SHARON School officials consider field trips

SHARON, Pa. -- Sharon City school directors are taking another look at the practice of allowing pupils to take field trips.
"I think some parents really have a lot of concern about sending their kids on field trips," said school director Dom Russo. His comments were part of a discussion during a school board work session about a pending Science Club trip to Washington, D.C., on April 5 and 6.
The district approved pupil trips to New York City after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, but that was before Homeland Security and before there was so much talk about things like chemical and biological weapons and dirty bombs, Russo said.
The nation was recently put under an Orange Alert by Homeland Security, the second-highest warning level about possible terrorist attacks, he said.
All about safety
"My concerns are entirely for the safety factor," Russo added, suggesting that, though such trips are an important part of the educational process, the district should develop a strategy to make sure those on such trips are protected physically and financially.
If a trip has to be canceled for security reasons, the participants should be able to get their money back, Russo said.
The school board will vote Tuesday on the Science Club request as well as a Case Avenue Elementary sixth-grade trip to Niagara Falls.
The science trip involves 40 pupils in grades seven through 12 and five chaperones. The trip would take 28 hours, and the pupils won't be staying in the Washington area overnight but would have to sleep on the bus while traveling.
Also on agenda
In other business at the session Wednesday, the board will present a revised policy on volunteer coaches for first reading at Tuesday's regular board meeting.
The board had introduced a policy in November that would have limited the number of volunteer coaches to any sport to three. The proposal drew protests from the wrestling program, which has nine volunteers.
The policy was sent back to committee and will come up for approval by the board again, this time with no limits on the number of volunteer coaches that any sport can use.
However, the head coach of each sport must present the board with a list of all coaches before the season begins for that particular activity.

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