Field Trips Anymore?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by JustMe, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Apr 3, 2013

    When I was in school we took several "standard" or "traditional" field trips each year. For example, fourth graders always went to the state capitol. I've noticed, though, that our students don't get to experience many field trips I assume because of increased pressures on teachers and state testing. I hate this for all the students who miss out on great learning opportunities because their families can't or simply don't get out and about. I understand some may argue that schools can't be responsible for providing such experiences, but we already take on so many responsibilities that should really be taken care of at home...so I feel okay about wishing these field trips would return. They were an important part of my student life.

    How many field trips does your grade level take a year and what are they? Families pay or school?
     
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  3. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Apr 4, 2013

    When I was in Idaho we only went on one field trip a year-it wasn't always to the same place. One that we really liked was to the sand dunes. We did also do a bowling trip at the end of the year, but we walked there and didn't really count it as a field trip. Families paid for the field trips.

    Here in Hawaii, we went on at least 5-6 field trips last year! We went to cultural centers, a geology tour, hospital, taro fields, and more. I couldn't believe it! I thought several of them were just a waste of time. The families paid for the trips here also. Our test scores are very high at my school, so the field trips haven't been cut at all.
     
  4. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    We still do them, but there are so many more hoops to jump through than before. Our district decided a few years ago that we can't require parents to pay for anything. That makes it difficult as well, when every grade level is fundraising it's hard to come up with something that will make money.
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Every grade in my district is allowed one field trip a year. Parents pay for them, but we've found that they actually end up costing the district money (students who cannot afford, extra busing costs, staff, etc). So we've been limited to one a year that the PTO can help fund.
     
  6. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    We are allowed one field trip a year as well. PTA funds it-and most of us take our field trip in May. Last year we went to the science center, and we are not sure where we will go this year.
    I loved field trips when I was a kid, and I like them now. I wish we had more variety of places to go...we are somewhat limited.
     
  7. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Field trips are typically for elementary school here. My own children were very fortunate in that their school was located near many points of interest. When all the other schools had limits placed on field trips, due to bussing costs, they were unlimited since they could walk everywhere.

    When they got to middle school, they had about one a year. Field trips are very uncommon in high school. In the past five years I've chaperoned one.
     
  8. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    We are allowed to go on as many field trips as there is money for. Typically each grade goes on one, but some grades go on 2, depending on cost and what they are doing. The students' families and the parent council cover the admission costs. The school covers the cost for the bus.
     
  9. dr.gator

    dr.gator Comrade

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    Apr 4, 2013

    Back when I went to school in the stone age, (haha) we went on a lot, but our parents were also allowed to provide transportation (even for children who were not their own). When I first started teaching the district would pay for one, PTA for one, and then we'd usually have the kids pay for one or two. Now, the district pays for NOTHING. PTA, depending on what school you are at in the district will help supplement (for those who can not pay), but for the most part the kids pay for it. If you are at a school that is economically disadvantaged you have to really decide whether or not it is worth all that comes with a fieldtrip. Most schools in my district go on at least two a year. And yes, teachers do rule them out from time to time due to all "that must be done" to prep for testing. I don't think that's the initial reason why they do. I think it is a cop out for not wanting to go through all you go through to collect money, arrange the trip, and carry the trip out. Just my 2 cents.
     
  10. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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  11. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Apr 4, 2013

    When I was a kid, we took 3 or 4 field trips a year. In sixth grade we take a big field trip to another state. Now days the kids are lucky if they go on one. K normally takes a trip to the zoo. PreK goes nowhere and the other grades sometimes go on small trips like to a nature center about two blocks away (not a biggie b/c most of the kids go there w/their parents because it offers lots of activities.)

    Anyhow I know i have been turned off planning field trips because its a lot of work. You have a five page questionnaire and lesson plan you have to write up to directly connect the trip to the curriculum. The kids also have to do a written assignment to provide evidence that they learned.

    You also have to submit your request three months ahead of time, which takes a lot of planning. If its approved you have to sometimes end up paying out of picket for kids b/c in addition to the cost of the field trip, our county requires us to pay $80 per bus per hour.

    If u get all that together, you have a very small window of time for the trip b/c the busses first have to drop everyone off at school, then they can start field trips at 9 am but you must be back by 1 p.m. So the bus can begin its route of picking kids up from school. That means you have four hours to get on the bus, get to the place, do the event/activity, eat lunch (not allowed to do this on the bus) and get back to school). That's why we didn't go to the pumpkin patch for Halloween/October. It was only $2 per kid, but time would've been a crunch since its 45 mins away.:dizzy:

    It's a lot to keep up with. In six years I have only planned two trips. No one else every volunteers on my grade level b/c it's too much work. Can't say I blame them...
     
  12. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Apr 4, 2013

    My school pays a lot of field trips. Or they'll pay for the bus and the kids will pay for the entrance.

    As teachers, as long as we organize a trip we'll almost always be allowed to go. I haven't planned any because I'm not at the point where I'm on "teaching auto-pilot" yet. Every week I still have to plan, come up with activities and ideas, search for things on the internet, etc. I just don't have the time, plus I don't know the country well enough to know what's around.
     
  13. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Apr 4, 2013

    Different grade levels have a different amount. The school/PTA pays for them. Almost all the field trips are required from by the district. The include a play, going to our hands-on science center, and some grade levels go to an art gallery, symphony, etc... A few times, we have taken a school wide field trip to see a movie, but not this year.
    K-2 field trips
    1- 2 field trips
    2- 6 field trips (2 of them are to the YMCA because we do a special Fit for Motion program with the Y.)
    3-3 field trips
    4-4 field trips
    5-5 field trips
     
  14. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    Apr 4, 2013

    We have a field trip every 1-2 months. So far we've been on 4! We have two more planned so the total will be 6 for the year.
    The only downside is that most of the trips have to be fundraised as the budget doesn't allow much.
     
