All teachers should be familiar with Board of Education Policy IJOA and Regulation IJOA-R as it pertains to Field Trip Planning and the procedures specified in this section. Field trips will be well-planned in terms of logistics, educational objectives and accountability measures for learning outcomes.
To ensure that safe, responsive and enjoyable transportation services are provided for your field trip, a clear understanding of student, staff and driver responsibilities is essential. The following guidelines and procedures will help ensure that your transportation needs are satisfactorily met and support your educational objectives.
Mode of Transportation
When determining which mode of transportation to use for a field trip, planners should always consider the safest mode of transporting our students first. The "School Bus" is the safest form of transportation in the nation. As such, using a school bus for all curricular and extra-curricular activities is considered the preferred option for transporting students.
Trip planners should always request transportation support from the D-11 Transportation Department prior to exploring and confirming alternative means of transportation.
Planning Considerations for Field Trips
Field trip costs are calculated annually for both hourly rate and mileage rate. Both the driver hourly rate and the mileage rate are charged from the time the bus departs the Transportation Center until it returns at the completion of the field trip. The minimum charge for any field trip will be one (1) hour for school days, two (2) hours for weekends and three (3) hours for holiday / District closed.
Transportation services are available for field and athletic trips on school days from 9:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. and after 4:30 P.M. Weekend hours are flexible. Please ensure that your field trip teacher / sponsors comply with the starting and ending times for their field trip. Every driver has a daily scheduled bus route that services two or three other schools. If your field trip is delayed, service to others may be adversely affected. If delays are experienced as a result of the teacher, sponsor or a passenger, the cost of a substitute driver may be added to the cost of the field trip. In addition, the school will be assessed a "Field Trip Late Fee" in the amount of $50 per bus. All field trips shall return to the school site no later than 10:00 PM on school nights. Arrivals at the school site after 10:00 PM have an adverse impact on driver availability for AM routes on the subsequent day. Exceptions will be coordinated with the Transportation Field Trip Coordinator prior to submission of the request.
Destinations involving mountainous terrain or remote locations will be evaluated to ensure they are safe before they are approved. Trip planners should consult the Transportation Department before finalizing plans and requesting transportation services for areas where transportation risks may be questionable.
Length of Field Trip
A driver's on-duty hours and driving time shall be taken into consideration when planning a field trip. Drivers are limited to a total of 14 hours of duty time per day, including a maximum of 10 hours of driving time, computed from the time the driver comes on duty on the day of the trip.
Standing on the bus is not allowed any time the bus is in motion. Passengers of any school bus used on mountainous terrain shall not occupy the front row of seats and any seats located next to emergency doors unless the passengers are adequately restrained in a fixed position.
The maximum passenger load for all field trips are:
Baggage and Equipment
State code directs, "school transportation vehicles shall not transport any items, materials or equipment which in any way would endanger the lives, health or safety of the passengers or driver." Baggage and equipment that is to be loaded on a bus for a field trip shall be placed in or under the seats and must be secured. Items placed in seats must allow for direct passenger access to the center aisle. The entrance door, aisle and emergency door must remain clear and unobstructed. No baggage or equipment shall be stored on top of or placed on the seat backs. Passenger, baggage and equipment mix should be taken into consideration when determining your required support. The luggage should be placed in the front and / or rear seats. Students should not be in the same seat as luggage.
Prior to departing on any field trip, the bus driver shall be provided with a complete list of all passengers (students, parents and/or staff). The following information is required: passenger's full name, address and phone number of passenger's parent / guardian or point of contact in the event of an emergency. This form should be completed well in advance of the start of the field trip. The manifest shall be provided to the driver when he/she arrives to pick-up the field trip. A copy of the Passenger Manifest shall be maintained at the school in the event of an emergency.
Special Needs Students
Trip directors should ensure that the requirements for special needs students are met. As such, coordination should be made with the Transportation Department prior to scheduling a field trip. Requests shall include the listing of any special needs such as a wheelchair lift vehicle, Seeing Eye dog to ride, etc.
