POLICY MANUAL

Field/Recreation/Class Trips - Regulation R6-42

I. Field/Recreational/Class Trips

A. Approval
1. Administrative responsibility for approving regular day field trips rests with the school principal. Requests should be submitted at least two weeks in advance, except in unusual situations. Two copies of the form "Field Trip Request" should be submitted to the principal and approved before the teacher makes reservations or a commitment for the trip.

2. Overnight and out of state trips are to be initially approved by the school principal and forwarded to the superintendent for final approval. The principal will submit those requests to the superintendent at least four weeks in advance of the trip except in unusual situations. If the principal is unable to comply with the four-week notice, an explanation of the unusual situation must accompany the request to the superintendent. When principals are planning out-of-state student group trips, principals should discuss this matter with the superintendent during the planning stages of those trips. Two copies of the form "Overnight Field Trip Request" should be submitted to the superintendent and approved before the teacher makes reservations or a commitment for the trip.

B. Permission Forms
Written permission, including the signed medical release form, must be obtained from the parent or guardian for all student field trip participants. Adult chaperons must also submit Emergency Medical forms. These signed forms must be submitted to the trip sponsor and the forms must accompany the group on the trip.

C. Distance and Time
Principals should exercise caution in approving field trips to insure that travel distance is not too great and that the trip does not take students out of the regular program for too long. It is recognized that the purpose and length of trips vary greatly and that state and national competitions may require students to be out of class for several days. Every effort should be made to limit the amount of time students are out of class. Students are responsible for making up all academic assignments missed while on a school trip.

D. Finance
Field trips are considered a part of the educational program and, to the extent possible, such activities should be financed from regular school funds. In no case shall a student who is a member of a group be denied the opportunity to participate in the field trip activity because he does not have the money required.

E. Transportation
1. Use of School-Owned Buses

a. Charges
Each school will be charged for the trips taken at an established rate. Once the allotted funds are expended, the local school will be required to reimburse the transportation department for any additional expenditures. Charges will be computed on the basis of the actual charge to be determined administratively and adjusted as necessary to reflect the actual cost of operating the buses. Minimum wage guidelines require that bus drivers be compensated for the total time invested in such special trips and not for driving time alone.

b. Requests
Buses are to be requested by the principal and scheduled through the transportation department. Requests should be submitted at least two weeks in advance, except in unusual situations.

c. Drivers
All bus drivers for special trips shall be drivers employed by the school division and assigned by the transportation department.

d. Authorized Riders/Conduct
Only those students who are active members of the group for which a particular bus is authorized shall be permitted to ride that bus, except with written permission from the principal or his/her designee.

Students are expected to abide by the regular school bus behavior regulations while making special trips.

e. Supervision

(1.) Regular Day Trips
A minimum of one certified staff member or officially designated chaperon shall ride each bus involved in a field, recreational, or class trip. Supervision should be appropriate to the field trip activity. It is recommended that chaperons be assigned at a ratio of one adult per 10 students for each trip. A chaperon and/or teacher must remain on site until all students have been picked up from the school trip. Chaperons and teachers will be provided with a roster of those students for whom they assume responsibility along with a list of procedures and regulations governing field trips.

(2.) Overnight Trips
A minimum of one certified staff member or officially designated chaperon shall ride each bus involved in a field, recreational, or class trip. Supervision should be appropriate to the field trip activity. It is required that chaperons shall be assigned at a ratio of one adult per 10 students for each trip or the trip will be canceled. The gender representation of chaperons must be considered and reflective of the student participants when assigning chaperons. A chaperon and/or teacher must remain on site until all students have been picked up from the school trip. Chaperons and teachers will be provided with a roster of those students for whom they assume responsibility along with a list of procedures and regulations governing field trips.

f. Damages
The local school is responsible for initiating the calls for repair of any damage sustained by the Lynchburg City Schools bus through student carelessness or student vandalism. The parent or student is responsible for the cost of the repairs pursuant to School Board Policy 7-38. Drivers shall inspect the buses before and after each special trip and will report any damage to the school principal and the assistant director for transportation as soon as possible. Drivers are expected to assume the responsibility for the security of the bus while on a special trip.

