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 Field trips

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Sandra



Posts : 113
Join date : 2008-12-19

PostSubject: Field trips   Thu 08 Jan 2009, 1:14 pm

Does the school district track field trips by school and by house at the high school level to ensure that there is a balance of opportunities for all students? Since this area may be cut in the future and discretionary funds were frozen this year before many students could participate in a field trip, what is the school district's plan for field trips for the next school year? How will opportunities be balanced between the schools and houses that have more outside resources available or who are more proactive with grant writing compared to the schools and houses that rely more on the district for funding for the extras? Has the school district considered some kind of huge district wide fundraiser to have money available for all students, regardless of school or house, to go on at least one trip next year?
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Mom2myKids



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Join date : 2009-01-07

PostSubject: Re: Field trips   Thu 08 Jan 2009, 3:28 pm

Speaking of field trips, I was going to ask about them as well.

Why is one of the "selling points" of a magnet school that there is more money available for field trips, yet my son hasn't gone on one? None last year, none this year?
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Sandra



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PostSubject: field trip part 2   Thu 08 Jan 2009, 6:36 pm

Why not have a full disclosure of the field trips taken by house/school during the first semester, how many kids participated and who paid the bill. I can give my kids the chance to experience many different things but it would be great to ensure the playing field for opportunities is level for all students in the district.
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Admin
Admin


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PostSubject: Superintendent's Response to Field Trip Questions   Thu 08 Jan 2009, 7:15 pm

A: This answer is in response to both of the above field trip questions.

The district does not track field trips for any reason. Field trips are planned for an array of reasons by clubs, teachers, coaches, etc. and are not initiated at the district level, only at the building and classroom level. Field trips that are not club/activity related, must be requested through a prescribed process - request forms are filled out , approved and signed by the building principal and then either approved or denied by one of the Assistant Superintendents. These field trips must always be related to the curriculum and such relationship must be documented in the request. The request must also indicate the funding source for the trip. Unfortunately, funds have not been available for many field trips. This is in part due to significantly increased busing costs which often make field trips unaffordable. Some field trips are paid for by grants, fund raisers, donations, or the students paying. There is no plan to address field trips for next year and the district has not considered any kind of fund raisers or set aside funds for field trips.


There is much debate in the educational community as to the general value of field trips as in most cases, students miss instruction in several classes while on the field trip. This is one reason why each request is considered independently for approval.


Last edited by Admin on Fri 09 Jan 2009, 1:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sandra



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PostSubject: differences in field trips   Thu 08 Jan 2009, 9:09 pm

How do I submit a FOIA request to get the field trip information for the high school by house and if the information is not available, what is the complaint process that I shoudl follow. At least at the high school, there have been differences in the field trips between houses and there is also differences in demogrpahic groups of students. Please let me know what the FOIA process is. IT is hard to believe that no one in the district tracks field trips and how the opportunities for groups of students are so different in the same school district.
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sharika



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PostSubject: fairness   Fri 09 Jan 2009, 8:09 am

My daughter has not gone on a trip for years. If field trips are not tracked at the district leve and are funded by grants, clubs, etc then who is making sure that there is a balance or do the kids pay the price if they are in the wrong school? Why can't all the parents know about what is provided for all students?
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Admin
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PostSubject: Re: Field trips   Fri 09 Jan 2009, 10:02 am

Sandra wrote:
How do I submit a FOIA request to get the field trip information for the high school by house and if the information is not available, what is the complaint process that I shoudl follow. At least at the high school, there have been differences in the field trips between houses and there is also differences in demogrpahic groups of students. Please let me know what the FOIA process is. IT is hard to believe that no one in the district tracks field trips and how the opportunities for groups of students are so different in the same school district.

A: All Freedom of Information Act requests are to be submitted to the Clerk of the Board, Dick Yager, at the superintendent’s office. Under this law the district has a defined number of days to respond to the request; however the district is not required to create a report that does not exist. All complaints regarding district operations can be lodged in writing or by appointment to any building principal or district administrator.
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Sandra



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PostSubject: FOI question   Fri 09 Jan 2009, 10:05 am

Can the public review the field trip requests that have been approved by the assistant superintendents. I realize they are not in a report format but the trip request forms exist. What would the per copy charge be?
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Admin
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PostSubject: Re: Field trips   Fri 09 Jan 2009, 10:30 am

sharika wrote:
My daughter has not gone on a trip for years. If field trips are not tracked at the district leve and are funded by grants, clubs, etc then who is making sure that there is a balance or do the kids pay the price if they are in the wrong school? Why can't all the parents know about what is provided for all students?

A: Field trips are not required or mandated at any level. There is no way for the district to financially afford to supplement the curriculum of every child with field trips. Field trips are situational across different buildings, grade levels and curricular areas and therefore will not be consistent.
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PostSubject: Re: Field trips   Fri 09 Jan 2009, 10:37 am

Sandra wrote:
Can the public review the field trip requests that have been approved by the assistant superintendents. I realize they are not in a report format but the trip request forms exist. What would the per copy charge be?

A: No, the field trip requests are not available for review.
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Sandra



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PostSubject: are request forms available through FOIA   Fri 09 Jan 2009, 10:45 am

Since the request forms do not have individual student information on them, would they be available through the FOIA process?
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Sandra



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PostSubject: field trip research - why won't the district share the data   Sat 10 Jan 2009, 7:24 pm

If the school district reviewed the amount and type of field trips by house and school and then compared the experiences to student demographics, I bet it would be interesting. Lets have full diclosure Superintendent Ely and School board. Why not take the risk of reviewing trips and opportunities and letting the public know whether opportunities for the extras are equal for all students regardless of the school/house they attend.