All field trips shall be requested online using the following link: Online Request. You can also access this link by going to D11's Intranet and clicking on the school bus icon at the bottom center of the page. The completeness of the online form is essential in ensuring that your trip is properly planned and scheduled. Your request should include all information regarding the trip and all desired deviations from normal routing. Intermediate stops or multiple trip locations should be detailed in the comments section of the form, including any meal stops. The most important fields of this form are the account number, Principal's approval, and the name of the adult riding for supervision. Please contact 520-2940 if there are any questions or concerns with the online form.
Submission Time Frame
All requests must be received by the Transportation Center no later than thirty (30) days prior to the requested trip date and no more than 90 days in advance. Confirmation copies can be obtained by logging into the online form and referencing your trip, there you will see the name of the Driver assigned to your trip and the bus number. This will serve as confirmation that the trip has been scheduled. Keep in mind trips are not scheduled until the week prior to the anticipated trip.
Pre-Field Trip Requirements
Prior to the commencement of the trip, the driver and the teacher/sponsor shall review the trip. This review should include routing to and from the destination, the loading time for the return trip and the expectations of both the teacher and driver concerning student conduct. If the weather at the time of the trip is adverse or threatening, these conditions will be discussed and a determination made to proceed or cancel the trip.
Inspection of the Bus
Prior to the start of the trip the bus shall be inspected by the driver and the teacher/sponsor to determine the state of cleanliness and any damages to the bus that exist prior to students boarding. At the conclusion of the trip, the bus will again be inspected by the driver and teacher/sponsor to insure general cleanliness and determine any damages incurred during the trip. If cleaning is required following the trip, a flat fee of $50 will be added to the total trip cost. Any damage to seats or other equipment on the bus will be charged to the student(s) involved if the responsibility can be determined. If students deny responsibility, the cost of the repairs will be added to the school's field trip cost.
Emergency Procedures Brief
Prior to departure, the driver shall brief all passengers on the procedures to be used during an emergency. Exit locations from the bus shall be briefed with emphasis on the need to keep transported items out of aisles and away from emergency exits.
The teacher/sponsor shall brief students prior to the trip on safe riding practices and standard of conduct. A teacher or adult sponsor is required to be on board each bus operating in support of the field trip. The teacher or adult sponsor shall be seated behind the last student to observe and monitor student conduct and safety while en route. If a student's conduct on the bus becomes a distraction to the driver, and adversely affects his/her ability to safely operate the bus, the driver will promptly stop the bus and request the teacher/sponsor to correct the situation. Should a problem develop during the course of the field trip that is not handled properly or adequately by the teacher/sponsor the situation will be reported to the principal or the Director of Transportation.
The driver is responsible for the safe operation of the bus. Teacher sponsors should not expect the driver to supervise students who have misbehaved during the field trip.
Proper student conduct on the bus is essential to insure the safety of all passengers. Students should keep the noise level to a minimum to ensure that traffic sounds and emergency conditions are recognizable to the driver. All passengers must remain seated while the bus is in motion. Eating on the bus is not permitted without driver approval. Students should not throw or extend any part of their body or other objects from open windows of the bus.
Arrival at Field Trip Destination
Upon reaching the field trip destination, a clear understanding shall be reached between the driver and the teacher/sponsor regarding parking location for the bus and the time of departure from the field trip location. Considerations will include time of stay, availability of parking, driver/vehicle safety, as well as other factors identified at the site. In no case will the driver depart the field trip destination without coordinating the time and loading point for the return trip. The driver will keep the teacher/sponsor advised of his/her location at all times.
Cancellation of Field Trips
Field trips may be cancelled by calling directly to the Transportation Office at 520-2940, followed by an email to the Field Trip Transportation Specialist. If cancellation is necessary and confirmed with the Transportation Office prior to the scheduled trip, no charges will be incurred. If the bus has been dispatched prior to the cancellation, a minimum charge of one (1) hour for labor for drivers expenses plus mileage will be billed during school days, two (2) hours for weekends and three (3) hours on holidays and days when D-11 is closed. No charge will be incurred if the field trip is cancelled due to adverse weather or adverse driving conditions, if D11 resources (drivers and buses) are scheduled to tranport said trip. Field and/or Athletic trips scheduled with one of our Charter partners are subject to the cancellation policy of the Charter partner, and the school and/or Department will be responsible for the cancellation fees.