Keeping Students Safe During Off Campus Events
Don’t Risk Safety When Going Off Campus
School campuses are a natural safety concern in our society and after-school activities become an even bigger concern because of increased risk. However, taking students off campus is perhaps the biggest risk. With risk comes planning, so below are some ways you can keep students safe while attending off campus events.
Students leave school campus for many reasons. It may be field trips, band events, or sports teams when students travel. Whatever the reason may be, safety is a top concern when students are leaving campus on a school sponsored activity or trip.
Most states have a legal requirement for how many children are allowed to be with one single chaperone or adult, based on age. For younger children, the student/teacher ratio is much lower. When taking students off school property for an event, ensure you have the correct and legal ratios for students to teachers and/or chaperones.
When taking students off campus, always have a folder with each students’ signed release form/permission slip. While they are loading onto the bus or other transportation check off that each student present has a signed form. Buses should not leave the school grounds until a release form is accounted for each student.
When traveling with students off campus, ensure you have a signed and current medical information sheet for each student in your care. If for whatever reason an emergency or incident takes place, this will be a liability release for the school and provide an easy way for the student to get help. It should include any allergies, especially if lunch is provided, medical issues such as asthma or seizures, current medication, and emergency contact information. This information is critical if medical services needs to be called for any reason.
Although emergency contact information should be on each students’ medical information sheet, teachers should compile all emergency contacts into a spreadsheet that is easily accessible in the event of an emergency. It is much easier to find one child on a spreadsheet than to sift through 30 medical information sheets for one students’ name. When requesting emergency contact information, always require that parents/guardians provide at least two forms of emergency contact.
Students love going off school grounds for events, it gives them an opportunity to explore their world and brings learning to life, but it can be dangerous. No trip should move forward without the proper ratio numbers of adults to students and release forms are required before a student can leave campus. Having medical information readily available will help reduce confusion if there is an emergency. Teachers should plan ahead and put all emergency contact information in an organized spreadsheet for quick accessibility in the event it is needed. Having fun is always important, but student safety tops the list.