.
- Job Shadowing and “Take Our Kids to Work” programs are subject to specific administrative procedures as noted below.
- Day Field Trips
- The teacher shall obtain the written approval of the Principal by completing a Field Trip Risk Assessment and Permission to Proceed (Form 260-1) prior to planning any field trip.
- Once approval has been obtained, the teacher is to complete the Day Field Trip Form (Form 260-2), signed by the Principal at least three days prior to trip departure.
- The information for all day trips of a similar nature (e.g., ECS gym and swim, athletic competitions, off-site PE activities) may be submitted to the Principal for approval on one form noting all dates.
- The trip supervisor shall provide a copy of the Day Field Trip Form (Form 260-2) to the bus driver prior to departure. The form will remain on the bus for the duration of the trip.
- Extended Field Trips
- Teachers shall complete a Field Trip Risk Assessment and Permission to Proceed (Form 260-1) prior to planning extended field trips.
- The Principal shall contact the Associate Superintendent of Supports for Students before approving any extended field trips to secure permission.
- Once approval to proceed has been obtained, the teacher shall complete the appropriate Extended Field Trip Form: Extended Within Alberta (Form 260-3), National Field Trip (Form 260-4), International Field Trip (Form 260-5).
- The Field Trip Emergency Plan (260-6) is required for all extended field trips.
- Deadlines for required documentation presented to the Associate Superintendent of Supports for Students are:
- provincial: one week;
- national: two weeks, and
- part A: six months in advance; and
- part B: one month.
- In order to ensure the safety of students and accompanying personnel, areas selected for curricular and co-curricular travel should be ones in which:
- There has been a history of political stability for at least five years and no indications that political turmoil may erupt within the next 12 months. Information can be obtained from the Government of Canada Travel Warnings Website.
- The risk in other areas (e.g. health, transportation, geographical features) is not substantially greater than those that would be experienced by students travelling within Alberta.
- The risk/safety assessment is completed and parents, guardians, and independent students have been informed.
- The Principal shall monitor the Government of Canada Travel Warnings Website and inform the Associate Superintendent of Supports for Students if travel warnings are issued for the destination(s) of the extended field trip.
- The Superintendent has the absolute right to cancel a field trip if the destination(s) or travel route(s) are not deemed to be safe.
- Trip cancellation insurance is required for all participants. The field trip organizer shall ensure that all available insurances (e.g. accident, medical, interruption, kidnap/ransom) have been considered.
- Prior to the trip, the Principal shall request an increase in purchase card limit(s) for the trip supervisor(s) sufficient to cover any unanticipated costs (e.g. transportation, accommodation, sustenance) that might arise out of an emergent situation.
- In the event that an outside travel/tour company is being used for an extended field trip, all arrangements must be made through the Principal. Parent/guardian/student requests or reservations with the tour company will not be honoured.
- Parental/Guardian Consent
- The Principal shall ensure that each parent/guardian completes the Division Field Trip Permission Form (Form 260-7).
- The Principal may accept verbal permission from parents/guardians for day trips only, if situations so warrant. The Principal must document the call/discussion and keep it on file at the school.
- Field trips shall be supervised according to:
- what is reasonable under the circumstances with regard to the number of student participants;
- the age of the students;
- the nature of the activity;
- the location of the trip; and
- any other relevant considerations.
- The following supervision ratios shall apply, except in the circumstances as outlined in clause 23.3:
- a minimum of one supervisor for each 15 secondary students;
- a minimum of one supervisor for each 10 elementary students; and
- the ratio will also be governed by the Safety Guidelines for Physical Activity in Alberta Schools and is subject to final approval of the Associate Superintendent of Supports for Students.
- Where the off-site activity is a regular and natural extension of an activity-based course (e.g. physical education, recreational fitness, daily physical activity, etc.), supervision levels will be determined by the teacher in charge with due consideration of:
- the age of the students;
- the activity’s level of risk; and
- any specific supervisory requirements for the activity as outlined in the Safety Guidelines for Physical Activity in Alberta Schools.
- Volunteers or parents/guardians who accompany students on field trip activities are responsible to the teacher in charge.
- As per Administrative Procedure 490, Volunteers in Schools, the Principal shall ensure that prior to the field trip, all volunteers complete the Confidentiality Undertaking Declaration (Form 490-2) and a criminal record/intervention check, where appropriate. The Request to Waive Fees for A Criminal Record/Intervention Check (Form 400-4) shall be provided to volunteers.
