8 Steps to Planning Your Adopt A Class Field Trip
For many Adopters, arranging the annual field trip can seem rather daunting. But by following these guidelines, your work will be simplified. Make sure you plan for all possible contingencies, from surprise now days to no show busses, being prepared is the best way to ensure success. If you plan the field trip properly, and it can truly be a memorable and meaningful experience for everyone involved!
Steps To Planning a Field Trip:
- Engage with your teacher to determine an appropriate destination.
- Ensure your teacher partner has administration approval
- Arrange Bussing
- Don’t forget about lunch
- Plan an appropriate schedule
- Determine Chaperone Needs
- The Permission Slip
- Tie in the Field Trip your curriculum
This is just a starting point for planning your field trip. You may find additional steps are needed. Please share any feedback with us at Adopt A Class at [email protected]. Let’s get started:
- Choose A Destination
We highly suggest that your field trip destination be your place of business. Think about how this experience will enhance and reinforce your relationship with your mentees. You have likely talked with them about your career, and now you have the opportunity to show them first hand what it looks like and feels like to be in your profession.
Review location specifics with your teacher and discuss any concerns (parking, small spaces) or hazards (machinery, loud noises) prior to solidifying your destination
Once you have narrowed it down, talk to your teammates about unique spaces at your destination that you may want to include in your facility tour. Does your company have cool cyber security equipment the kids may be interested in or is there an opportunity to have lunch in the top floor board room? You may also want to ask for student input as you are planning your destination and stops along the tour at the facility. Sometimes what we adults take for granted may be really interesting to your students.
If you do not have the ability or option to take your students to your place of business, there are several other options to investigate. Perhaps there is a place of interest around town that you could take them to (iSpace, Children’s Theatre). These options often have discounted rates for volunteer groups. Check out the details on our Adopt A Class field trip spreadsheet. *insert link*
Finally, if you are not able to take the kids on an out of school field trip, you might want to consider an in school field trip experience. Many programs will bring an activity to the classroom that will provide a unique experience without leaving the school building. A listing of many options is also available in our Adopt A Class field trip spreadsheet. *insert link*
2.Ensure your teacher partner has administration approval
Before you get too far into the process of planning your field trip it is necessary for your teacher to verify the dates, times and destination with his/her administration. It is important to do this early on in the school year to avoid any issues that may arise.
- Arrange Bus Transportation
Arranging transportation can be more challenging than you might initially think. But remember, NO BUS, NO FIELD TRIP! Plan this step at minimum 3 months prior to your trip date to allow for the bus company to have enough time to make sure they can find a driver and have an available bus.
Busing for most field trips will cost between $160-$220 and will vary depending on timing and distance of travel. This fee can be paid by the Adopter directly to the bus company, or by the Adopter to the school. Talk with your teacher about his/her school’s preference.
Most buses will accommodate an average for 45-60 riders (usually 1 bus can hold 2 elementary classes).
Popular bus companies in the Cincinnati region are:
- First Student firststudentinc.com (513) 761-2230 ext. 124
o Pricing: $172.50 for minimum 3 hours and $57.59 for each additional hour
- Petermann petermannbus.com (513) 351-7383
o Pricing: TBD
- Don’t Forget Lunch
There are many options for how to handle feeding your mentees while on the field trip. Before making a selection, be mindful of any allergies or dietary restrictions. Your teacher should be able to provide this information to you.
- On site lunchroom/restaurant: Sometimes the facility will have a restaurant or cafeteria on-site that you can utilize for lunch. Check with onsite management to see if this is an option on the date/time you plan to have lunch.
- Bring a brown bag lunch: Since most if not all of your students will be eligible for lunch from the school, you can work with your teacher to have these lunches packed and the students can bring them with them to the destination.
- Order In:You may find a simple solution is to order lunch from a local restaurant that will deliver to you. The downside is this option is often the most expensive for the Adopters and the least healthy – depending on what you order.
- Plan an Appropriate Schedule.
Start by setting the start and end times for your field trip. Most schedules are 2-4 hours. Then schedule time for different activities during the day. Think through different departments, interesting spaces and fascinating people/occupations you want to expose your students to during their time at your offices.
Break your time up into small activities and set a structure time for each activity. Talk with your teacher or your students directly about specific interests they have prior to your field trip and try to incorporate this into your field trip where possible. Strive to plan your stations with equal amounts of time, so that one group is not waiting for the other group, and again, apt to get into trouble.
Plan your activities carefully and have back up plans should weather, activities or student behavior not go according to plan. Remember that your mentees are in a new environment and out of their normal routine. A common practice that helps stay on schedule is to create a “passport” for the different stops on your field trip. See an example from the University of Cincinnati’s field trip below **add image*
- Determine Chaperone Needs.
Talk with your teacher partner about adult supervision needs. The school will likely have ratio requirements and your teacher will be able to organize parent volunteers as needed. Make sure you plan to have the additional visitors when organizing food and materials.
- The Permission Slip
Your school will likely have a standard permission slip that they will send home with their students. You may want to consider adding specific clauses as it pertains to your Adopt A Class field trip. Often Adopters want to take photos on the field trip, so a photo release specific to the field trip gives you authority to do that. See below for suggested language.
- Check here if you do not give permission for images of the above named child to be captured during the ORGANIZATION NAME-Adopt A Class Field trip through video, photo and digital camera, to be used solely for the purposes of ORGANIZATION NAME and Adopt A Class promotional material and publications, and waive any rights of compensation or ownership.
You may also have release of liability language you want to include specific to the location/destination of your field trip. It is suggested that you work with your internal legal department to draft this language.
Day of the Trip Tips
- Check in with your teacher a week or so before your field trip to make sure all students have their permission slips signed and are approved to go on the field trip.
- Have your team wear something that makes them easily identifiable on the field trip day; Think bright colors, corporate logos or specific shirts. This will help the kids stay with the group.
- Give instructions to the student’s multiple times to make sure they are heard and comprehended. Check for understanding by getting one of the students to repeat it.
- Provide ground rules for the field trip. Some areas to cover would be voice level, bathroom rules, off limit spaces.
- Because your students will likely be meeting new people, have nametags for them. You can print them out, or have the students make their own. Either way this will help with conversation and connection throughout the day.
Written by: Marie Rusincovitch, COO