Whether you call it a field trip permission slip, waiver or form, it is essential that you get permission from parents or guardians before you take your class on a field trip. Generally, I combine my field trip letter with the permission slip so that students only need to keep track of a single piece of paper.
On the permission slip, make sure you mention the cost, any location specific clothing needed (like sunscreen, a raincoat or closed toe shoes), lunch details and how you and your class will be getting to and from the location. I also like to give families a brief description of the purpose of our field trip and how it relates to what we’re learning. If you’d like to see a template feel free to use ours here.
If you require chaperones, it is helpful to have a place on the permission slip where family members can indicate interest. I usually have a box that says yes, I would like to be a chaperone. You can follow up with families interested in chaperoning once the slips are returned.
Once you have your field trip date and location set, it is best to send your permission slip home right away. You can keep track of which students return the slips and any necessary money with a simple checklist (template available here). Some students may not return the it on the first try, so send it home again a week before the trip.
Two days before the trip send a letter reminding parents of the trip and any important day of logistics (template).
If you want to leave the classroom frequently to use the resources right in your local school community, it could be helpful to have families sign a field trip release for the year. You can often get permission to take students out of the building and to locations under a mile away with a general release. This will make it particularly easy to use local parks, gardens and libraries throughout the year without a ton of advanced planning.
While we think it’s pretty good, our templates are meant to be helpful, but are not endorsed as legally sound. Make sure you get any field trip forms approved by school building administration before using them. Teachers in the New York City DOE should use the city DOE permission slip available here.
Also, if you're looking for a more general planning resource, we’ve created a guide to help you make sure you have everything you need for your next class trip. Feel free to access our google doc template here. If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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