Field trips are rich in educational possibilities and often provide
firsthand experiences that can make learning more meaningful
and memorable. Field trips add variety to the regular instructional
program and tend to be special, enjoyable learning experiences
that help develop positive attitudes toward related classroom
activities and help students appreciate the relevance and importance
of what they learn in the classroom. Field trips also provide
an opportunity to involve students, parents, and the community
in the instructional program.
A field trip is only a part of a total learning experience that
begins and ends in the classroom. No matter the type of field
trip, it is important to prepare students beforehand and to follow
up after the visit. For an instructional field trip, this means
preparing lessons prior to and upon returning so that the experience
helps students make the connections necessary for learning to
Successful field trips require considerable planning. Student
activities must be scheduled and arrangements must be coordinated
among school personnel, parents, and persons at the destination.
In addition, provisions must be made for transportation, teacher
supervision, food and special equipment where needed. Every possible
detail of the trip cannot be anticipated in advance. However,
the more carefully a field trip is planned, the more likely it
will run smoothly.
Field Trip: An instructional trip can enhance the curriculum
and extend or assist the learning process in order to meet Florida's
Sunshine State Standards.
2. School Contest, Festival, or Evaluation: A school
contest, festival or evaluation is a co-curricular activity which
provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate knowledge
and skills developed through previous instruction.
3. Motivational Field Trip: A motivational field
trip is an extra-curricular activity which provides a motivational
incentive for students in order to improve the school climate.
Selecting An Approved
an appropriate site is important to the success of an instructional
field trip. The list of Approved Field Trip Destinations consists
of general categories instead of specific places. This listing
follows this section.
2. Approval for any field trip destination is obtained
from the school principal. A field trip location will be considered
an approved site as long as the destination matches the intended
purpose, is age-appropriate, falls within one of the broad categories
listed, and the principal is in agreement with the selection.
3. If a desired field trip site does not fit into one
of the broad categories on the list, consult the principal to
see if the intended site can be approved.
4. Information regarding out of county field trips and/or
trips involving overnight lodging must be forwarded to the General
Approved Field Trip
Academic/athletic student competitions/contests Museums
Agricultural sites Musical performances/festivals/concerts
Art galleries/centers/exhibits Parades
Businesses/industries Parks/recreation departments
Child care agencies Performing arts ctrs./IMAX theaters*
Environmental study sites/centers Ports/ships/marinas**
Fairs/festivals Research/technical facilities
Farms/dairies/groves Rifle ranges (ROTC Programs only)
Government buildings/agencies/properties Schools/colleges/universities
Health care facilities Sports/athletic facilities
Historical/archeological sites Stadiums/arenas
Laboratories Student org. mtgs/contests/conferences
Libraries/media centers Theme Parks
Malls/retail stores Transportation facilities
Manufacturing/processing facilities Utility departments
Military installations Zoos/aquariums/wildlife rehab. ctrs.
*Movie theaters are not considered approved sites. Only IMAX
films viewed in IMAX theaters will be considered as approved.
**Consult the Safety Office if boarding a boat or ship.
Check It Out First:
It is often necessary to conduct a site visit prior to the field
trip date to determine the following information about the field
| - Appropriateness of activities and/or
presentation to meet educational objectives
| - potential safety hazards
| - emergency medical facilities
| - location and adequacy of restroom facilities
| - travel time and distance from school
| - hours of operation
| - location, cost and adequacy of eating facilities
Consider the miles to be traveled, the number of students attending,
cost and availability of transportation. Accommodations must
be made to ensure that all students may participate, including
those who are disabled or have other special needs. Choose to
use district buses, charter buses or private vehicles.
District school buses:
| - are available on regular school days
from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. with a 3-hour minimum
| - are available evenings, weekends and non-school days
| - check with the Transportation Department regarding field
trips to be taken on holidays
| - school buses are not available on early release days and
during high school exam days.
A sample of the District form SB0074,
Request for Special Bus Transportation, is included.
For weekend trips, get the name and home
phone number of the bus driver. At the end of the trip, sign
the time card so no delay in billing will occur. Transportation
expenses are based on time (3 hour minimum) and per mile charges.