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2008/03/26/29polochanin.h27.html
Fewer field-trip opportunities are an awful thing for all students, but particularly for those children who could benefit most from a day at a museum or a playhouse. Before field-trip cuts become more widespread, it might be helpful for key education figures to stop and evaluate the learning styles of students. Here, as an aid, is my own simplified classification of students:

• Student A learns well sitting at a desk. He actually likes the confines of a classroom, reading books, writing essays, taking notes. He stays in for recess and enjoys a classroom’s cinder-block walls, fluorescent lights, and old, tile floors. He absorbs every word his teachers say.

• Student B tolerates the classroom, but she gets fidgety at a desk. She conforms, essentially, to the expectations of a public school—behaviorally and academically. But she needs varied instructional approaches. Experiences like field trips are highlights.

• Student C does not learn well in a classroom. For whatever reasons—learning disabilities, problems focusing, having other weaknesses and strengths—he is totally hands-on. He would get a lot more out of his education if, starting in 8th grade, he attended a traditional school for half a day, then spent the afternoon as an apprentice in various fields of work. He might shadow a carpenter, work on a farm, or intern at a hospital or a small business, like a restaurant or a bank.

The lack of field trips affects any of these groups, but particularly the latter two. They need more than a classroom can provide.

A school career devoid of cultural experiences such as field trips can have broad implications. In a 2006 interview, the Harvard University economist Ronald Ferguson pointed to “differences in life experience” as a key determining factor for learning gaps. “Achievement gaps are not facts of nature,” he said in the Harvard Education Letter. “We’ve got to figure out how to get all kids the kinds of experiences that really maximize access to middle-class skills. That’s the challenge.”
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Admin
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PostSubject: Re: Field trips   Sat 10 Jan 2009, 9:07 pm

Sandra wrote:
Since the request forms do not have individual student information on them, would they be available through the FOIA process?

A: No, these are internal forms and are not availble for review.
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PostSubject: Re: Field trips   Sat 10 Jan 2009, 9:32 pm

Sandra wrote:
If the school district reviewed the amount and type of field trips by house and school and then compared the experiences to student demographics, I bet it would be interesting. Lets have full diclosure Superintendent Ely and School board. Why not take the risk of reviewing trips and opportunities and letting the public know whether opportunities for the extras are equal for all students regardless of the school/house they attend.

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2008/03/26/29polochanin.h27.html
Fewer field-trip opportunities are an awful thing for all students, but particularly for those children who could benefit most from a day at a museum or a playhouse. Before field-trip cuts become more widespread, it might be helpful for key education figures to stop and evaluate the learning styles of students. Here, as an aid, is my own simplified classification of students:

• Student A learns well sitting at a desk. He actually likes the confines of a classroom, reading books, writing essays, taking notes. He stays in for recess and enjoys a classroom’s cinder-block walls, fluorescent lights, and old, tile floors. He absorbs every word his teachers say.

• Student B tolerates the classroom, but she gets fidgety at a desk. She conforms, essentially, to the expectations of a public school—behaviorally and academically. But she needs varied instructional approaches. Experiences like field trips are highlights.

• Student C does not learn well in a classroom. For whatever reasons—learning disabilities, problems focusing, having other weaknesses and strengths—he is totally hands-on. He would get a lot more out of his education if, starting in 8th grade, he attended a traditional school for half a day, then spent the afternoon as an apprentice in various fields of work. He might shadow a carpenter, work on a farm, or intern at a hospital or a small business, like a restaurant or a bank.

The lack of field trips affects any of these groups, but particularly the latter two. They need more than a classroom can provide.

A school career devoid of cultural experiences such as field trips can have broad implications. In a 2006 interview, the Harvard University economist Ronald Ferguson pointed to “differences in life experience” as a key determining factor for learning gaps. “Achievement gaps are not facts of nature,” he said in the Harvard Education Letter. “We’ve got to figure out how to get all kids the kinds of experiences that really maximize access to middle-class skills. That’s the challenge.”

A: Field trips are not mandated nor are they a fundamental part of any curriculum. The district does not fund or schedule field trips. We do not have any intention of diverting scarce resources from the daily classrom experiences to funding field trips.
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Admin
Admin


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PostSubject: Re: Field trips   Sat 10 Jan 2009, 9:34 pm

Sandra wrote:
Can the public review the field trip requests that have been approved by the assistant superintendents. I realize they are not in a report format but the trip request forms exist. What would the per copy charge be?

A: Field trip requests are not available for review.
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Sandra



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PostSubject: school funding for trips   Sat 10 Jan 2009, 9:45 pm

The school district has provided discretionary dollars to the schools that have been used by some houses or schools before the funding was frozen. Some of the house principals at the high school are more experienced with grant writing and have more connections within the community. I realize the school district will not be stretching a tight budget even tighter but why should the kids in houses or schools with newer principals have less opportunities for college visits, etc that can be life changing than the houses or schools with outside funding sources?

Disclosing the trip approval forms with a comparison of the diversity of the schools would be one way for the public, board, media and whoever else is interested to clearly see if there are differences and to plan for a future when all kids in the district can get similar opportunities.
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Sandra



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PostSubject: FOI questions in relation to field trips   Sun 11 Jan 2009, 9:03 am

Does the school district use any kind of spreadsheet or electronic method of tracking the field trip forms or are they just hard copies in a file somewhere? Can I meet with you sometime this week before I submit the FOI request (that will probably be denied and then appealed, etc) to ask you personally if there is any information that the district would consider sharing? My goal is to identify the differences in trips at the high school level and to have the information used to mentor any houses with less opportunities, etc.

I have written a couple of positive columns about the school district and planning more in the future. What can I do as a parent to remain positive but yet still get some basic information that could help identify differences in opportunities for students?
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PostSubject: Re: Field trips   Today at 8:39 am

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