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653 Policy: Field Trips

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653 Policy: Field Trips

Continue to Guideline 653.1: Field Trip Fees and Transportation

Continue to Guideline 653.2: Extended Field Trips


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.


The general expectation of the school board is 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 and shall be financed by District funds within the constraints of the school building budget. Fees may not be assessed against students to defray direct costs of instructional trips (Minn. Stat. § 123B.37).

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, community education and other special interest groups. These trips are subject to review and approval of the activities director, community education director and/or the building principal. Financial contributions by students may be requested (Minn. Stat. § 123B.36). Supplementary field trips that are sponsored by a community partner rather than a District activity or club may not take place during the regular school day. 

C. Extended Trips

Trips that involve one or more overnight stops fall into this category. Extended trips may be instructional or supplementary and must be requested at least 60 days ahead of the planned activity. An extended trip request form must be completed and approved at each level: staff member, principal, superintendent. Exceptions to the approval policy may be granted or expedited to accommodate emergencies or contingencies (e.g., tournament competition). The school board acknowledges and supports the efforts of booster clubs, foundations, PTOs, student clubs and similar organizations in providing extended trip opportunities for students.


A. All District policies, including Policy 541: Student Behavior, shall apply to all student trip activity. Additionally, students attending field trips for competitive activities must follow the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) code of conduct.

B. 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.

C. Procedures shall include administrative approval for field trips. Instructional and supplementary field trips must receive approval from the building or program leader. Extended field trips must additionally receive approval from the superintendent or designee.  Each approval shall last for the duration of up to one school year, with new approval required for each year.

D. All field trips require parent notification and the opportunity to opt out of the trip. Any field trip taking place outside of the school day requires a permission slip signed by a parent/guardian. Notifications or permission slips must include the following:

1. Field trip logistics
2. Expectations for student behavior and making up any missed classwork
3. Possible circumstances in which parents must or may not pick up their student from the field trip location

E. Transportation shall be furnished through a commercial carrier or school-owned vehicle as directed by the transportation department.

F. 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.

G. 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 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.

Legal References:    
Minn. Stat. § 123B.36 (Authorized Fees)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.37 (Prohibited Fees)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.49 (Extracurricular Activities; Insurance)
Minn. Stat. § 169.011, Subd. 71(a) (Definitions)
Minn. Stat. § 169.454, Subd. 13 (Type III Vehicle Standards)
Sonkowsky v. Board of Educ. for Indep. Sch. Dist. No. 721, 327 F.3d 675 (8th Cir. 2003)
Lee v. Pine Bluff Sch. Dist., 472 F.3d 1026 (8th Cir. 2007)

Cross References:            
Board Policy 541: Student Behavior
Board Policy 744: Activities Transportation

REVISED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION: December 7, 2004; November 20, 2017; July 17, 2023