Coppell Student Media

From form to flight: The process of a school trip

Coppell+High+School+The+Sidekick+hosts+two+travel+conventions+each+year%2C+one+of+them+being+the+trip+to+Chicago.+The+Sidekick+is+required+to+estimate+prices+for+each+student+for+school+field+trips.+Infographic+by+Jacob+Nelson.+
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From form to flight: The process of a school trip

Coppell High School The Sidekick hosts two travel conventions each year, one of them being the trip to Chicago. The Sidekick is required to estimate prices for each student for school field trips. Infographic by Jacob Nelson.

Coppell High School The Sidekick hosts two travel conventions each year, one of them being the trip to Chicago. The Sidekick is required to estimate prices for each student for school field trips. Infographic by Jacob Nelson.

Jacob Nelson

Coppell High School The Sidekick hosts two travel conventions each year, one of them being the trip to Chicago. The Sidekick is required to estimate prices for each student for school field trips. Infographic by Jacob Nelson.

Jacob Nelson

Jacob Nelson

Coppell High School The Sidekick hosts two travel conventions each year, one of them being the trip to Chicago. The Sidekick is required to estimate prices for each student for school field trips. Infographic by Jacob Nelson.

Shreya Beldona, Staff Writer

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No matter the duration of the event, there is always excitement about embarking on a new school trip. Students can stay at hotels, go to conventions or spend time at an amusement park. Students only see the product of months of planning yet few know of the process it takes to get there.

 

Overnight trips, such as ones nationally for Business Professionals of America, Distributive Education Clubs of America and KCBY-TV must be approved by the Coppell High School administration within the first two weeks of the school year. The administration determines whether or not the trip is of academic significance to students.

 

Overnight trips require a trip approval form that includes estimated costs, location of the event, and an estimated headcount of students attending the trip. Teacher sponsors complete the form and submit it to the campus principal for approval.

 

However, teacher sponsors are not the only planners of school trips. Leaders of clubs, such as presidents, also play a role in the planning and supervision of events.

 

Student leaders have various responsibilities that are critical to the event. Leaders of clubs have to sign off on the trip approval form, deciding whether or not the club will go on the trip.

 

Finer details, such as meals, leisure activities and roommates are determined as the school year progresses.

 

“Most of the time, meals and leisure activities are planned with officers as well as after school,” DECA sponsor and Marketing/Business Practicum instructor Richard Chamberlain said. “When [DECA] goes to conventions or competitions, the time is very set up. There is already a schedule from whatever convention or competition we are going to.”

 

These structured schedules often provide a basis for planning finer details such as activities and meals.

 

DECA day, a day dedicated to the international club DECA, elicits discounts at theme and amusement parks such as Universal Studios or Disney World. These parks often closed to the public, allowing an exclusive experience. Though the park might be expensive, attending on a field trip can provide a new, exciting experience.

 

However, planning trips often require guesses or predictions, especially for conventions and competitions. As competitions and conventions progress from regional level to state, the amount of students attending these events decreases. The uncertainty caused by these estimations can lead to students being held in overflow hotels, a replacement to the designated hotel, which can lack rooms to accommodate students.

 

The potential increase in the actual amount of students attending a trip versus the prediction of the number of students attending conventions can lead to problems while on the trip.

 

“I took over a hundred students to state last year, and even though it was in Dallas, that’s a lot of moving parts,” Chamberlain said. “It’s a lot of kids to check on, it’s a lot of sponsors, it’s a lot of money to take.”

 

Additionally, having to be responsible for more students than expected can be stressful for teachers. During school events, teachers will be liable for any harm the student may receive. Essentially, the more students, the more risk.

 

However, new policies hope to alleviate the stress caused by school trips.

 

Coppell ISD has been determining the allocation of student paid and district paid trips. According to Chamberlain, costs such as student meals on field trips are partially subsidized by the district, minimizing the costs paid for by the student. According to CHS principal Dr. Nicole Jund, most UIL trips such as those taken by band or DECA, are paid for by the district.

 

Changes in the new field trip system have been implemented at the start of this school year. Previously, students had the option to acquire a ride for local events. This rule has now been replaced; students must travel by school provided buses to local events as a group. This policy has been implemented as a safety measure for students.

 

“I do understand the new policy is one of the rules now,” senior BPA co-president Manasa Gudavalli said. “But in some ways, it can be inconvenient, especially if it’s a local competition. As long as everybody gets there on time, I don’t really see what the problem is.”

 

Unlike overnight trips, the transportation in the form of buses accounts for most of the expenses of local school trips. Local school trips often require less school planning than overnight trips, accounting for the cheaper price of local trips.

 

Though the estimation of planning can lead to some difficulties, field trips still play an important role in a high school student’s experience.

 

“I’ve been to other schools where students had never had a certain type of food before.” Chamberlain said. “The best moments are when they get to experience something new or see something new and get to do something on their bucket list.”

 

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About the Writer
Shreya Beldona, Staff Writer

Shreya loves participating in artistic endeavors such as dance and drawing. Shreya enjoys writing about various topics ranging from fashion to pros and...

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