FAQs about Chaperones and Volunteers
There have been some questions about adult chaperones on field trips that have been brought to our attention. In order for parents to accompany their child on a field trip, they must have volunteer clearance.
Here are some FAQs from the DPS website (Volunteer Link):
- What’s the difference between volunteering and parent involvement? Volunteering takes involvement to another level in activities with potential contact with students. Individuals are defined as volunteers if participating in activities in which all students are not under the supervision of their parents/guardians. For instance, if a book fair takes place during the school day and the teacher brings the class to the fair, volunteers would have to possess an approved background check. A book fair in the evening in which students are accompanied by parents would not require volunteers with approved background checks.
- I don’t want to be a chaperone on a field trip - I simply want to go along to accompany my child. Can I do this without submitting a volunteer application form? We understand your interest in accompanying your own child. However, any adult on a field trip is going to be potentially involved with other children. Teachers cannot monitor which parents on the trip are cleared and which are not. For the safety of your child and all children, it’s important that any adult on a field trip be cleared as an approved volunteer.
- Isn’t it my right to be able to accompany my child? We understand how you might feel this way. Field trips and similar educational opportunities are school activities that are provided for your child, and there’s no requirement for you to participate in order for him/her to take part. However, accompanying your child on a field trip is a volunteer activity. Volunteer!
- If I can’t accompany my child, is he/she required to participate? No. You may choose for your child not to participate in the field trip but please remember that field trips are planned as part of the overall educational program of the school and the district attendance policy is in effect.
- If I choose to provide my own transportation to the site of the field trip or activity so that I can keep an eye on my child, and I’m in a public space,how can the school system prevent me from being there? Of course you have every right to be in a public place. As long as you keep a distance from the school group and don’t interact with them there will be no problem. If you try to engage with the group, however, you will be asked to “sign out” your child from the group just as you “sign out” from school and cannot “sign in” at the end of the field trip for transportation back to school.