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Our district just threw a curve ball at us. They are increasing the requirements for chaperoning field trips to a higher level of background check. It used to cost $25 for each check. But now it will be $67 for each check!!!

To put the cost in perspective our next field trip will cost about $1500 for the transportation and admission for 85 kids. If 3 parents come from each class that would add another $900 to the cost of the trip!

Most of the families at our school are low income. So asking them to pay would exclude lots of people. 

We've already cut back on trips because the expense is so high. Adding this cost could potentially illuminate field trips all together unless chaperones are limited to just what's needed to help. But parents get irate when they are told they can't attend trips. 

How does your school handle this? Any suggestions?

by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 7:54 PM
Replies (61-67):
by on Apr. 27, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Back when my kids were in school any parents could chaperone.  I feel that any volunteers should be screened.  It did cost $25.  I am not sure if the cost really went up or not but I think the school should pay the fee to screen them and a screening is good and doesn't have to be paid a 2nd time.  So they could take some of the same volunteers or new ones and do their checks.  If they had teachers it would cost a lot more than the background check.  Schools should pay the fee for it to get parents to go.  They could even be selective and request certain parents whom they are more familiar with to see if they would go.  Some schools have eliminated field trips  as many schools have done that because of the cost of the buses and drivers and sometimes overtime.  I don't think they should charge parents of kids anything so all are on an equal basis as far as ability to afford materials.  Yet kids are not all equal as to their ability and no child left behind is a joke as it teaches to the least intelligent of the class and every student should be able to have help to do the best they can with advanced classes for more advanced children.  The tests were not made to evaluate kids and their progress, but to hold over teachers heads.  The first tests were not even on a level kids could understand and many intelligent adults could not pass them.  The legislators refused to take the tests.  They were afraid they would not pass and they are lawyers for the most part.  When there are costs to get in places that is a part of the problem too.  I have paid an entry of up to $5 or so to get into something but I don't think a volunteer (the number needed) should pay anything.  Good luck.  I do recall a fantastic field trip to a steel mill and I can still remember the molten steel pouring into a big caldron and being poured into molds.  It was hot and smelly and so exciting.  I was in about the 4th or 5th grade and that was maybe 60 years ago.  I don't think I'll ever forget it.  It cost us our bus use and gas and the bus driver and teacher and perhaps a few volunteers. 

by on Apr. 27, 2013 at 9:34 PM

That would piss me off.

by Lorelai on Apr. 27, 2013 at 10:52 PM

Our schools don't do background checks for field trip volunteers. We just sign up through the teacher.

Alexis Emma 10-13-1999 - 13 years old
Kirsten Leslie 03-14-2004 - 9 years old
Sarah Mackenzie 08-14-2007 - 5 years old
Charlotte Amelia & Harmon David 04-12-2012 - 11 months old
Angela Victoria 06-09-1996 - 16 years old (niece) 

by on Apr. 27, 2013 at 11:19 PM

My son's school didn't charge parents. That's just wrong! 

by on Apr. 28, 2013 at 6:54 AM

Wow. Our school covers ours. I have been cleared by Cub Scouts, school, church and Little League and have never paid for one.

Our school has a one-time check. Once you've been clear--and as long as you volunteer at least once a year--it remains good. You need clearances to come in the school for anything beyond meeting with administrators or special events like class plays or authors day. Parties, working with clubs, field trips, working the book fair, volunteering in the classroom, all of it.

by on Apr. 28, 2013 at 7:10 AM

I fill out the first form (Dept. of Welfare check) and turn it in at the school. Then, the clearance comes to me. I take the official clearance to the school admin building and they do the state police check.

I did get double mileage out of the one check because I took the official clearance to my church for them to review and copy to update my file before I turned it in at the school.

Quoting steelcrazy:

 For those of you whose school pays for the background checks, do you provide the school with your personal information (SS#, DOB, Maiden Name, etc) and they fill out the forms and submit them?  Or do you fill out the forms, submit them and then get reimbursed from the school after your background checks come back clear?

by Silver Member on Apr. 28, 2013 at 8:02 AM

We only have to pay once a year and its about the same $67.00

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