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Foolproof Field Trips

Field trips are wonderful opportunities to use the community as a learning device and expand teaching resources.

An excursion outside the classroom can add realism to an area of study. Milwaukee is a wealth of experiences waiting to be explored!

Don’t let yourself get so excited about the trip, however, that you race through critical preparations and overlook key elements that provide an educational and safe experience for both the students and yourself.

First check with the other teachers in your grade level or subject area to review district and building policies. In addition to checking on the rules, ask what other teachers in your building have done in the past or are planning to do this year. If the fifth graders always go to the museum and you preempt the experience by taking your fourth graders, it may be your first and last field trip. You’ll want to develop your own checklist to meet your specific requirements. This is a starter list.

Field trip checklist:

  • Educational objectives identified
  • Tentative date set
  • Administrative approval obtained
  • Host contacted
  • Confirmation letter sent to host
  • Confirmation letter received from host
  • Chaperones identified
  • Restroom arrangements completed
  • Eating arrangements completed
  • Bus arrangements completed
  • Consent slips returned (all signed)
  • Money collected
  • Advance admissions and bus paid
  • Chaperones trained
  • Provision made for nonparticipating students
  • Cafeteria informed (fewer students eating)
  • Other teachers informed (schedule changes)
  • Principal clear on arrangements
  • Bags for garbage and illness
  • First-aid kit
  • Follow-up activities

Have a discussion with host and students concerning:



 Educational Objectives
 Safety Rules
 Student Contact
 Use of Cameras
 Food, drink regulations
 Special clothing
 Guide arrangements and authority
 Provision for special education students

Create a cover letter to parents that contains:

  • Purpose
  • Itinerary
  • Eating provisions
  • Special clothes required

*Parent/guardian permission slip contains:

  • Date of trip
  • Departure time
  • Return time
  • Host information
  • Cost
  • Mode of travel
  • Space for signature and date