New Field Trip Policy

Discussion in 'General Education' started by KinderCowgirl, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    So we got interesting news yesterday-no class in our district is allowed to charge students or parents to attend field trips. We have to pay $200 per bus to rent for 4 hours and then of course the ticket price for whereever we go. Now it needs to be entirely paid for with fundraisers or school funds (of which, we have none).

    I know they were trying to make sure students weren't being left out of field trips because they couldn't pay for it (at our campus that never happened). Our school prided itself on using those trips as enrichment activities-most grades would go on 3 or 4 per year-- (tours of the Astros baseball park, museums, Renaissance Festival, plays, the symphony--things I don't think they regularly do with their families, mostly because of the expense to take a family to those venues)-I don't know what we're going to do now. Our PTO really has a corner on fund raisers-they do every holiday and of course that money will go towards the trips, however it's split among 6 grades.

    Besides selling things door to door (jewelry, cookie dough, etc.), anyone have any interesting fundraising ideas?
     
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  3. porque_pig

    porque_pig Comrade

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    Bake sale? It's an old favorite. Or maybe a craft auction/art sale? I think that would be fun at the elementary school level. Students could make art projects, and you could set them up in a "gallery" in the gym. One evening, parents could come in, peruse the projects, and purchase projects (or even make donations).

    What about selling meals? I'm originally from NC, and schools there would sell fish platters on a designated night. If you ordered more than a certain number, someone from the school would deliver the food to you. Parents sometimes volunteered to do the delivery. It was great if you could get a lot of people in an office to purchase a bunch of fish platters. You could deliver them all at once and you would make a killing. The platters were sold for somewhere around $7. A local restaurant would prepare the food at a deep discount for the school, and the schools would make a few $ profit on each plate.
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    We do a variety of family nights. You could offer game nights, curriculum nights (math, reading, etc), a school carnival, etc. There are great because many different people come and you charge a small fee. Then you can also sell baked goods or other items through the night.

    School spirit wear is also great. Can you design a school shirt to sell to students and families?

    Are you allowed to sell things during lunch time to the students. These could be baked goods or random toys that you can find cheap.
     
  5. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    Our school has a "Family Fun Night" and combine it with a basket auction. Each grade selects a theme to build their basket around. It might be chocolate, family fun, family movie night, scrapbooking, sports, etc. Students in that grade bring in items to fill the basket. They are decorated and on display at Family Fun Night. They are auctioned at the end of the night.
    We also get donations from businesses in the community and have a raffle. We get everything from hanging baskets, savings bonds, candles, etc. We get tons of items. We sell tickets for $.50 each and there is a bucket for each item. People fill out the ticket and put it in the bucket. At the end of the night, names are drawn for the winners.
    There are also games for the kids to play, karaoke, Wii games, etc. Hot dogs, soda, and popcorn is served. We get a great turn out and some classes even end up with 90-100% participation.
     
  6. teachgrade5

    teachgrade5 Comrade

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    We sell Smencils (pencils with smell). The kids absolutely love these $1 pencil. You earn about $250 per case. It worked out great for our grade level.
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    My high school class sold light bulbs. It sounds boring, but my guess is that EVERYONE needs them in their homes.
     
  8. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Could parents make optional donations to a field trip fund? Maybe next year this could be in place at registration. Im sure some parents would still be willing to support so maybe there is a loophole to allow optional support from parents?

    Perhaps a really big change container in the front office for year- round donations?
     
  9. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Not sure if you do it in the US but in the UK a way of raising serious funds is bag packing at supermarkets. The kids pack shopping at the check outs and the customers drop change in buckets at the end of the bagging area. We do this with sports clubs and you can raise £2000 ($3000) in a day on 8 checkouts! Our record was £4000 ($6000) on the day before New Year when the shops are packed with customers in a hurry!
     
  10. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I guess what is annoying about this is that the people buying the stuff from the fundraisers is going to be the PARENTS. I would rather just pay for the trips. Maybe on the form you could have a little box that says "I would like to donate money for another student as well." And they could pay the cost for their own child and another if they wished.

    At my last school we had a craft fair and we raised a TON of money that was split into different funds. One of those was a needy student fund, and we would pay for students trips if they were on free and reduced lunch.
     
  11. gigi

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    In the past we have done Yankee Candles, candy, etc.
     
  12. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    The thing that was best about the shop packing was the money comes out of someone elses pocket not the parents.
     
  13. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    No charging for anything is a big thing in California right now - the California Supreme Court says a free education should be a free education - no fees for anything - difficult in this budget.
     
  14. teacherheath

    teacherheath Companion

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    Our PTA funds a field trip for us, which is awesome.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    How about no field trips and then let the families raise a ruckus.
     
  16. DallasTeacher

    DallasTeacher Companion

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    Who furnishes the supplies? I'm talking pencils, paper, binders, etc.
     
  17. Emily Bronte

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    Some of the middle and high school sports teams in my area have done this. This is generally around the time of year they do this too.
     
  18. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    We don't take field trips because we can't charge for them either.
     
  19. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Maybe think of some cheaper field trips? It sounds like from what you said, your school is in a nicer neighborhood that is accustomed to taking nice field trips.

    My school limits the cost of our field trips because we know it is difficult for our families to afford just a few dollars (normally the cost to students is under $5). The few students that truly can't afford it are paid for by the school.

