Frequently Asked Questions
Please note ~ The answers provided here are as accurate as possible at the time of their writing, but informational changes may occur as needed.If you have further questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, though we encourage you to peruse the entire site first, as your question may be answered on another page.
Q: When is the trip?
A: The 8th grade Washington D.C. trip runs from March 13 (8 pm departure) - March 17 (Saturday morning return).
Q: How much is the trip?
A: This year's trip cost is $672.00
Q: Is this trip mandatory for my 8th grade child?
A: No. The 8th grade Washington D.C. trip is voluntary, though we believe it will be a wonderful learning experience and we will miss not having your child with us.
Q: What is the name of the company associated with this trip?
A: Student Adventures. Click on the Student Adventures tab on the left for more info.
Q: What are the eligibility requirements for my child to participate?
A: A student with a single day of suspension may appeal to a building administrator who will consult with the DC trip committee for permission to attend.
Any student who receives more than one out-of-school or in-school suspension will be excluded from this trip. Click the Student Eligibility tab at left for more info.
Q: How do I sign my child up for the 8th grade Washington D.C. trip?
A: Please use the Sign Up for Trip tab at the left for instructions on how to sign up
Q: What if I sign up my child and then have to cancel?
A: Please refer to the "Enhanced Cancellation Protector" section of the Parent Registration PDF found in the Helpful Documents tab.
Q: Are parents allowed to sign up for the trip as chaperons?
A: At this time, we are not anticipating the need for parent chaperons. The number of chaperons is partly dictated by the number of students participating. At this stage of planning, we still do not know the final number of students enrolling for the trip. We currently have 20+ staff members who have offered to act as chaperons should we need them. Neighboring districts also call on their 7th grade and high school staff to act as chaperons for their 8th grade trips. We do not know yet if that will be the case here.
For now, we encourage parents interested in acting as chaperons to keep their calendars clear for the trip dates (May 2 - May 6) and put aside the necessary funds should the need for their services arise. If we find ourselves needing extra chaperons, a fair and unbiased means of filling those positions will be presented.
Q: Can parents drive to Washington D.C. on their own and see their kids?
A: Our nation is a public venue and families are welcome to visit Washington D.C. at the same time as their children. However, students who go on this school trip MUST stay with the tour at all times. Parents, for example, cannot "borrow" their child for the day, or even a portion of the day, while the child is on our trip. If parents are in D.C. they may not travel with our tour or join us on our tour. This is for liability reasons. With the multitude of child custody issues that exist today, our tours are "closed" to anyone other than our chaperons and our students. If parents are in the D.C. area, or if a student has family in the D.C. area who would like to see the child, we can arrange for a supervised visit during lunch. However, in this situation, the individual(s) having a supervised lunch with our group must contact the Scranton office at least 14 days in advance of our trip and submit a copy of their drivers licence and fill out a volunteer information sheet. Because our children travel in groups, anyone interacting with our students must undergo a complete background check...even to join us for lunch.
Q: Will there be fund-raising opportunities for my child?
A: Please use the Fund-raising Opportunities tab at the left for details.
Q: What happens to the fundraising money?
A: Funds raised by individual students will be tracked on a spreadsheet by one of Scranton's secretaries. Periodically, an e-mail with the most current spreadsheet will be sent to Student Adventures. The funds listed will be credited to each individual student's account. Student Adventures will then send an invoice for the sum owed, at which time, funds held by Scranton Middle School for those individuals will be sent to Student Adventures. If the amount raised by the student exceeds the total amount of the trip, a refund will be made to SMS for the excess funds. These funds will then be placed in an account to provide trip scholarships to students with financial needs. If the family had already made a cash payment to Student Adventures, SMS will refund the family any "out of pocket" expenses before transferring the remaining funds into the scholarship account. If a child cancels their trip, any dollars earned through fundraising are returned to SMS and deposited in the scholarship account.
Q: What will my child be doing if he/she doesn't go on the trip?
A: As with several other details of the trip, the answer partly depends on the number of students going to Washington.
If a larger number of students participate, a proportionately larger number of staff will also be absent from school. For the students staying behind, it is likely that a good portion of their three days will be spent participating in activities prepared by our 8th grade history department. These activities will substitute for or mirror those found on the Washington trip, though some portion of each day may also be dedicated to their regular subjects (English, science, etc.).
If a smaller number of students participate in the trip, it is likely that more of a regular schedule will be followed at school with classes being taught primarily by the regular staff members remaining behind. As above, an effort will be made to provide activities similar in topic to those experienced in Washington.
With either scenario, students will be under the supervision of professionals employed by Brighton Area Schools, whether they are the existing staff or substitute teachers. Likewise, in the event that a substitute teacher is needed, they will be provided with all the materials and lessons plans required, just as they are during any other teacher absence.
Q: I have concerns about safety and security - where can I get answers?
A: For questions regarding safety and security, please click (here).
Q: What if my child needs to take daily medications?
A: Once we get closer to knowing for certain how many students will will have, students will be required to fill out a medical form, even if they have no medical issues. Once the student's chaperon is determined, that chaperon will be keeping track of which students in their care need to be given medication each day.
Q: What if my child has life threatening allergies?
A: As with the procedure explained about for daily medications, once your child's chaperon has been identified, they will have all the information you have provided about your child's allergies. Depending on the severity of the allergy, we may need to establish an allergen-free bus (we have done so in the past for peanuts). Also, under the Trip Itinerary tab, we have attempted to link the restaurants we visit so that you may contact them about the food choices that are available.
Q: How much spending money do you recommend for students?
A: Student Adventures recommends that students bring around $50.00.
Q: What should my child pack for the trip?A: You can find a list of packing suggestions by reading the document entitled "Packing Tips" found under the Helpful Documents tab at the left.
Q: Do the same bus drivers drive for the entire 10-12 hour trip?A: We will be changing drivers in the early morning, usually on the far side of Ohio or in Pennsylvania. Different coach companies have different stops. A new driver takes over at this time and completes the route to Washington. The same will occur on the trip home.
Q: What about the type of buses, accommodations, and the trip itinerary?A: The price of the trip covers all travel costs, two nights' accommodations, meals, and entrance into the various museums, memorials, etc. For more details about the coaches and accommodations, click the Coaches & Accommodations tab at left.
A word about the trip itinerary. We do have a number of activities already scheduled, such as the Gettysburg battlefield visit and a paddle-boat dinner ride on our last night in Washington, but given the nature of Washington D.C. and some of the possible sites, the daily itinerary may change between now and the actual trip. You can view our tentative Itinerary by clicking the Itinerary tab at the left or by downloading a hard copy of it from the Helpful Documents tab, also at the left.