Canceling a bus trip requires both an email and an immediate
phone call. Personal notification to the bus driver for any weekend
trip cancelled after 4:30 p.m. on Friday is mandatory.
Select a charter bus from the approved
list of commercial companies. These companies have had their
employees screened by the District. The most recent listing follows
this section. The list is updated as needed and is advertised
in the Administrative Bulletin, or call the Office of Risk Management
or check the web site. Check with your administration for the
accounting procedures to pay for the use of commercial buses.
Florida statutes regulate the type of vehicles that may be used
to transport students for school related functions such as field
trips and athletic events. The only non-bus vehicles permitted
| - passenger cars with functioning safety
devise (seat belts for all passengers)
| - multipurpose passenger vehicles (MPV's) that meet the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration Passenger Car Safety Standards
and are approved by the Florida Department of Education.
The list of approved vehicles is updated
frequently and can be obtained from the Safety Office. The most
recent list follows this section.
Any adult providing transportation for a field trip must complete
an "Automobile Insurance Confirmation Form",
SB 60528. A copy of this form follows this section.
Students may drive themselves to an in-county
field trip but may not transport other students.
Now that the mode of transportation has
been selected, incorporate those costs along with admission price
and meal costs. Prepare a cover letter to parents explaining
the details of the field trip and include the following forms:
| - Application For Participation, SB60531 or 60532
| - Teacher Notification Form, SB60533
| - Medical Release Form, SB77501
For field trips, there must be a minimum ratio of one adult to
fifteen students. Chaperones are considered volunteers and therefore
S.E.R.V.E. policies and procedures for screening volunteers must
be followed. According to S.E.R.V.E., field trip chaperones are
considered Level II volunteers for local daytime field trips,
or Level III volunteers for field trips involving overnight stay
and are subject to the application and screening process. Therefore,
all chaperones must complete the Hillsborough County Public Schools
Volunteer Application. A copy is included and is also available
on S.E.R.V.E.'s web site www.servevolunteers.org.
In addition to clearance by S.E.R.V.E.,
all chaperones and volunteers should be screened through the
Florida Department of Law Enforcement (www.FDLE.STATE.FL.US),
the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office Arrest web site (www.HCSO.TAMPA.FL.US)
and the Florida Department of Corrections (www.DC.STATE.FL.US)
A volunteer is considered conditionally
| - a copy of the completed volunteer application
has been submitted to the school administration.
| - an application is on file with the S.E.R.V.E. office.
| - an application does no indicate any criminal history.
| - the volunteer's name does not appear on the three web sites
| - If the volunteer's name does appear on any of these web sites,
the principal must consult the General Area Director.
An appropriate chaperone to accompany students
on a field trip should:
| - be a responsible adult, 18 years of
age or older.
| - be known to the teacher and/or other school personnel.
| - show good judgment in dealing with children.
| - be fully committed to volunteering without other familial
or work obligations.
| - hold a current, valid driver's license if transporting students.
| - have a completed copy of the S.E.R.V.E. volunteer application
of file in the school.
The teacher should discuss the following
topics with the chaperones:
| - purpose of the field trip
| - family members or others in the care of the chaperone are
| - departure and return times (be at school 15-30 minutes before
| - appropriate supervision of a group of students
| - introduce chaperone to students for whom they are responsible
| - how to handle behavior problems
| - obtain a list of the names of students to be supervised
| - medical, dietary or other special needs for members of the
| - lunch plans
| - appropriate dress and gear for the field trip
| - wear the provided name tag and a watch
| - exchange cell phone numbers with other adults on trip if
Discuss the following topics with chaperones
who will be driving:
Approved vehicle list
| - Review the entire section on Private
| - Completion of Automobile Insurance Confirmation Form,
SB 60528 signed by the vehicle owner
| - Must be on file in school office
| - Ensure vehicle is ready to transport students
| - All seat belts are in working condition and available for
| - Gas tank is full
| - Vehicle is clean, free of objectionable materials, and free
of clutter or objects that could cause injury
For additional details, check the Instructional Field Trip
Handbook. With transportation and chaperones arranged, money
and forms collected, it's time to depart!