    Start looking at cheaper alternatives for field trips... places that are free admission are perfect. I'm sure you can find something educational in the area to do for free. It may not be what your school is used to, but it sounds like that's what you all are going to need to do. That will limit your fundraising.

    Also, doesn't donorschoose have the option to apply for field trip funding? Maybe give that a try.
     
  20. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Same here...We go on 2 free field trips per year, and that's it. Nice and easy!

    Does your school have a school store? I run the one here (I'm the student council adviser), and we make TONS of money! Of course, you have to have the money up front, but we easily make $500. It's open during lunch time, and we sell fun pens, erasers, sharpeners, keychains, etc.
     
  21. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Great ideas guys! I appreciate it!

    Our school is actually not in a very good area-we're Title1, 95% free/reduced lunch-however, parents can usually find the 8-10$ we usually end up charging for field trips several times a year. The entrance price at these places on a group rate is considerably less than if they took their kids on the weekends. Our PTO does pics on the holidays, is going to do an auction at the Christmas program-the only problem with that is, the money is going to be split among all the grade levels. With the buses (the major cost of the trip) and the hundred + students, 10 chaperones (1 per 10 students)-we're going to need a good $800-$1,000 for just one trip. Even if it's free admission-we still have to "rent out" the district school buses. We have to pay for parent admission now too! :eek:hmy:

    It doesn't make sense to me either-we can't collect money from parents, but the money has to come from fundraisers, ultimately paid for by... parents :dizzy:. It's just going to take some getting used to. And it's a shame because it was one of our schools selling points. We would just pay for any students who didn't bring money-it's not like we ever made a child miss out because they couldn't pay-the school had a scholarship fund. Any other year we could find the funds in the school budget-but with things already so tight.

    czacza-I do like that idea. Parents are already upset we haven't taken one this year-they like to spend the day with their kids and their classmates.
     
  22. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    My school uses Scrip. I'm not sure how much it makes us, but I love the idea of it - we get $$ for things parents would be buying anyway, instead of them buying junky stuff no one wants so that we get a %.

    What it is is gift cards to grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, etc. Each store gives a % of the cost of the card back to our school.

    So if you buy a card each week to the grocery store you use anyway, the school gets a % of that money!

    (and that's what teachers get for Christmas, birthday, end of year, etc. from parents - a gift certificate to buy scrip with! Woohoo!)
     
  23. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    If your school was able to pay for the trips before....have a "unfundraiser" a clever invite goes out that invites the people to some huge gala event with some insurmountable hurdle. Like that it is on the moon or something. And then when you read on it tells you parents that they can simply skip the event if they pay into the fundraiser. And then thank them for their contribution. Make each contribution slightly over the real cost so that you can go even if you were to find the one family that can't just afford to go.

    In addition to all the other ideas.
     
  24. sundrop

    sundrop Cohort

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    I agree with several of the comments that have been made. Fundraisers seem to just be a round about way of getting money from the parents. I'd rather just give the money directly to the school and not a middle man. The school only gets a percentage of the profit from a fundraiser. Perhaps a field trip fund could be started or there could be an option on the permission slip to donate money to pay for another student.

    I'm curious if the fundraisers will be optional or if all students will be required to sell a certain number of items or a certain dollar amount?
     
  25. teach'ntx

    teach'ntx Comrade

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    Kinder - it seems we are in the same boat this year! However, I do not think my school has a PTO. We have a festival in the fall, but the money raised is being used to do repairs on the campus. We don't know what we are going to do about field trips!
     
  26. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    No field trips here either, but if we don't take a bus it isn't a field trip. Yesterday the local FFA hosted a rodeo for my class at the fair barn. A grandfather picked us up from school in a hay wagon and took us. The kids made stick horses out of socks and we had a rodeo. The kids and parents had a blast.

    We walk to the fire station. No bus, so it is just an extended classroom lesson. This year we are going to add the bank to our walking trip.
     
  27. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    Have 'meets' instead of field trips. Send invitations to go to the museum or whatever on Saturday at noon. Those who can may go, on their own dime. Meet them there. Less responsibility for teachers, too! Let kids video tape things that interest them, and share those videos with those who could not go.

    There are a few online virtual field trips you can set up using technology, not quite as neat but still affording that outside view of applications of their learning- Google search. Good ones let you interview a curator or docent. Sometimes, though, there is a cost that is the same as taking the kids there first-hand.

    I also try to milk the guest-speaker thing every once in a while. I informally poll the parents early in the year for leads to community members who have an expertise in science, and see if I can get them in during the year if their work relates to our studies.
     
  28. alschoolteacher

    alschoolteacher Companion

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  29. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    That sounds like a fun idea!!!

    Exactly!
    Actually, if you look it up, a "free education" means a public school cannot charge tuition. My P tried pulling this as far as trying to mandate school supplies in which the response was "it's a free education in this state". I looked it up and all it means is that a public school cannot charge tuition. that's IT.

    This would be VERY powerful. Especially if they are already in an uproar about it as it is. Just send a note home letting families know there will not be as many and will be less extravagant field trips and leave it at that. The parents will do the work from there.
     
  30. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Not necessarily true... it depends on the community and the parents. I don't think the parents at my school would really notice.
     
  31. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    That's why I was replying to the OP...not to anyone else....didn't think it was that confusing?
     

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