Boulder Valley School District



File: IICA-R (pdf)
Adopted: prior to 1978
Revised: August 23, 1990, October 23, 1997, January 8, 2019


General Information

Proposed same-day field/activity trips must be submitted using the Field Trip Request Form and approved by the building principal. Proposed extended (overnight) field/activity trips must be submitted on the Extend Field Trip forms and approved by the building principal and the appropriate administrator(s) in the Superintendent’s office.

All field/activity trips must meet the following criteria:

  1. Planning and Approval:  Field trips must have an educational purpose connected to the curriculum or a school-sponsored club or activity. Proposed field trips should be spaced throughout the school year in accordance with units of study. When possible, field trips should be planned to provide experiences in more than one subject matter area. Determinations regarding the appropriateness of a field/activity trip, supervision requirements, necessary accommodations and/or modifications, and other matters concerning students with health conditions and disabilities must be made by appropriate staff with reference to the applicable federal laws (e.g., IDEA, § 504). The Superintendent or designee may limit the number of field trips taken by a specific groups, grade levels, subject matter areas, activities, etc. The Superintendent or designee reserves the right to deny any request for a field/activity trip, to cancel any previously approved field/activity trip up to the time of departure, and to terminate or redirect any field/activity trip in progress for any reason deemed necessary or appropriate, including but not limited to health/safety concerns or misconduct.

    Note: Board Resolution 17-07 bans BVSD School Sponsored Field Trips to the former Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Manufacturing Facility.
  2. Location and Planned Activities:  The site selected for a field/activity trip must be appropriate for the purposes of the trip, including appropriate facilities and space, safety of location (ex. too remote), etc. Conditions relative to health, District-approved transportation, size of group (relative to the site and purposes of the trip and available school personnel) must be considered.
  3. Liability Insurance:  Field/activity trips with appropriate authorization are generally covered by the District’s liability insurance policy. However, certain high risk activities are not covered by the District liability insurance policy and will not be approved. Adult chaperones must be either District employees or authorized volunteers pursuant to Policy IJOC, School Volunteers. The District does not provide medical insurance covering students or volunteers.
  4. Incident Reporting:  If any student, employee or volunteer is injured during the field trip, the supervising teacher must forward the signed permission form (if student) and a completed District incident report form to the Office of Legal Counsel as soon as practical.
  5. Health Needs: The teacher (or coach, if athletic trip) supervising the field trip must provide a list of students participating in the field trip to  school health personnel at least three (3) weeks in advance of the trip to make arrangements for participating students who have medical conditions that may require routine or emergency administration of authorized medicine or care and/or specialized medical personnel to accompany the student in the parent’s absence. 

a.     CPR/First Aid:  At least one person with current CPR  and First Aid training must be in attendance on every field trip per CCR 1010-6 R. Section 6.13.C.

b.     Medications and Health-related Treatments:

(1)   For trips within Colorado: The supervising teacher must make sure that all necessary supplies, authorized medicines, treatments, etc., are taken in a safe manner and in accordance with District Policy JHCD and JHCD-R, Administering Medicines to Students. At least one staff person must be delegated to by the school nurse to provide medications and health related treatments as needed.

(2)   For trips outside of Colorado: The supervising teacher must make sure that all necessary supplies, authorized medicines, treatments, etc., are taken in a safe manner and in accordance with District Policy JHCD and JHCD-R, Administering Medicines to Students.  All medications must be self carried and administered by the student with the exception of prescribed controlled substances, which will be in the possession of a staff member and self-administered by the student.

   6.  Parent/Guardian Notice and Permission:  After approval by the principal (and the
        appropriate central office administrator(s) in the case of extended field/activity
        trips), written information pertaining to each specific field trip must be
        disseminated to the parents/guardians of involved children at least five (5) days in
        advance for regular (same-day) field/activity trips and at least ten (10) days in
        advance for extended (overnight) field/activity trips. Such information must
        include the date, time, place, mode of transportation and purpose of the field
        trip. Written parent/guardian authorization for all field trips is required using the
        District's Field/Activity Trip Permission to Participate and Release form.