  15. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    Apr 4, 2013

    We have several all school field trips, as well as at least 2 grade group trips (K-2, 3-5, 6-8). As individual classes we are encouraged to go on at least one trip every other month, but most of us go on one a month.

    Parents pay a field trip fee in their tuition to cover the class trips. The bigger trips are billed separately. We have the option of asking the parents club to sponsor trips if we don't have the class funds.
     
  16. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    We are allowed one trip within the county and another outside of it. This policy was put in place about 5 years ago because of fuel costs (we use the buses from the public school, but pay for the drivers). We have offered (and even had parents/grandparents offer) to pay for the gas and wear on the vehicles, but have been told that would not be fair. Our board is hesitant to let us use parent drivers for insurance reasons.
     
  17. YoungTeacherGuy

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    Apr 4, 2013

    Sheesh. When I was a kid, we took sooooo many field trips! Nowadays, we get one field trip per grade level.

    As the grade level rep, I was trying to think wisely this year. When I planned our yearly trip, I made sure we had time to visit two different places (since we had the bus for the whole day).

    We raise funds (read-a-thons, candy sales, coin drives, etc) to go on trips. We aren't allowed to ask parents to donate money to pay for the trip.
     
  18. OhThePlaces

    OhThePlaces Cohort

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    Apr 4, 2013

    Our grade (first) usually goes on 4 field trips a year. This year was the zoo, a kid friendly art museum, the beach, and one more before I started mid-year. Parents pay for their children.
     
  19. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Apr 4, 2013

    I'm surprised to hear about all the field trips in some places! They're a rarity around here!

    We get one scheduled field trip a year. Some grade levels are going on more because the teachers fundraised. We don't/can't ask families to pay because my school is over 90% free/reduced lunch. I wish we could afford to go on more trips, but that is of course a budget cut! I understand why field trips are a last priority item in a climate where the staff is on a pay freeze and we're cutting corners many other ways.
     
  20. bros

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    Apr 5, 2013

    My local district usually reserves field trips for the enrichment and AP kids.

    But there is also the practice 8th grade graduation at the high school and every year the 8th graders get bussed to the HS to see the spring musical during the school day.

    4th graders go to a museum/park somewhere to learn about the Lenape Indians.
     
  21. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Yep, we did as well. Not only did we get to enjoy many educational trips but also simply fun trips. I'm very thankful for those experiences because I otherwise wouldn't have had those opportunities.

    We also had many visitors to the school and that doesn't happen anymore. For example, I remember having:

    The weather man
    A woman who brought exotic Japanese food for us try
    A few authors
    An imitator of a famous country music singer
    A hot air balloon group
    A balloon artist
    Magic shows
    Traveling acting shows
    And more :)

    We were a very small country school (under 500 people in the entire "city"!) and these experiences were exciting. I think general kids, even those here, have access to more these days, but there are still many who don't ever get beyond a thirty miles radius of our town.
     
  22. Cobalt_Waves

    Cobalt_Waves Rookie

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    Apr 5, 2013

    There is no money for school trips anymore.
     
  23. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    At my old charter school, we took 3 field trips a year, and parents had to pay $10-20 per trip. Some families couldn't afford that, so they would either not send their child on that day, or our school would help pay for a few of the students.

    At my current school, we went on 2 field trips and the field trip is paid for by tax donations. We also got a grant for a play to come to us. It was so nice because I didn't have to worry about collecting money, or someone not being able to come due to lack of funds.
     
  24. bros

    bros Phenom

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    For some reason that reminds me of when in 8th grade, we had a rather bad (in our opinion, but we were 8th graders) assembly. I think it was about equality or tolerance, something along those lines.

    The presenter then began answering questions from the audience. He had a few questions which were quickly answered, then one of my fellow students asked an innocuous question and the presenter flipped out on the student, screaming at him about how people like him are the reasons the Nazis killed so many at the Concentration Camps.

    The school district stopped bringing that guy back for assemblies (He had been coming to the middle school for like 10-15 years every year to do the same presentation)
     
  25. Tasha

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    Apr 6, 2013

    We have 2 field trips per year. One is to the district's outdoor learning center (science center) and the other is the grade level's choice. Parents pay for the admission tithe second and the district pays for the bus. Kindergarten also takes a few walking field trips, to the fire station, the park, and the library.
     
  26. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Being a shop teacher I would have to get a sub for the classes that weren't going on the trip so the P really did not like it

    But one time a parent who was the president of a construction co. and his company was going to lift some poured in place cement walls for a beer warehouse, (I think it was Senator McCains in-laws business) so he asked my principal if his son's shop class could come and see it. The principal called all the parents and got their ok and then told me, "today you are taking a field trip"
    Well there was a delay so we didn't get to see it but the next day they did the lift and a cable broke and killed a worker so I am glad we were there when it happened.
     
  27. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    Apr 6, 2013

    We try to hit the free days/time periods at the county zoo, museums, and other attractions, so we only have to pay for a bus. We have been on 4 trips this year, with one more scheduled. For 3 trips, the kids only had to pay the bus fee. Most of our parents can handle that.
    The school pays for the few who can't afford it. Everyone in attendance that day goes(with a signed permission form of course).
     
  28. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Apr 6, 2013

    Every grade level goes on one or two per year. We go on one, but it is an all-day field trip. We study life today and long ago in the fall. For the field trip we go to a re-enactment type of place (it's a state historical park) where the kids get to see what farming was like long ago. Then we visit a modern farm in the afternoon. Our PSA pays for the busing, and the families pay for admission to the park.
     

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