Field Trips Manifest as Sporadic Group Activity

Camille Crumbley, Staff writer

Field trips, the cornerstone of elementary and middle school, have become a rarity at Chamblee, only making appearances in certain clubs and classes.

Field trips provide students with real world connections and educational enrichment. Many logistics have to be specified when planning field trips with multiple levels of approval, although if is only specific groups go on trips.

“You have to consider the reality of high school. If you took a grade level field trip, you’re talking about five hundred kids, a logistically impossible trip,” Dr. Norman Sauce III. “The most feasible way to plan a trip is that a particular campus club or organization or class or teacher take several students.”

According to Dr. Sauce, teachers send him approvals for field trips anywhere from three to six times a month. After the request for a field trip gets approved by an assistant principal and then him, a regional superintendent gives the final approval.

“In order to process a request, teacher would need to specify what the purpose or the topic of the trip is– the intent,” said Sauce. “Also, what educational purpose does the trip address and the logistics: how many kids are going, how are they getting there, who’s chaperoning, how much does it cost, who pays, transportation arrangements. All of that needs to be on the form [trip approval form].”

In addition, according to Sauce, upperclassmen have a better chance of going on field trips than freshmen or sophomores. Freshmen are still getting used to high school and upperclassmen have had more time to get into clubs and organizations, who may have gone on trips at some point.

However,  even as a senior, a field trips is not always guaranteed.  

“I’ve been on one [field trip],” said senior Halle Russell. “I’m going on one in two days…. I would like to go on more, but this is my senior year, so I’ve kind of missed out.”

Field trips provide students with real world experience that they cannot get in school and a chance to apply what they have learned in school to the world around them.

“The school, the building, is such a structured environment,” said photography teacher Angela Georges. “It’s not really indicative of real world. So, I get them out and expose them to the art world. It’s important to get outside and see it…. Half of the kids who end up going, would never go and get to see these places on their own.”

Georges tries to take her students on at least one field trip a semester and photo ops. She takes her students to the High Museum of Art and plans to go to Botanical Gardens in the spring.

“[The High Museum of Art] is a nice change in pace from the usual school day and also it lets you have a high appreciation for the art you’re learning” said junior Sophia Wiesenfeld. “

But, it can be hard to go on field trips sometimes when students are concerned about missing school and other teachers complain about time taken out from their class.

“Sometimes you just need to take a day,” said Georgia Wescott. “Not everyone can go out and do stuff…. This is our time to experience and see what we like. Teachers are too worried about being in class and make it hard when you do miss class…. This is our moment to go places.”