OCENET Tip Sheet #8:

OCENET Tip Sheet #8: International Field Trips with Students

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board recently released revised procedures, accompanying forms, and supporting documents for teachers taking students on international field trips.

Ask any educator who has been leader of a group of students on an international educational trip: it is both a rewarding experience and a huge responsibility. An international trip with students requires months of planning and involves considerable time commitments prior to, during, and after the trip. The newly revised international trip procedures (PR683.SCO) have been developed in order to reflect the chronological stages in the process of organizing and conducting a safe and successful international field trip with students.

The revised procedures focus on:

  • safety of students and staff
  • clear articulation of curriculum expectations for the trip
  • guidelines and support for educators in organizing and leading international trips
  • addressing consistency, accountability and liability on international trips
  • efficiency, clarity and ease of use of supporting documents

Among the many major revisions made to the procedures (PR683.SCO) and documents, some changes include:

  • a requirement to complete a trip pre-approval form (OCDSB Form 640) in advance of advertising or recruiting students for the trip
  • a new parental consent form for international trips (OCDSB Form 638)
  • Trip Cancellation and Refund Policy form (OCDSB Form 906)
  • inclusion of designated trip leader roles, such as the Lead Trip Supervisor
  • sub-categorization of the procedures under headings, such as Risk Management and Safety Planning, Documentation, Trip Promotion, Communication Process, etc.
  • specific guidelines for stages of the trip process, such as (1) Pre-trip Review, (2) Upon Arrival and During the Trip, and (3) Post-trip Review
  • With over 10 students, the trip must be registered with Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA)
  • a newly developed FAQ section
  • detailed checklists to assist trip supervisors in emergencies and completing documentation requirements
  • additional support documents in an extensive appendix to PR683.SCO including a series of Emergency Protocol Checklists

Please see the procedures (PR683.SCO) for international travel at the OCDSB website under “About OCDSB” and search under the list for “Policies, Procedures and Forms.” Click on “Subject Area: Schools Operations” and find “PR.683.SCO Field Trips-International.” Alternatively, use the following link:

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