I had been told the fingerprinting issue had been postponed until further notice. Thanks to reader, Lynn, for this update from Superintendent Banda in the Friday update.
To: José Banda, Superintendent
From: Joseph Paperman
Date:October 4, 2013
SUBJECT: FRIDAY UPDATE TO SCHOOL BOARD
Field Trip Procedure Revisions
To help enhance the safety of our students when they participate in overnight or out of
country field trips, Risk Management has recently made significant changes to the field
trip procedures. These include clearer expectations for screening and training of chaperones and for behavior of student participants.
The new requirements for chaperones include an orientaion by the lead chaperone (school employee), who will review student behavior expectations as defined in the “Basic Rules of Seattle Public Schools”,the Emergency Action Plan and procedures for overnight room checks appropriate to the type of lodging.
Tohelp avoid blurring of boundaries between students and chaperones, the minimum age for high school chaperones has been increased to 25.
The field trip procedures include a reminder of the need to properly background check all
The requirements for screening, established by the Volunteer Management Advisory Committee, called for all overnight chaperones being fingerprinted to allow a nationwide background check. Concerns were expressed about the undue burden this might place on families and schools, so this requirement has been suspended until February 1, 2014.
The Committee will be reviewing options that will allow greater participation and equity, while being protective of student safety. The Committee will issue a further recommendation within the next three months. In the interim, all chaperones will be background checked through the Washington State Patrol’s online system, called WATCH.
For secondary school students, a behavioral expectations agreement is now required, reminding them that all school rules apply while on a field trip and that school-based discipline may be imposed for misconduct. Parents and guardians also acknowledge that behavior endangering the student or others may result in the student returning early at the family’s expense.