610: Field Trips

Policy reflects Minnesota statute and aligns with other District 270 policies.


The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for student trips and to identify the general process to be followed for review and approval of trip requests.


It is the general expectation of the School Board that all student trips will be well planned, conducted in an orderly manner and safe environment, and will relate directly to the objectives of the class or activity for which the trip is requested. Student trips will be categorized within three general areas:

A. Instructional Trips

Trips that take place during the school day, relate directly to a course of study, and require student participation shall fall in this category. These trips shall be subject to review and approval of the building principal. No student shall be denied the opportunity to participate in the instructional trip due to financial hardship or inability to pay fees.

B. Supplementary Trips

This category pertains to those trips in which students voluntarily participate and which may take place outside the regular school day. Examples of trips in this category involve student activities, clubs, and other special interest groups. These trips are subject to review and approval of the activities director and/or the building principal. Financial contributions by students may be requested. Supplementary trips shall not deliver curriculum content or contribute to classroom assessment.

C. Extended Trips

1. Trips that involve one or more overnight stops fall into this category. Extended trips may be instructional or supplementary, and must be requested well in advance of the planned activity. An extended trip request form must be completed and approved. Exceptions to the approval policy may be granted or expedited to accommodate emergencies or contingencies (e.g. tournament competition). 

2. The School Board acknowledges and supports the efforts of booster clubs and similar organizations in providing extended trip opportunities for students.

D. Conduct

Rules of conduct and discipline for students and employees shall apply to all student trip activity.

E. Procedures

The school administration shall be responsible for providing more detailed procedures, including parental involvement, supervision, and such other factors deemed important and in the best interest of students.


A. Transportation shall be furnished through a commercial carrier or school-owned vehicle.

B. An employee may use a personal vehicle to transport staff or personal property for purposes of a field trip upon prior, written approval from administration.

C. An employee must not use a personal vehicle to transport one or more students for purposes of a field trip.

1. If immediate transportation of a student is required due to an emergency or unforeseen circumstance, such as the illness or injury of a child, and the transportation does not constitute regular or scheduled transportation, a personal vehicle may be used. To the extent a personal vehicle is used, the vehicle must be properly registered and insured.

2. An employee must obtain preapproval by administration of student transportation by a personal vehicle, pursuant to Section III.E.1, if practicable. If preapproval by administration of use of a personal vehicle cannot be obtained in a reasonable time given the circumstances, an employee shall report the relevant facts and the circumstances justifying the need for use of a personal vehicle to administration as soon as practicable. The relevant facts and circumstances for use of a personal vehicle shall be documented by administration.


The superintendent or designee shall report to the school board according to the regulations associated with this policy. 


Adopted: February 20, 1997
Revised: April 22, 2003, September 16, 2010, October 1, 2015, March 19, 2019



A. All extended field trips are optional for students.

B. Extended field trips and all related planning shall take place during times outside of class hours unless exempted. Exemptions, for District sponsored trips, will be considered during Preliminary Approval processes.

C. If exempted, extended field trips shall not involve more than a three (3) day interruption of the student's educational program.

D. If exempted, the teacher/advisor shall insure that non-participating students shall receive an appropriate educational experience.


A. Preliminary approval must be granted prior to announcement of the trip to students or parents. Preliminary approval must include the education and/or activity objectives for the proposed extended field trip. Preliminary approval authorizes the teacher/advisor to determine student and parent interest, acquire cost information and generally assess the feasibility of the trip.

B. Preliminary approval requires the following signatures:

Within Minnesota: principal

Within Continental U.S.: principal and superintendent (or designee)

Outside Continental U.S.: principal and superintendent (or designee)

C. The Board will be advised of all requests made to the superintendent or designee.


A. Upon securing preliminary approval and determination that the proposed trip is feasible, the teacher/advisor shall submit a formal proposal on a District Form (in development), providing as many details about the trip as are available. The formal proposal must be submitted at least 20 days in advance of the date upon which approval is needed. It must be approved before any contractual arrangements are made or any trip specific fund raising occurs. The formal proposal is subject to approval as follows:

Within Minnesota: principal

Within Continental U.S.: principal and superintendent (or designee)

Outside Continental U.S.: principal, superintendent (or designee) and Board

Note: Special regulations apply for travel outside of Continental U.S. See Section VI.

B. Upon securing formal approval it is incumbent upon the teacher/advisor to assure that all details, arrangements and commitments adhere to the stipulations of this Policy and regulation, the formal approval and any other District policies or regulations which may be pertinent.