- The Principal shall ensure volunteers that are expected to spend an extended period of time with a student(s) in an unsupervised setting provide a copy of a current criminal record/child intervention check. (Refer to AP 490, Volunteers in Schools)
- The application form for Chaperones for Extended Field Trips (Form 260-8) must also be completed for extended field trips.
- Prior to the trip, the supervisor shall ensure that volunteers, parents/guardians, and staff are aware of their specific roles.
- Any required medication, with the exception of emergency medication such as Epi-pens or inhalers, shall be given to the supervisor at the beginning of the trip. The Child/Student Medication/Personal Care Parent/Guardian Consent Form (Form 316-1) listing the medication, dosage, special care instructions, and any known allergies shall be completed and signed by the parent/guardian and kept with the supervisor for the duration of the field trip.
- The supervisor shall be in possession of students' emergency phone contact numbers and appropriate medical/emergency information. The supervisor in charge shall ensure that all supervisors have a copy of the Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan (Form 316-4).
- A Child/Student Medication Record (Form 316-6) shall be kept by the supervisor during the course of the field trip and returned to the Principal at the conclusion of the trip.
- At least one supervisor shall have Emergency First Aid training for each field trip (staff member, volunteer, or someone on site at the facility). Level ll – Standard First Aid may be deemed to be necessary for activities that are considered to be of greater risk or involve a large number of students and/or staff.
- When a field trip includes student use of tools such as knives, bows and arrows, or axes, the Principal shall have procedures in place governing supervision and the display, storage, and handling of these tools. These items must be used only under direct supervision, and the teacher supervisor must include this in the trip's risk assessment:
- an outline of how supervision and safety aspects will be ensured for the duration of the program;
- a list of the items to be used; and
- assurance that any services (resource personnel, outdoor education facilities) contracted or used for field trips comply with the Safety Guidelines for Physical Activity in Alberta Schools.
- Field trips shall be supervised according to:
- The Principal shall approve all curricular/extra-curricular field trip transportation.
- Parents shall be notified in writing of the mode of transportation to be used for all school-sponsored activities involving their children.
- The Principal shall ensure transportation is provided by the school/Division unless the field trip supervisor can demonstrate valid reasons for the use of private vehicles.
- Principals may negotiate with commercial carriers for transportation to school-sponsored activities. Payment is from the school budget.
- A minor student shall not be permitted to drive another student on any field trip under any circumstances.
- All volunteer drivers of school-provided vehicles shall be required to:
- have a minimum of five years licensed driving experience;
- have appropriate insurance; and
- complete the Automobile Driver Authorization and Consent (Form 555-1).
- Parents/guardians who wish their child to travel to or from the field trip venue by means other than school-provided transportation are required to sign the Waiver and Release Form (Form 555-4).
- If a student is to be transported by someone other than his/her own parent/guardian, the Permission to be Driven by an Adult Volunteer in a Private Vehicle (Form 555-2) shall be completed.
- If a student is to transport him/herself, the Permission for a Minor Student to Drive Him/Herself on a Field Trip (Form 555-3) shall be completed.
- The supervisor in charge shall be responsible for emergent decisions requiring a change in transportation or activity.
- Teachers shall ensure that a first aid kit is available and that a plan exists to deal with emergencies.
- In the event of an emergency, an incident involving a 9-1-1 call, or a situation that may be of public concern/interest, the supervisor shall notify the Superintendent.
- Job Shadowing and “Take Our Kids to Work”
- Job Shadowing and “Take Our Kids to Work” are observation-only experiences.
- Transportation to and from Job Shadowing and “Take Our Kids to Work” experiences shall be the responsibility of the parent/guardian.
- Workplace supervisors, authorized by the Principal, shall be informed that Job Shadow and “Take Our Kids to Work” students are to be considered guests at their workplace and are expected to be recognized as such by their workplace insurance policies.
Section 1, 12, 18, 20, 45, 45.1, 60, 61, 113 School Act
Guide to Education ECS to Grade 12
Safety Guidelines for Physical Activity in Alberta Schools
Safety Guidelines for Secondary Inter-School Athletics in Alberta
Physical Education Safety Guidelines
Last updated: September 2016