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AP 260: Field Trips and Excursions


The Division believes student travel away from the normal location of instruction can result in important learning experiences for students. The Division further believes curricular field trips that are part of the delivery of education must be accessible to all students, excepting where serious behavior concerns are an issue.

While the Superintendent acknowledges that field trips can have a mix of instructional and recreational benefits and experiences for students, the Superintendent believes curriculum should be the most important reason for planning field trips. The Superintendent also supports extra-curricular field trips that arise from the inter-school athletic or scholastic programs and trips that arise out of programs supportive of the school’s goals but trips which are not specifically curricular in nature.

The Division believes that student time away from home and/or school for field trips should be regulated according to the age of students, that is, less time away from home and/or school for young students than for older students.

The Superintendent expects all field trips or student excursions from the school to be supervised by school-based administration approved personnel. The use of alcohol or illegal, non-prescription drugs by field trip supervisors, while in a supervisory capacity, will not be tolerated.

The Division expects international field trips to occur at times that minimize interruption of the daily instructional program either through the absence of the teacher or through the absence of the student.

Non-curricular, end of year activities must be confined to the last five instructional days in the school year.

The Division expects field trip planning to ensure safety of both participating students and supervisors. A risk analysis for trip activities must be performed by planners and presented to parents prior to their signing consent forms and to administration prior to their signing for trip approval.

The Division believes parents should play an integral role for planning and approval of field trips.


  1. The Superintendent expects that:
    1. Either field trips arise out of curriculum and the program of studies; OR
    2. Field trips arise out of extra-curricular inter-school athletics or scholastic programs; OR
    3. Field trips arise out of programs supportive of the school’s goals.
    4. Field trips be planned to maximize safety of participants, ensure the appropriate training of students and supervisors, and to minimize loss of in-school instructional time;
    5. Parents be involved in the planning and approval of field trips for their child(ren) where costs are to be incurred by the individual student;
    6. Parents be made aware of field trips where no costs are to be incurred by an individual student so the parent can approve their child going on the trip;
    7. Communication to parents regarding field trips should state the nature of the activity, the location of the trip, the duration of the trip, the cost of the trip to each participant and the risks involved in taking the trip; and
    8. Contingency plans must be in place in the event of cancellation, adverse weather and road conditions, or other conditions that may require a change to the original itinerary. The field trip supervisor may shorten, cancel or terminate an off-site activity at any time if, in their opinion, the off-site activity cannot proceed or be completed in a safe or satisfactory manner.
    9. All field trips receive appropriate approval -- this includes obtaining parents' informed consent.
  2. Where an off-campus facility is necessary for the purposes of regular instruction as a result of required curriculum (i.e., Junior High Home Economics and Industrial Education, Physical Education) such travel shall not be considered as a field trip under this administrative procedure.
  3. Field trips shall not result in excessive loss of in-school instructional time or student time away from home.
    1. The time allocation to individual field trips shall be limited as follows:
      1. A field trip at the E.C.S. and primary grade levels shall not exceed one day;
      2. A field trip at the upper elementary level shall not exceed two days; and
      3. A trip at the junior high level and the senior high level shall not exceed four consecutive days.
  4. Students not participating in a field trip shall be accommodated in an appropriate manner by the school.
  5. The Principal shall have the authority to approve trips that do not involve overnight stay and are inside Alberta, or outside Alberta but within 150 kilometers of the boundaries of the Division.
  6. Only the Superintendent, or designate, shall have the authority to approve:
    1. Trips involving an overnight stay; and
    2. Trips outside of Alberta that are beyond 150 km of the Division's boundaries.
  7. No student shall be excluded from a curricular trip on the basis of "ability to pay." It is appropriate to use school funds for curricular trips to enable all students to attend.
  8. Supervision of curricular field trips shall include certified and/or contract staff of the Division.
  9. Field trips which are extra-curricular in nature or supportive of the school goals and not necessarily curricular may be supervised by certified or non-certified staff, or volunteers.
  10. Use of alcohol or illegal, non-prescription drugs by supervisors will not be tolerated.
  11. All travel shall be by approved school bus, school owned vehicles, approved public transportation, or approved private vehicles.
  12. Lists of all field trip participants, both students and supervisors, shall be available to the trip supervisors and kept in the school office for emergency use. Such lists shall include participant names, and telephone numbers.