Field Trip Procedures

Field trip guidelines, forms and resources

Field trips are an educationally sound and important component in the instructional and/or athletic programs of schools.

It is trip leader's responsibility as the field trip facilitator to read the instructions and complete all the steps necessary.

The procedures in the tabs below are broken into three types of trips.

  • Day
  • Overnight
  • International

The field trip procedures must be followed at all times when proposing, planning, leading, and completing a field trip that involves Seattle Public School students, staff, and community members.

Each field trip must be well planned beforehand and thoroughly evaluated after completion. The trip leader in charge of the group is responsible for the activity just as if it were conducted at school. All students within the class or school group must be given the opportunity to participate in the school trip.

kids on a field trip to the beach

Contact us

Richard Staudt
Risk Management Manager
206-252-0710
fieldtrips@seattleschools.org

Helpful SPS Links

Accounts Payable

ASB

General Counsel

Risk Management

Transportation

school bus iconHow to initiate day field trip

Timeline for paperwork submission: four (4) weeks in advance.

  1. Start with a conversation with the building principal or program manager to determine if the trip supports the academic or social-emotional learning goals of the students/program. Please complete the document linked below.

  2. If the trip is approved for further planning, complete the packet linked below and submit to the principal. Please note: this form needs to be submitted for approval four (4) weeks in advance of the field trip.

  3. In the next step, the principal will:

    • Approve or disapprove the trip
    • Ensure all required paperwork is completed and collected
    • Ensure funds are collected and deposited within SPS compliance guidelines
    • File and maintain paperwork within SPS compliance guidelines

     

moon iconHow to initiate a multiple day field trip with overnight accommodations

Timeline for paperwork submissions: ten (10) weeks in advance.

  1. Start with a conversation with the building principal or program manager to determine if the trip supports the academic or social-emotional learning goals of the students/program.

  2. If the trip is approved for further planning, complete the procedure checklist packet linked below, Request for Professional Leave Form (see Resources tab), Mandatory Field Trip Supervision Plan and Chaperone Roster. Submit to the principal.

    Please note: the Overnight Field Trip procedure checklist and Request for Professional Leave Form need to be submitted for approval 10 weeks in advance of the field trip.

    The Mandatory Field Trip Supervision Plan must be submitted for review five (5) days before the field trip.

  3. In the next step, the principal will:

    • Approve/disapprove the trip and forward paperwork to executive director
    • Approve/disapprove RFPL and forward to executive director
    • Ensure all required paperwork is completed and collected
    • Ensure funds are collected and deposited within SPS compliance guidelines
    • File and maintain paperwork within SPS compliance guidelines

     

  4. For overnight trips, the executive director will:

    • Approve/disapprove the trip and forward paperwork to Risk Management
    • Approve/disapprove RFPL and forward to superintendent of Teaching and Learning
    • Superintendent of Teaching and Learning will approve/disapprove and forward to Accounts Payable

globe iconHow to initiate international trips

Timeline for paperwork submission: sixteen (16) weeks in advance.

Trip leaders are required to review country specific information made available by the U.S. State Department and share that information with families before the trip. Visit the U.S. State Department Traveler's Checklist webpage.

  1. Start with a conversation with the building principal or program manager to determine if the trip supports the academic or social-emotional learning goals of the students/program.

  2. If the trip is approved for further planning, please complete the appropriate International Field Trip Form and Request for Professional Leave Form (see Resources tab) and Mandatory Field Trip Supervision Plan. Submit both to the principal.

    Please note: the International Field Trip procedure checklist and Request for Professional Leave Form need to be submitted for approval 16 weeks in advance of the field trip.

    The Mandatory Field Trip Supervision Plan must be submitted for review 5 days before the field trip.

  3. Then the principal will:
    • Approve/disapprove the trip and forward paperwork to executive director
    • Approve/disapprove RFPL and forward to executive director
    • Ensure all required paperwork is completed and collected
    • Ensure funds are collected and deposited within SPS compliance guidelines
    • File and maintain paperwork within SPS compliance guidelines

     

  4. For overnight/international trips the executive director will:

    • Approve/disapprove the trip and forward paperwork to Risk Management
    • Approve/disapprove RFPL and forward to Superintendent of Teaching and Learning
    • Superintendent of Teaching and Learning will approve/disapprove and forward to Accounts Payable
    •  

  5. For international trips, Risk Management Department will:
    • Approve/disapprove the trip and forward paperwork back to executive director
    • Executive director will route paperwork to superintendent for approval
    • Approved paperwork will be returned to Risk Management

Resources

Board Policy Field Trips and Excursionspdf icon

General Guidelines for All Field Tripspdf icon

School Sponsored Activities Matrixpdf icon

Activities Definitionspdf icon

Emergency Action Planpdf icon

Field Trip Behavior and Expectations Agreementpdf icon

Request for Professional Leavepdf icon

Sample Field Trip Forms

Medical Concerns

Checklists

Parent/Guardian Authorizations

Click here for translated parent/guardian authorization forms

Chaperone Guidelines

Field Trip Transportation

Field trip transportation needs will vary depending on the destination and the number of students traveling. The first choice for transportation should be a school bus, when possible. Field trip buses can be reserved through the B2B system. Charter bus arrangements can be made through the district's Transportation Department.

If teachers or other district employees wish to drive students, they must first secure authorization as described in the Transportation of Student Procedure. Volunteers chaperones may drive students after completing the Volunteer Driver Checklist.

Occasionally, for smaller athletic events or for after school performances, a school will be unable to arrange transportation. Students' families must be informed of those situations and asked to make their own transportation plans. Please assure the following acknowledgement forms are signed and returned in before the event.

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