   7.  Transportation:  District-approved transportation must be used, i.e., school bus,
        private vehicles, charter service or public transportation. 

a.     At least one District employee must be on each school bus transporting students on the field/activity trip. Any exceptions to this requirement must be approved by the appropriate administrator in the Superintendent's Office.

b.     When private vehicles are used, the driver must be at least 21 years of age, properly licensed and adequately insured. The "Student Transportation in Private Vehicles" form (Exhibit EEAE-E) must be completed and approved. Training for drivers of rental vehicles is required. It is recommended the supervising teacher arrange for one adult to drive a private vehicle in the event that common, yet unpredictable, circumstances arise (e.g., a student becomes ill and must be taken home).

c.      The Transportation Department will make all arrangements for school buses and drivers. All requests for field/activity trip transportation must be made at least ten (10) days prior to the  date of the trip (earlier applications advisable).

d.     It is the responsibility of the trip sponsor to ensure that the students are loaded in the bus according to the approved time schedule. Students traveling by bus must return on their assigned bus. It is the responsibility of the sponsor to check the student list in order to determine whether everyone is present at the time of the return departure. Students traveling by bus must return on their assigned bus, unless approved by the building principal in advance or an urgent circumstance arises during the trip. 

e.     It is the responsibility of the trip sponsor to notify the school principal and the Transportation Department in the event the time schedule cannot be followed. Whenever possible, the trip should be scheduled so that, if rest stops are needed, such rest stops can be noted and scheduled before the bus leaves on the trip. The driver will make no unscheduled stops except for emergencies. Drivers are responsible for the safety of passengers and buses and will not take buses into potentially unsafe areas.

f.       The sponsor in charge of the trip will verify the completion of the trip by signing the bus trip form provided by the driver.

  8.   District Policies and Rules:  Students (including those over 18 years of age), District
        employees and volunteers are subject to District policies and regulations, including
        but not limited to those included in the Student Code of Conduct, on every
        field/activity trip. The rules of the Colorado High School Activities Association (if
        applicable) apply as well. Violations of policies, regulations or rules may result in
        disciplinary action and/or ineligibility to participate in the remainder of the field

Regular (Same-Day) Field/Activity Trips

Regular field trips are those field trips which (1) take place during one school day; and (2) are limited to the local community or to distances which can be covered between the morning and afternoon bus schedules, unless otherwise approved in advance by the building principal and the Transportation Department. It is recommended that same-day field trips be limited to one per grade level per semester.

Regular field trips must meet the following additional criteria:

  1. Supervision:  A student/adult ratio not greater than 15:1 must be maintained at all times during the trip.  Additional supervisory personnel must have prior approval of the building principal. Persons planning field trips must make every effort to enlist the aid of authorized parent volunteers to help supervise groups on field trips. All participating students must begin and end the field trip at the school building. Before departing any location, the supervising teacher must account for, using adequate attendance and monitoring procedures, all participating students.
  2. Alternative Activities:  There are times when the building principal may excuse a student from participation in a field/activity trip upon parent/guardian request. When this is necessary, appropriate alternative activities should be provided by the teacher or supervisor. The alternative activity will address the same general purpose as the field trip. In addition, the student will be excused in a manner that avoids embarrassment to the student. Some regular field trips occur outside the school day, but unless disclosed in the course description, attendance is not required when a trip is scheduled outside of the school day and non-participating students will not be penalized.
  3. Walking Field Trips:  Walking field trips require a student/adult ratio not greater than 15:1 be maintained at all times and may necessarily be smaller as determined by the building principal and depending on such factors as distance covered, duration of trip, site to be visited and size of group. 

Extended (Overnight) Field/Activity Trips

Extended (Overnight) field/activity trips are field trips that involve (1) overnight accommodations, (2) planning of meals, (3) incidental expenses of staff members and others, and (4) district-approved transportation.

