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E-140-AR: Field Trips


  • E-140
  1. Division senior administration is responsible for providing advice and assistance to support principals in meeting all requirements of this regulation and exercising due diligence on behalf of the Division to promote safety and protection for the students, staff, volunteer helpers, and the school division.
  2. All field trips require prior approval.
    1. All trips involving risky activities (any physical activity not typically undertaken as part of the in school day) requires approval by division office administration.
    2. Field trips that include two school days and are within Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia require approval by the school principal.
    3. Field trips involving three school days or more and within Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia require approval by division office administration.
    4. All national field trips outside of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia require approval by division office administration.
    5. International field trips require approval by division office administration, who will inform the Board of Trustees.
  3. In approving a field trip request, the following criteria must be addressed:
    1. curricular fit or link to school goals;
    2. student and staff safety;
    3. age and grade appropriateness;
    4. supervision; and
    5. itinerary and contingency plans (if appropriate).
  4. Division office administration will develop and distribute a list of restricted activities.  No field trips will include these activities without approval of division office administration. 
    1. It is understood that division office administration can add or delete activities from the restricted activities list without amending these administration regulations.
    2. When necessary, division office administration will seek advice and assistance from experts (internal and external) in approving restricted activities.
  5. While not an exhaustive list, active student participation in the following field trip activities are prohibited:
    1. rifle or other firearm activities;
    2. sky diving;
    3. open water scuba diving;
    4. open water swimming;
    5. hot air ballooning;
    6. demolition derbies;
    7. flying club activities;
    8. motorcycling; and
    9. bungee jumping.
  6. Field trips that are considered a course requirement must be open to all eligible students, and eligibility criteria may not include the ability to pay.
  7. School principals will ensure that any eligibility criteria are established and communicated prior to the field trip.


  8. Prior to each field trip, written parental/guardian permission shall be obtained from participating students (consent form).
    1. In exceptional circumstances the principal or designate can accept verbal permission for a student to attend a local field trip, provided that the parent/guardian has been properly informed of all matters contained in the Permission for Student Participation form (available from division office).  In such circumstances, a blank form shall be fully completed by the lead teacher and the date and particulars of such verbal permission shall be documented thereon. 
    2. Special provisions may be required when seeking permission from parents/guardians if language, literacy, or cultural barriers exist.
    3. No student will be allowed to take part in a field trip without permission, as outlined above.
    4. In order to ensure informed consent, parent(s)/guardian(s) shall be provided in a timely manner with the following information, in writing:
      1. purpose or educational goal of the field trip;
      2. proposed itinerary;
      3. description of the activities or events proposed;
      4. safety precautions and safety equipment in place to deal with activities involving risk;
      5. emergency procedures to be followed in the event of injury, illness or unusual circumstances;
      6. need for additional medical coverage for out-of-country trips;
      7. method of transportation to be used;
      8. arrangements for supervision; and
      9. cost to the student.
  9. For school activities that involve more than one trip outside the boundaries of the school such as walking field trips, swimming lessons, physical education classes, outdoor education classes, or interschool sports within the league, one parental/guardian consent form will suffice if the information to the parent/guardian includes a schedule of all activities and proposed dates.
  10. Parental/guardian permission shall include consent from parents/guardians authorizing the supervisors to arrange for necessary medical treatment.
  11. Teacher-leaders should not permit major deviations to the proposed itinerary or contingency plan once parental/guardian permission has been received.

    Field Trip Supervision/Preparation

  12. A teacher-leader must always be in charge.  The teacher-leader must ensure appropriate supervision is available at all times and that supervisors are prepared to deal with any emergencies that may arise.  The supervisory arrangements will depend upon:
    1. the age, maturity, needs (including medical needs) and ability levels of the students;
    2. the inherent risk of the activity; and
    3. the circumstances of that particular activity.
  13. The teacher-leader is responsible for being familiar with, and conducting a safety assessment of the proposed site of the field trip.  This will involve:
    1. one of the supervisors being at the site assessing its safety and/or;
    2. contacting the school jurisdiction/other organizations who are close in proximity to the location where the field trip is occurring; and
    3. where applicable, contacting the site or organization within one week of leaving to verify conditions.
  14. The teacher-leader shall ensure that necessary training, preparation, and orientation for all student participants and supervisors is provided.
  15. The teacher-leader shall ensure that contingency plans are in place in the event of cancellation, adverse weather and road conditions, or other emergent conditions that may require a change to the original itinerary.
  16. The teacher-leader shall ensure the following are available:
    1. list of student participants;
    2. phone contact numbers;
    3. Alberta Health Care numbers;
    4. information regarding medication and medi-alert needs of participants;
    5. cell phone or other alternate methods of communication (when available or appropriate).
  17. The teacher-leader shall ensure that, when necessary (such as in the case of overnight field trips involving students of both genders) supervisors of both genders shall be present.
  18. For challenging physical activities, competent instruction and supervision in these activities are mandatory.  Competence may be established by virtue of a certificate from a governing body for activities such as skiing, swimming, and canoeing.  In areas where certificates are not issued, competency may be that recognized by virtue of experience and demonstrated expertise in the activity.
  19. Where a principal deems it appropriate or where it is required by law, supervision shall include individuals suitably trained in first aid.
  20. The teacher leader shall ensure that an appropriately equipped portable first aid kit is accessible.
  21. When necessary, principals are expected to seek advice and assistance from experts in planning field trips and in assessing risk. Following are recommended reference publications:
    1. Safety Guidelines for Physical Activity in Alberta Schools
    2. Guidelines for Compliance with the Revised Alberta First Aid Regulation
    3. Safety Oriented Guidelines for Outdoor Education Leadership and Programming (The Canadian Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation)
  22. Other Considerations
    1. parent volunteers shall be required to sign consent forms to participate. These forms are available at division office.
    2. A record of each field trip shall be kept at the school (for a minimum of two years plus one day from the date of the field trip).  This record will include:
      1. principal authorization;
      2. parent/guardian consent;
      3. all information provided to parents/guardians;
      4. list of participating students;
      5. list of supervisors; and
      6. injury and unusual incident reports.
    3. Division staff shall not be involved in non-school sponsored field trips in their capacity as a St. Albert Public Schools employee.