skip to main content

Policy 8100 - Field Trips

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines to plan, approve, and conduct student field trips off school grounds and within the United States.

Policy Document

I. Policy Statement

The Board of Education of Howard County recognizes that student field trips engage and inspire students by enriching classroom instruction when aligned with school system goals.

The Board expects that, in order to offer maximum benefit to students, field trips will have a direct relationship to the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) curricular programs. The Board recognizes that careful consideration must be given to the protection of instructional time and the appropriate use of instructional personnel. The Board further believes that the school system has a responsibility to ensure that reasonable procedures for supervision and safety are in place and that the participants and their parents are fully informed regarding arrangements.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines to plan, approve, and conduct student field trips off school grounds and within the United States.

III. Definitions

Within the context of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  1. Administrative Approval Process – The process of review and approval by the school-based administrator and the Superintendent/Designees.

  2. Chaperone – A parent of a participating student, an adult age 21 or older, or an employee, any of whom has been approved by the principal to accompany and supervise students on a field trip.

  3. Field Trip – An educational experience that occurs off school grounds that either:

    1. Serves as an introductory device to stimulate or motivate interest.

    2. Provides a direct source of information and an opportunity to broaden understanding through firsthand experiences.

    3. Extends and enriches the curricular program.

    4. Serves as a culminating activity for the curricular program.

  4. Field Trip Procedures and Forms Packet – Documents and information required for the administrative approval and execution of field trips.

  5. Parent – Any one of the following recognized as the adult(s) legally responsible for the student:

    1. Biological Parent – A natural parent whose parental rights have not been terminated.

    2. Adoptive Parent – A person who has legally adopted the student and whose parental rights have not been terminated.

    3. Custodian – A person or an agency appointed by the court as the legal custodian of the student and granted parental rights and responsibilities.

    4. Guardian – A person who has been placed by the court in charge of the affairs of the student and granted parental rights and responsibilities.

    5. Caregiver – An adult resident of Howard County who exercises care, custody, or control over the student but who is neither the biological parent nor legal guardian as long as the person satisfies the requirements of the Education Article, §7-101 (c) (Informal Kinship Care).

    6. Foster Parent – An adult approved to care for a child who has been placed in their home by a state agency or a licensed child placement as provided by the Family Law Article, §5-507.

  6. Teacher-In-Charge – An HCPSS employee holding a valid Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) teaching certificate, who plans a field trip, submits an application for approval of a field trip, and assumes responsibility for ensuring compliance with the provisions of this policy.

IV. Standards

  1. All field trips require a Teacher-In-Charge.

  2. The provisions of this policy apply to all field trips organized and coordinated by HCPSS Teachers-In-Charge.

  3. Field trips will be a natural outgrowth of the HCPSS curricular programs and will align with school system goals and objectives.

  4. Field trips will be conducted in accordance with rules, regulations, and policies related to the health, safety, and well-being of students, employees, and chaperones.

  5. Field trips require approval through the administrative approval process.

  6. Transportation for field trips will be provided by an authorized public carrier in accordance with HCPSS transportation procedures.

  7. Health services staff will ensure that all field trips comply with current school health services requirements from the Maryland Board of Nursing, the Maryland State Department of Education School Health Services, and the HCPSS Health Services Requirements and Procedures.

  8. Chaperones will be screened and required to read, sign, and return the Chaperone Responsibility Form prior to participating in a field trip.

  9. Parents, chaperones, and students will receive, at minimum, information including:

    1. Expectations for conduct consistent with all HCPSS policies, local, state and federal laws.

    2. Safety, emergency, and security procedures.

    3. Logistics and specific itineraries.

    4. Health and medical provisions, as appropriate.

  10. Students suspended or expelled at the start of a field trip will be excluded from the entire field trip.

  11. The HCPSS reserves the right to cancel a trip at any time to ensure the safety of students and staff members. If such a cancellation occurs, the school system is not responsible for any financial loss incurred by the parent of students participating on the trip.

  12. All students participating in field trips are required to have the written consent of their parents.

  13. Chaperones may not bring other children on a field trip. Students not part of the designated class or group are not permitted on a field trip.

  14. The HCPSS does not sponsor student travel outside the United States.

V. Responsibilities

  1. The Superintendent/Designee will develop and implement procedures to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of all participants on field trips.

  2. The Superintendent/Designees will review and ensure that field trips comply with the provisions of this policy prior to approval.

  3. The Superintendent/Designee will review and update the Field Trip Forms Packet annually.

  4. The Director of Transportation will update and implement procedures for safe student travel.

  5. The Health Services Coordinator will update and implement health procedures to meet the needs of students participating in field trips.

  6. School-based administrators will ensure that each field trip has been approved through the administrative process and complies with the provisions of this policy.

VI. Delegation of Authority

The Superintendent is authorized to develop procedures for the implementation of this policy.

VII. References

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, Section 7-308 (Searches in Schools)

  • COMAR Standards of Practice for Registered Nurse

  • COMAR Delegation of Nursing Functions, CMT

  • COMAR Maryland Board of Nursing, Maryland Nurse Practice Act

C. Relevant Data Sources

  • Risk Management Report

D. Other

VIII. History

ADOPTED: April 14, 1988


MODIFIED: July 12, 2018

REVISED: February 22, 1990, June 20, 2006, March 13, 2014

EFFECTIVE: July 12, 2018