Are there funds available for highly impacted schools to support field trip costs? How many field trips are taken by the average elementary school vs. highly impacted schools?

Question#: 18


According to Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Form 210-4 (September 2016), Approval for Extended Day, Out-of-Area, and Overnight Field Trips, and MCPS Form 210-6 (September 2016), Approval for Local June Field Trips:
Students cannot be denied the opportunity to attend a trip due to financial hardship.  A student financial hardship statement must be on the orientation letter.  Example:  “If you need to make special arrangements to cover the cost of the trip, please contact your child’s teacher in writing prior to the deadline indicated.  Any correspondence will be kept confidential.”
Sources of money for those students unable to pay (specify IAF account)________________
Additionally, noted under Payment on MCPS Forms 555-6 (September 2016), Parent/Guardian Approval for Trips MCPS Transportation Is Provided, and 560-31 (September 2016), Parent/Guardian Approval for Trips MCPS Transportation is Not Provided: 
Scholarships, reduced fee, or modified payment schedules are available if the cost of the field trip would create a hardship for your family.
The following data is based on a review of field trip submissions for 2016-2017 school year. Across all elementary schools, there is a pattern that indicates the number of field trips taken is grade-dependent with grades 2, 4, and 5 taking two times more field trips than other grades. Most of the field trips have zero cost and many schools, regardless of school population, utilize MCPS transportation and/or conduct in-school field trips, keeping costs to a minimum.
A school may have to schedule a single field trip over several days to accommodate the size of the grade level, scheduling of substitutes, or capacity of the site. This summary assumes that if the school has three field trips scheduled to a location for the same grade level, that this is counted as one field trip, not three. Using this information, highly impacted schools have on the average four to five field trips as compared to their less impacted counterparts who have five to six field trips in the same time period. There are some outliers to this finding as there are some schools, impacted and less-impacted, that have scheduled a range of 13 to 17 field trips during the 2016-2017 school year. Further, schools located in the downcounty area have a higher number of field trips as opposed to schools in the northern and western parts of the county. The table below provides some context for the number of field trips submitted for a subset of impacted and less-impacted elementary schools.


Comparison of Number of Field Trips in Randomly Selected Schools

Elementary Schools

Number of Field Trips

Highly Impacted Schools

Georgian Forest


Harmony Hills


Kemp Mill


New Hampshire Estates


South Lake


Washington Grove


Weller Road


Wheaton Woods


Less-Impacted Schools













Ritchie Park