2. Use of Commercial Carriers
Commercial carriers may be used when appropriate.

3. Privately Owned Cars

a. Privately owned cars may not be used for class field trips.

b. Parents or other non-school personnel may not drive for field trips under any circumstances. Teachers who transport students on special occasions should refer to policy #5-22.

II. Athletic Trips

A. Approval
Overnight and out-of-state athletic trips are to be approved by the building principal and the superintendent. Overnight field trip forms should be submitted to the superintendent in a timely manner, prior to departure.

B. Permission Forms
Parent(s)/Guardian(s) must grant written permission, including a signed medical release form for students to participate in athletics. Adult chaperons must also submit Emergency Medical forms. These signed forms must be submitted to the coach or athletic director and the forms must accompany the group on any trip away from the school building, including home events held at off-campus locations.

C. Distance and Time
Principals and athletic directors should exercise caution in approving athletic events to insure that travel distance is not too great and that loss of instructional time is kept to a minimum. Students are responsible for making up all academic assignments missed while on an athletic trip.

D. Supervision
A minimum of one athletic coach or officially designated chaperon shall ride each bus involved in an athletic trip. Additional chaperons are recommended based on the number of athletes participating in the sport. A guide for athletic supervision is one adult coach/chaperon per 15 athletes. Chaperon requirements for overnight athletic trips are the same as requirements for regular overnight field trips (one adult per 10 athletes). For overnight trips, the gender representation of chaperons must be considered and be reflective of the athletes when assigning chaperons. A chaperon and/or coach must remain on site until students have been picked up from the athletic trip.

E. Damages
The local school is responsible for initiating the calls for repair of any damage sustained by the Lynchburg City Schools bus through athlete carelessness or athlete vandalism. The parent or student is responsible for the cost of the repairs pursuant to School Board Policy 7-38. Drivers shall inspect the buses before and after each special trip and will report any damage to the school principal and the assistant director for transportation as soon as possible. Drivers are expected to assume the responsibility for the security of the bus while on an athletic trip.

F. Transportation
1. Transportation To and From “Away” Athletic Events
Athletes are required to be transported by vehicles owned or leased by the school division except when released to the custody of parents/guardians as outlined in F. 1. c. that follows (Privately Owned Vehicles).

a. Use of School-Owned Buses or Vehicles

(1.) Bus Requests and Charges
Arrangements must be made with the transportation department to secure the use of school-owned buses or vehicles for athletic events. When applicable, each school will be charged for the trips taken at an established rate for use of the vehicle and bus driver compensation.

(2.) Drivers
All bus drivers for athletic trips must hold a valid Commercial Drivers License (CDL), be employed by the school division and be assigned by the transportation department or school administrators.

(3.) Authorized Riders/Conduct
Only those students who are active members of the group for which a particular bus is authorized shall be  permitted to ride that bus, except with written permission from the principal or his/her designee.

Athletes are expected to abide by the regular school bus behavior regulations while making athletic trips.

b. Use of Commercial Carriers
Licensed, insured commercial carriers may be used when appropriate.

c. Privately Owned Cars

(1.) Privately owned cars may only be used in extenuating circumstances when a parent or guardian must provide transportation for his/her own child(ren) to an athletic event. The parent/guardian must secure prior approval of a building administrator.

Parents/guardians who are non-LCS employees may not transport athletes other than their own child(ren). Parents with extenuating circumstances, who make personal contact with the building principal or designee at least 24 hours preceding the athletic trip, may request an exception for that single event to have their child(ren) transported from an away contest by a specified parental designee. This exception request will be considered at the discretion of the building principal or designee and only granted with written documentation of the request for exception verified by the principal or designee. A parent/guardian who will be an absentee parent for two or more days may provide a notarized letter to the principal granting permission for another person to transport their child(ren).