Extended field/activity trips may be scheduled when the following additional criteria are met:

  1. Purpose:  Extended field/activity trips must be planned to accomplish instructional goals that cannot be addressed efficiently and practically during same-day field trips or alternative activities, or relate to competitions involving athletics or other school-sponsored activities. Extended field trips should not exceed two (2) school days except for special situations. Only current District students may participate in extended field/activity trips, except occasionally recently graduated students may participate in field/activity trips that they earned or worked for while they were District students.
  2. Approval:  The extended field/activity trip request must be approved by the building principal before submission to appropriate administrator(s) in the Superintendent’s office for approval. The Superintendent’s office must receive the request for approval, including all required information provided on current extended field trip forms, as follows:

            In-state travel:  30 days in advance of trip

            Out of state within continental U.S.:  90 days in advance of trip

            Outside continental U.S.:  180 days in advance of trip

Other than in-state competitions to which the group or team is invited or otherwise qualified or trips in which an entire class or grade is requested to participate (ex. 5th grade outdoor education), no group should expect approval for extended field/activity trips more often than once in any three-year period.

  1. Trips Outside of Colorado/United States: Any trip by a student group involving participation outside the State of Colorado must be authorized by the Superintendent or designee, and outside the United States must be authorized by the Superintendent. Trips outside of the United States involving elementary students are prohibited, and involving middle school students are highly discouraged.

a.     School groups expecting to be invited or seeking to be considered for an invitation to activities outside Colorado are to make requests for prior approval through the building principal to the Executive Director of Secondary Education and the Instructional Cabinet. Such request is to be made before submission of any tapes, materials, etc., and prior to making any commitments as to the availability of the group to participate. The request submitted is to include as much information as possible relative to activity, honor, or recognition involved, time, place, estimated cost, means of transportation, school time involved, sponsoring agency, and other appropriate information. 

b.     When invitations are received for participation in an activity without prior knowledge of the group or school, such invitation is to be brought to the attention of the building principal immediately. Similar kinds of information as indicated in section a. above will be required before consideration will be given by the Executive Director of Secondary Education and the Instructional Cabinet. 

c.      Travel insurance approved by the Superintendent’s office must be obtained.

d.     For travel outside the United States, the group must be registered in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (“STEP”) through the US Department of State.

  1. Supervision:  A minimum of one adult for each 15 students or major portion thereof is required at all times during an extended field/activity trip. Supervisory personnel, approved by the building administrator, must provide adequate male and female supervision.
  2. Academic Credit: Complete information as to academic credit to be earned as a part of a proposed extended field/activity trip will be included in the application to the appropriate administrative personnel. If participation in an extended field/activity trip will result in academic credit, this information must be made known to students prior to enrollment in the course or activity. If a student does not wish to participate in an extended field/activity trip that is a requirement for course credit, the student will be given the opportunity to earn academic credit by participation in a special project(s) or other approved activity as arranged by the teacher in charge. 
  1. Funding of Trip Costs:

a.   A proposed extended field/activity trip should be financially practical for the students involved and arrangements made for financial assistance when needed. Travel and special expenses for staff should be included with trip costs. In most instances, it is expected the group involved will engage in fundraising activities, approved in advance by the building principal, to raise the money needed to pay the costs for all student participants, adult sponsors and teachers who will be in attendance on that particular activity trip.

b.   Unless approved in advance by the Superintendent or designee, District-level funding is not available to support extended field/activity trips. District-level funding may be available to support implementation of legal requirements (ex. § 504-required health or paraeducator support) or other unusual circumstances, but are capped at 10 percent of the trip costs or $1,000, whichever is less. District-level funding allowed for such activities will be available on as equitable a basis as possible, with each school being given due consideration in accordance with previously allowed funds, school size, nature of activity, other field/activity trip opportunities for the group members, and other relevant factors. No group should expect approval for District-level funding for an extended field/activity trip more often than once in any three-year period.