How is student travel evaluated and vetted in your district?
It’s an ongoing priority for schools and districts to evaluate and implement policies and procedures to keep students safe. For instance, the effects of football related concussions have made news, prompting many school districts across the country to reevaluate safety gear and their procedures for purchasing this gear.
We are finally realizing that it isn't safe to give athletes just any helmet and let them go onto the field. Progressive athletic programs are mandating high school football helmets be sent out for safety recertification annually. Those that don’t pass the test must be replaced.
We applaud districts for the rigorous standards being implemented to keep students safe while playing football. As stewards of our district’s finances and student’s safety, school boards and administrators are obligated to thoroughly evaluate major purchases in order to make the best decisions. Kudos to administrations and boards who pour over research, vendors and the quality of the helmets they purchase for their students as they make these decisions.
But we all know, football helmets aren't the only big purchases and safety measures that demand administrative attention. Are we missing other crucial elements in the approval process for purchased goods and services that minimize risk and keep our kids and money safe?
Too often school districts send hundreds of students every year across the state, the country and even the ocean on school trips that have not been thoroughly assessed and vetted. While many districts and schools require several trip bids, I wonder what their processes and requirements for proposal assessment and decision are as most of our experience seems to be lowest price.
If you don’t choose the lowest priced football helmets for your players, why would you choose the lowest priced trip for your traveling students?
Being a good steward is more than financial. It includes concern for and assessment of safety, risk management, and credibility. A thorough analysis of any student travel proposal or bid should include analysis of these critical areas to ensure you know exactly what you are getting for the quoted price.
You should be empowered to ask questions of any travel supplier other than just what's the cost. How are you evaluating the credibility and solvency of your travel provider?
Are the hotels safe, and how do you know? Have you seen the safety records of the motor coach company and their drivers? What travel assistance are you guaranteed should something go wrong while you are on the road?
Whether you travel with us or not, we want your students to be safe and your money well spent.