School Board Policy 610 -
Student Field Trips, Fees and Fines

 

Adopted: september 8, 1997 
REVISED: October 9, 2006  revised: december 14, 2009 
revised: february 12, 2018

I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for student trips, fees and fines and to identify the general process to be followed for review and approval of trip requests.

II. General Statement of Policy

The general expectation of the school board that the district will provide free public school education, and that no student will be denied an education because of economic inability to secure books and supplies and to access opportunities outside of the classroom necessary to complete education requirements.
(Policy reference - Minn. Stat. §§123B.35, 123B.36 and 123B.37).

The general expectation of the school board is that all student trips will be well planned, conducted in an orderly manner and safe environment, and will relate directly to the objectives of the class or activity for which the trip is requested. Student trips will be categorized within three general areas, which are defined below as instructional trips, supplementary trips, and extended trips.

A. Instructional Trips

Trips that take place during the school day and relate directly to a course of study shall fall in this category. These trips shall be subject to review and approval of the building principal, and shall be financed by school district funds within the constraints of the school building budget. Fees may not be assessed against students to defray direct costs of instructional trips (Minn. Stat. §123B.37). The school district may accept voluntary donations to defray the costs of field trips that are not required as part of a basic education or course (Minn. Stat. §§ 123B.35 and 123B.02, Subd. 6).

B. Supplementary Trips

This category pertains to those trips in which students voluntarily participate and which usually take place outside the regular school day. Examples of trips in this category involve student activities, clubs, and other opportunities. These trips are subject to review and approval of the activities director and/or the building principal. Financial contributions by students may be requested. (Minn. Stat. § 123B.36, Authorized Fees)

C. Extended Trips

1. Trips that involve one or more overnight stops fall into this category. Extended trips may be instructional or supplementary, and must be requested well in advance of the planned activity. Prior to an extended trip the request form must be completed and approved at each level: principal, athletic-activity director, superintendent or designee, and school board. Exceptions to the approval policy may be granted or expedited by the superintendent or designee to accommodate emergencies or contingencies (e.g. tournament competition).

2. The school board acknowledges and supports the efforts of booster clubs and similar organizations in providing extended trip opportunities for students.

III. Regulations

A. Rules of conduct and discipline for students and employees shall apply to all student trip activities.

B. The school administration shall be responsible for providing more detailed Procedures about the trips, including the nature and extend of parental involvement, supervision, and such other factors deemed important and in the best interest of students.

C. Transportation shall be furnished through a commercial carrier or school-owned vehicle.

D. An employee may use a personal vehicle to transport staff or personal property for purpose of a field trip upon prior written approval from administration.

E. An employee must not use a personal vehicle to transport one or more students for purposes of a field trip.

1. If immediate transportation of a student is required due to an emergency or unforeseen circumstance, such as the illness or injury of a child, and the transportation does not constitute regular or scheduled transportation, a personal vehicle may be used. To the extent a personal vehicle is used, the vehicle must be properly registered and insured.

2. An employee must obtain preapproval by administration of student transportation by a personal vehicle, pursuant to Section II.E.1, if practicable. If preapproved by administration of use of a personal vehicle cannot be obtained in a reasonable time given the circumstances, an employee shall report the relevant facts and circumstances justifying the need for use of a personal vehicle to administration as soon as practicable. The relevant fact and circumstances for use of a personal vehicle shall be documented by administration.

IV. Fees and Fines

A. Fees

1. Students may be charged fees in areas considered to be co-curricular, non- curricular, or supplementary to the education requirements for graduation.

2. District approved fees as authorized by the school board after public hearing, may be charged to help fund activities that are not required for graduation, as permitted by state law.

3. The school board will hold a public hearing within the district upon three weeks published notice prior to the initiation of any new fee not specifically authorized or prohibited under Minn. Stat. § 123B.36 or Minn. Stat. § 123B.37 (per Minn. Stat. § 123B.38).

4. Schools may reduce or waive student fees, except for parking fees, for students/families unable to pay such fees. Criteria to be considered might include free/reduced price meal status or family financial hardship information.

5. “Student fees” may include, but are not limited to, fees for co-curricular activities, behind-the-wheel driver education, band instrument rental, student parking, and early entrance testing.

6. Schools shall be allowed to require payment of fees by students as permitted under state law, including, but not limited to: supplemental publications or materials that are optional for student to use: field trips considered supplemental to the educational program; additional or more costly materials used for a project when the resultant product is in excess of minimum requirements and, at the student’s option, becomes the personal property of the student.

B. Fines

1. The district shall charge students for damage to school property, including charges reported by the Transportation Department for damage done to school buses.

2. Schools shall charge students for lost and damaged books, materials, supplies and equipment owned by the district.

3. Schools may fine students for parking violations on school property.

V. School Board Review

The superintendent or designee shall report at least annually to the school board upon the utilization of trips under this policy.

Legal References:
Minn. Stat. § 123B.36 (Authorized Fees)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.37 (Prohibited Fees)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.49 (Co-curricular and Extracurricular Activities; Insurance)
Minn. Stat. § 169.011 Subd. 71(a) (Definition of a School Bus)
Minn. Stat. § 169.454 Subd. 13 (Type III Vehicle Standards – Exemption) 
Sonkowsky v. Board of Educ. for Indep. Sch. Dist. No. 721, 327 F .3d 675 (8th Cir. 2003)
Lee v. Pine Bluff School District, 472 F.3d 1026 (8th Cir. 2007)

Cross References:
WBLASB Policy 403 (Discipline, Suspension, and Dismissal of School District Employees)
WBLASB Policy 423 (Employee – Student Relationships)
WBLASB Policy 506 (Student Discipline)
WBLASB Policy 707 (Transportation of Public School Students)
WBLASB Policy 709 (Student Transportation Safety Policy) 
WBLASB Policy 710 (Extracurricular Transportation)