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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

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 (41-50):
lilmsnay83
by on Apr. 27, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Well thats our issue as well.  I work in a low income school and mostly Hispanic.  Alot of our parents are illegal immigrants and cant get a background check due to lack of paperwork.  

We do not pay for background checks for our parents.  One of the ways we have gotten around background checks is having the parents to meet us at the facility.  Without the background check, they can not get on the bus or chaperone the kids but they can take their own child.  They just have to pay full admission price to whereever we going.

Also, we have fundraisers during the year which puts money into our field trip account.  I know here in Georgia, there are alot of places that field trip grants like the Georgia Aquarium and Target has a field trip grant.  Some places also offer Title I discount.  We make it work and it has.

bizkit_fanky
by Silver Member on Apr. 27, 2013 at 2:06 PM

dd's school never goes anywhere, so its not an issue...2years ago her class got to take a field trip to the fire dept...Its in walking distance lol....So no buses were needed

StoneColdKiller
by on Apr. 27, 2013 at 3:17 PM

 We dont pay for any background checks.

But ask the PTA to help out with this.

maxswolfsuit
by Max on Apr. 27, 2013 at 3:25 PM


Quoting lilmsnay83:

Well thats our issue as well.  I work in a low income school and mostly Hispanic.  Alot of our parents are illegal immigrants and cant get a background check due to lack of paperwork.  

We do not pay for background checks for our parents.  One of the ways we have gotten around background checks is having the parents to meet us at the facility.  Without the background check, they can not get on the bus or chaperone the kids but they can take their own child.  They just have to pay full admission price to whereever we going.

Also, we have fundraisers during the year which puts money into our field trip account.  I know here in Georgia, there are alot of places that field trip grants like the Georgia Aquarium and Target has a field trip grant.  Some places also offer Title I discount.  We make it work and it has.

I'm very surprised your school allows parents to attend trips without being official chaperones. That seems like a liability. What's the point of doing checks at all then?

When we first started doing background checks many parents would opt to do this. When a registered sex offender showed up on one of our trips we realized how dangerous it was to allow. 

Parents entrust us to keep the kids safe. If a parent has something in their background they are hiding, I don't want them around my class. 

It's unfortunate for parents who are illegal immigrants. But I don't feel allowing them to go on trips is worth risking exposing my students to someone unsafe. 

gwen_b
by on Apr. 27, 2013 at 4:57 PM

At my kids old school I paid what the kids paid, at their new school I went for free. They said whay should I have to pay if I was helping them.

Jemia
by Member on Apr. 27, 2013 at 5:03 PM
We don't have to pay for background checks
got3boyz
by on Apr. 27, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Our school doesn't do background checks.  They just send a letter home asking for parents to volunteer to chaperone.

JeremysMom
by on Apr. 27, 2013 at 5:16 PM

As a volunteer coordinator, I feel your frustration. Our district just requires that the parent take a Mandated Reporter's Training class and send a note to the principal stating that they want to attend the field trip. The principal then does her own background check. 

However, when I have volunteers coming in to work in the classroom/school, in certain situations they do have to have the $50 background check. Our families are low income too. I approached a few local businesses to "sponsor" these volunteers. The volunteer does have to pay out of pocket at first but then they take their receipt to the business that sponsored them and they reimburse them. Maybe you could do something similar?

kimikylemama
by Member on Apr. 27, 2013 at 5:19 PM
My kids school doesn't require background checks
WesternNYmom
by Bronze Member on Apr. 27, 2013 at 6:08 PM

I have never had to go through a background check to accompany my childrens' classes on feild trips. It is usually parents or grandparents that accompany the classes on the trips. You just have to sign the permission slip, and write down the name, phone number, and relationship to the child on the form. They only allow 4 parents to ride the bus with the kids. Everyone else has to meet the busses at the location of the trip.

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