Restrictions Eased on Field Trips in Continental U.S.

April 23, 2003
Restrictions on field trips within the continental United States were eased again this week for the Montgomery County Public Schools, following the reduction in the national threat warning to yellow. However, school-sponsored international trips, including those to Canada, continue to be prohibited.

Earlier this month, school principals were advised that exemptions to the suspension of overnight field trips and day trips beyond 75 miles of the county could be obtained under certain conditions. Yesterday, principals were informed that plans for such field trips could be reinstated.

“Given the change in the alert status, schools may consider field trips within the continental United States,” said Larry A. Bowers, chief operating officer, in a memorandum to all principals on Tuesday, April 22. “Principals should work with staff and parents to ensure that there is interest and support for reinstating field trips.”

Nonetheless, because the national alert of yellow still warns of a “significant risk of terrorist attacks,” Bowers cautioned that the current situation “requires us to be mindful of the inherent risks associated with student and staff travel. Everyone needs to understand that field trips could be cancelled again if the threat for terrorist activities in the Washington Metropolitan Area, region, and nation increases,” he said.

All field trips will continue to be approved by community superintendents on an individual basis. Consideration for field trips continues to be based on the following criteria: purpose of the trip, size of the group, distance from Montgomery County, length of the trip, destination, and safety.

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