A. Travel, unless by District owned vehicle, shall be made by commercial carrier or under a contract approved by the director of Business Services.

B. Air travel shall be on regularly scheduled, major, commercial airlines. Travel agents shall be registered with the Reporting Corporation.

C. Adult chaperones shall be provided at the minimum rate of one adult per ten students. Chaperones shall be selected by and are under the supervision of the teacher/advisor. Chaperones are considered tier 3 school volunteers and need to follow tier 3 volunteer guidelines. Expenses for chaperones shall be shared among trip participants as predetermined by the teacher/advisor.

D. Overnight accommodations for students shall be approved by the teacher/ advisor after review of appropriateness, quality, cost, and student safety.

E. Home stays are approached with caution. We recognize the educational value of living with a family and being deeply immersed in the country’s daily life, culture and language. Host families must be carefully vetted so that student safety can be assured.

F. Reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities shall be provided.


A. Except for classroom or co-curricular activities funded through the general fund, all extended field trips will be considered extracurricular in nature and will be processed through student activity accounts. As such, fees may be collected from students. Alternative sources of funding shall be identified (i.e., fund raising, donations, etc.) for students who are unable to provide for their own financial support regarding the proposed extended field trip.

B. Any stipends and expense payments made to staff in connection with the extended field trip shall be charged as a direct cost of the extended field trip.

C. All costs of the extended field trip will be itemized and provided to potential participants prior to the collection of any participant fees. Hopkins ISD 270 will work with and through reputable travel programs but all risk, expenses, and other costs associated with this extra-curricular program are the sole responsibility of the student and his/her parents.

D. With the exception of accommodations made to permit the teacher/advisor and/or chaperones to perform their duties, no staff member affiliated with the extended field trip shall receive any compensation, gift, or personal accommodation directly from any organization or agency outside of the District in connection with the extended field trip.


A. In addition to other provisions of this regulation, travel outside of the Continental United States requires additional planning.

1. Formal Board approval must be secured at least five months before the proposed extended field trip.

2. The contract(s) with providers and agents must be approved by the director of Business Services in consultation with the teacher/advisor.

3. Care should be taken to insure the trip is competitively priced.

4. Guidelines for a travel agent to provide service shall include:

• Employ at least five agents;

• Demonstrated successful experience with similar group tours;

• Incorporated in the U.S. or included in the current advisory list published by the Council on Standards for Int'l.. Educational Travel;

• Financial stability;

• Provide certification of Errors and Omissions Insurance, with any applicable deductible, in the amount of $1,000,000 and Liability Insurance in the amount of $1,000,000;

• Proof of bond;

• Availability of trip cancellation insurance and travel accident insurance.

B. Upon receipt of Board approval, parents and guardians will be asked to sign a permission form authorizing their child's participation and accepting the conditions under which the trip was approved.

C. A detailed itinerary and complete roster of participants and chaperones, including home addresses, phone number and emergency contacts, shall be filed with the director of Administrative Services.

D. Hopkins ISD 270 through the superintendent or designee reserves the right at anytime to withdraw the support of the extended field trip due to conditions throughout the world that may be deemed unsafe.


A. Special Rules for the specific extended field trip will be established by the teacher/advisor to reflect the unique nature of the extended field trip. Hopkins School District Policy and Regulations, including: 419 Tobacco Free Environment; 419.1 Student Chemical Awareness; 501 Weapons Policy - District-wide; 506 Student Conduct and Discipline shall also be applicable during the duration of the extended field trip.

B. Students and parents will sign an agreement which stipulates the Special Rules and holds the student accountable for Hopkins School District Policy and Regulations, including: 419 Tobacco Free Environment; 419.1 Student Chemical Awareness; 501 Weapons Policy - District-wide; 506 Student Conduct and Discipline.

C. Participants who violate the Special Rules or Hopkins School District Policy and Regulations may be sent home from the extended field trip at parent's expense.


A. Staff entering into contract or agreements with commercial agencies, without District formal approval, do so at their own risk. As such, any extended trip not approved by the District is considered a private venture.

B. Individual staff members, engaging in a private venture, cooperating with, receiving benefit from or serving as agents for a commercial agency shall not use schoolwork time, materials, or other resources, to promote, plan, organize, and recruit for the unsponsored trip. The use of District meeting space will be subject to Board Policy 902 Community Use of Facilities.

C. A staff member(s), as identified in VIII, 1 & 2, shall provide participants and parents with a disclaimer statement stipulating that the trip is in no way sponsored or endorsed by the Hopkins School District.