Outdoor Education (General Procedures)

Secondary - Curricular 2021

  • Consult Risk Management.
  • This activity page must be presented to the activity provider prior to the activity taking place. The activity provider must meet the minimum requirements listed on this page. For more information on planning trips using outside providers, consult Outside Activity Providers.

Special Rules/Instructions

  • All outdoor education excursions must be approved by the principal or designate.
  • Approval must include consideration of: itinerary, suitability of excursion activities to the curriculum, travel time, safety factors, supervision arrangements, age appropriateness (consult the school board’s field excursion policy).
  • Consult the school board policy related to maximum number of days allowed for outdoor education excursions. A teacher must be designated as the supervisor in charge of the excursion.
  • Parental/guardian consent forms must be on file prior to any student going on camping/swimming/canoeing/backpacking excursion.
  • Information on parent/guardian consent forms must include: itinerary including dates, routes, locations, contacts, relationship of excursion activities to curriculum, supervision arrangements, cost per student, behavioural expectations, inherent risks, and where applicable, parent/guardian information meeting.
  • In an emergency situation (for example, lightning, severe weather, medical emergency) the supervisor in charge of the excursion must follow school board protocol.
  • If the excursion takes place at an outdoor education facility and the emergency protocol is more stringent than the school board protocol, then the outdoor education facility protocol must be followed.
  • For all excursions requiring transportation, a list of students in each vehicle as well as a list of the drivers and license plate numbers of the vehicles will be left at the school; the list will also accompany the teachers/supervisors on the excursion.
  • For overnight excursions, students must provide medical information to the teachers/supervisors.
  • Refer to your school board policies regarding student medical/dietary conditions and student medications.
  • Teachers and trip guide/instructors must:
    • be aware of and respond to changing weather and water conditions prior to and during the trip;
    • cancel, postpone or alter the excursion if conditions put students’ safety at an elevated level of risk. (for example, wind, temperature, lightning storms, fog).
  • Teachers/supervisors on excursions must have a list of parent/guardian contact/emergency numbers. Prior to the excursion, teachers/supervisors must plan how they will access emergency medical care.
  • Students must be provided with a list of recommended clothing and personal items suitable for the specific activity.
  • When combining two activities, consult the safety guidelines for each activity.

Supervision

  • Both male and female supervisors must accompany mixed groups for overnight excursions.
  • At least one supervisor must be a teacher.

First Aid

  • Follow the school's first aid emergency response (consult First Aid Plan and First Aid Emergency Response) and the school board’s concussion protocol (consult Concussions).
  • An emergency action plan and response to deal with evacuations and lock downs must be followed and communicated to students.

Definitions

  • In-charge Person:
    • Some activities refer to an “In-Charge” person. While the teacher is in-charge and responsible for the overall safety and well-being of students under their care, sometimes there are other personnel who must be identified as “In-Charge” related to specific situations (for example, a pool lifeguard). In activities where an “In-Charge” person is designated, that person, in consultation with the teacher, must make final decisions regarding safety of the students
  • Instructor:
    • An individual who provides instruction on skills and possesses the required certifications. This role could be fulfilled by a teacher, parent/guardian/volunteer or an employee of an outside provider.
  • Lifeguard, Assistant Lifeguard and Aquatic Instructor:
    • Refer to the Qualification section.
  • Outside Activity Provider:
    • An outside facility contracted by the school/board to provide activity services.
  • Parent/guardian/volunteer:
    • An adult who has been approved by the principal and has been instructed on responsibilities (for example, monitoring [supervision]).
  • Supervision:
    • The vigilant overseeing of an activity for regulation or direction. Activities, facilities, and equipment have inherent risks, but the more effectively they are supervised, the safer they become.
    • The Ontario Physical Activity Safety Standards in Education designate three categories of supervision, Constant visual supervision, On-site supervision, and In-the-area supervision. The categories take into consideration the risk level of the activity, the participants’ skill level and the participants’ maturity. The three levels of supervision described are not hierarchical but represent the type of supervision that an activity requires and the type of supervision that is inherently possible.
  • Supervisor:
    • A supervisor is a teacher, parent/guardian/volunteer, or trip guide. This term is used only in relation to supervision ratios.
  • Teacher:
    • A person with a current certification from the Ontario College of Teachers, under contract by the school/board. This person is legally responsible for the students.
  • Trip Guide:
    • An individual who has the required certifications and/or knowledge/skills of the route and activity. This role could be fulfilled by a teacher, a parent/guardian/volunteer or an employee of an outside provider, and must be approved by the school/board.
  • Types of Supervision:
    • Constant Visual Supervision:
      • Constant visual supervision means that the teacher is physically present, watching the activity in question. Only one activity requiring “Constant visual” supervision may take place while other activities are going on.
      • Curricular example: During a track and field session, some students are involved in high jump, some are practising relay passing on the track while a third group is distance running around the school. For high jump, the teacher is at the high jump area and is observing the activity.
      • Intramural example: During a school outdoor special events day, some students are involved in parachute games, some in relay games, and others in a team scavenger hunt around the school. For parachute, the intramural supervisor is at the event and is observing activity.
    • In-the-area Supervision:
      • In-the-area supervision means that the teacher could be in the gymnasium while another activity is taking place in an area adjacent to the gymnasium. In-the-area supervision requires the teacher to be readily accessible.
      • In-the-area supervision occurs:
        • in activities in which students may be out of sight for periods of time and the location of the teacher is not nearby (for example, alpine skiing, cross-country running). At least one of the following criteria must be in place:
          • The teacher is circulating
          • The location of teacher has been communicated to students and volunteers
        • in single activities and those that may be combined (for example, other in- the- area activities such as badminton, table tennis, handball – wall) with the following criteria in place:
          • The teacher must be circulating between the activities and readily accessible
          • The teacher informs students of the location of the activities
    • Curricular example: During a track and field session, some students are involved in high jump, some are practising relay passing on the track while a third group is distance running around the school. For distance running, the students are running around the school and at times may be out of sight.
    • Intramural example: During a school outdoor special events day, some students are involved in parachute games, some in relay games, and others in a team scavenger hunt around the school. For a scavenger hunt, the students are running around the school grounds and at times may be out of sight.
    • On-site Supervision:
      • On-site supervision entails teacher presence but not necessarily constantly viewing one specific activity. Momentary presence in adjoining rooms (for example, equipment room) to the gym is considered part of “on-site supervision”.
      • Curricular example: During a track and field session, some students are involved in high jump, some are practising relay passing on the track while a third group is distance running around the school. For a relay, the students are practising on the track and can be seen by the teacher who is with the high jumpers.
      • Intramural example: During a school outdoor special events day, some students are involved in parachute games, some in relay games, and others in a team scavenger hunt around the school. For relay games, the students are participating on the playground and can be seen by the intramural supervisor.

Mon, 09/13/21 07:33 am

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