Parents/Guardians who are LCS employees but not serving in an official school capacity may not transport athletes other than their own child(ren). Parents/Guardians who are LCS employees serving in an official school capacity who will be transporting athletes other than their own child(ren) should refer to policy #5-22.

The term parent as used above refers to the custodial parent.

(2.) Teachers/coaches may transport students in a private vehicle to and from athletic events when necessary. Teachers/coaches who transport students to or from athletic events should refer to policy #5-22.

(3.) Students may not drive themselves or other athletes to “away” athletic events under any circumstances. Students may not drive home from “away” events unless they have been released by the coach to the custody of their parents/guardians.

“Away” athletic contests, regardless of their proximity to the home school, are treated as “away” events except as noted in F2 below. All transportation regulations for “away” athletic trips apply.

2. Transportation To and From Home Athletic Events/Practices
Transportation to and from home events and practices is the responsibility of the student/parent unless the school has provided other transportation. If transportation is provided by the school, students must be transported by the vehicles provided by the school. Principals, athletic directors and coaches have the discretion to determine that any athletic contest held inside the city o f Lynchburg can be considered a home athletic contest for transportation purposes. Off-campus home athletic events and practices and away events at an LCS site shall be treated the same as on-site home athletic events and practices.

Legal Reference:

Code of Va., § 8.01-43 Action against parent for damage to public property by minor. "The Commonwealth, acting through the officers having charge of the public property involved, or the governing body of a county, city, town, or other political subdivision, or a school board may institute an action and recover from the parents or either of them of any minor living with such parents or either of them for damages suffered by reason of the willful or malicious destruction of, or damage to, public property by such minor. No more than $2,500 may be recovered from such parents or either of them as a result of any incident or occurrence on which such action is based."

8VAC20-70-1510. Regulations and standards.

Activity vehicles owned or operated under contract by or for the school board, which are used solely to transport pupils to and from school activity events, shall comply with all applicable regulations and standards prescribed for school buses except as noted in this article.

1. Exceptions, general regulations.

a. An activity vehicle transporting school pupils shall be operated at a safe, legal speed not in excess of 55 miles per hour.

b. No standees shall be permitted.

c. The eight-inch school bus lettered identification and traffic warning devices shall be removed by the local school division as required by §§46.2-100 and 46.2-1090 of the Code of Virginia. The name of the school division or individual school shall be placed on both sides of the vehicle.

d. Stops for the purpose of loading or discharging pupils on the travel portion of the highway shall not be permitted.

2. Exceptions, minimum standards for school buses in Virginia.

a. School activity vehicles shall not be painted national school bus yellow.

b. Other type seats and increased spacing may be used provided all provisions of FMVSS 222, 49 CFR §571.222, are met.

Statutory Authority

Article VIII, §4 of the Constitution of Virginia; §§22.1-16, 22.1-176, 22.1-177, and 22.1-178 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 §7.1; eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

American National Standard 224.5-1951, American National Standards Institute.

American National Standard 226.1, Safety Code for Safety Glazing Materials for Glazing Motor Vehicles Operating on Land Highways, American National Standards Institute.

ASTM Standard D4956-90, American Society for Testing and Materials.

Federal Specification TT-C-520(b), Specifications of bus undercoating.

Preventive Maintenance Manual for Virginia School Bus Personnel and School Administrators, 1983.

School Bus Manufacturer's Standards for Fuel Tanks.

School Bus Manufacturer's Standards for Heating Systems.

SAE Standard J180 for Bus Alternatives, Society of Automotive Engineers.

Current Standards of the Tire and Rim Association.

Virginia School Bus Driver Training Curriculum Guide, 1977.

Approved by Superintendent: August 4, 1981
Revised by School Board: March 21, 2000
Revised by School Board: January 8, 2002

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