JJH-R: Student Travel Procedures

  • 1. Transportation

    The use of vans or private automobiles for trips planned to include late night or overnight student travel is prohibited. Late night or overnight trips will use commercial motor coaches.

    Trips planned to include late night or overnight student travel will include a pre-trip check of companies, drivers, and vehicles. CORI and/or background checks will be conducted in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws and School Committee Policy.

    The Superintendent or designee will ensure that the selected carrier is licensed for passenger transportation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The district will not contract with any carrier that has a safety rating of “conditional” or “unsatisfactory”. FMCSA ratings are available at http://www.safersys.org/.

    The contract with the carrier will prohibit the use of subcontractors unless sufficient notice is given to the district that allows verification of the subcontractor’s qualifications.

    2. Trip Scheduling

    Overnight accommodations should be made in advance with student safety and security in mind. Whenever possible, trip schedulers should avoid planning student travel between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m., due to the increased risk of vehicular accidents during this time period.

    Whenever possible, overnight trips should be scheduled on weekends or during school vacations to minimize lost classroom time. Non-academic field trips are considered “optional school programs” and do not count toward meeting structured learning time requirements. (Refer to the Massachusetts DESE publication Student Learning Time Regulations Guide)

    Trip itineraries must leave enough time for drivers to rest in conformity with federal hour-of-service requirements and common sense.

    Trip scheduling should take into account the likelihood of delays due to weather, traffic, stragglers, and other unanticipated factors.

    If substantially all members of a class are participating in a trip, the school should provide appropriate substitute activities for any students not participating.

    3. Fundraising

    The amount of time to be devoted to fundraising should be reasonable and commensurate with students’ obligations for homework, after-school activities, and jobs.

    Group fundraising activities are preferred. Students should not be assigned individual fundraising targets.

    If students are charged individual fees for participation, every effort should be made to provide scholarships where needed.

    Additional Resources

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

    www.fmcsa.dot.gov

    United Motorcoach Association – Student Motorcoach Travel Safety Guide (includes “Motorcoach Safety Checklist)

    www.uma.org/consumer/student-transportation/

    Department of Defense’s approved list of motor carriers

    www.defensetravel.dod.mil/Docs/BusAgreementPOCs.pdf

     

    CROSS REFS.:      IJOA, Field Trips

                               ADDA, Background Checks

    LEGAL REFS.:       M.G.L. 69:1B; 71:37N; 71:38R

                               603 CMR 27.00

Last Modified on July 1, 2020