Field trips are beneficial for all school-aged children, so enhancing summer school with at least one field trip is sure to enrich your kids' learning and real world experiences overall. The kids will have access to various environments and tools that aren't typically available to them at school or at home. And they may even be able to improve their test scores at school when all is said and done. Here are a few things you can do to keep the bus ride calm and safe during your summer school's next field trip experience:
Rent the Right Bus
Taking time to make sure that you rent the right bus is one of the most important things you can do to ensure a calm and safe ride to your summer school's field trip destination and back. Not all buses are created equal, and depending on how far you're traveling, a basic bus may not meet all of your needs. For example, if you're traveling more than an hour or two away from school, you should make sure that the bus you rent features a bathroom on board. No matter how far you're traveling, the bus you rent for the field trip should feature:
Multiple entrances and exits for ease of boarding and exiting in case of an emergency.
Air conditioning to keep older and more sensitive guests comfortable.
A child-friendly bus driver who doesn't mind being patient and answering questions.
Contact a bus rental service for additional advice on selecting the right bus for your needs.
Set Basic Riding Rules
It's a good idea to set some basic rules for riding the bus and to have copies of the rules handed out to every student and teacher who will be going on the field trip. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that nobody can claim that they weren't aware of the way they were expected to behave.
You can print the rules on the permission slips and ask both parents and students to sign the slips, acknowledging that they have read and fully understand the rules. Anyone who doesn't sign the permission slip acknowledging the rules can stay at home or school on field trip day.
Assign Seats to Riders
You can help ensure that your students don't get too rowdy or unruly by assigning them seats on the bus before you board to go on the field trip. The idea is to make sure the louder and more rambunctious kids are paired with the quieter and more relaxed children so things don't get too out of hand on the bus. And parent volunteers who are riding the bus can be assigned seats to serve as buffers between the kids and to help keep an eye on all the goings-on.
Your teachers should have enough insight into their students to know whether a pair or group should be separated and to know which kids would make a good team sitting together. So use the insights of your teachers to create the seating chart, or ask your teachers to work together to make the chart themselves.
Hold Short Meetings Before Boarding
Another important step to take during your field trip to ensure a calm and safe bus ride is to hold short meetings before any time everyone boards the bus. Ask everyone to meet in front of the bus just a couple of minutes early so you have an opportunity to remind everyone of the rules before they head to their bus seats, as the excitement of the day could easily distract the kids and make them forget all about the rules they've agreed to abide by. So holding a short meeting before boarding the bus will help keep everyone on the same page and reduce the chance that someone will actually get into trouble for not following the rules on the bus.