The Board of Education believes that foreign student exchange programs provide valuable educational experiences for students. Foreign travel programs allow Niskayuna students to travel abroad under the supervision of Niskayuna chaperones but do not involve attendance at a foreign school nor foreign student exchange.
Foreign travel of significant educational value will be permitted when approved by the high school principal, the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, and the Board of Education. Board approval is required prior to any presentations to students or parents. In order to participate in district approved foreign travel of more than two-nights duration students must either have completed the ninth grade or upon application be granted special dispensation by the high school principal.
The intended learning outcomes and the expected code of conduct for foreign travel shall be carefully defined and reviewed in advance of the trip itself. To this end, requests for foreign travel shall be submitted in accordance with guidelines developed by the Superintendent. Requests shall include the justification for the travel, provision for adequate insurance, and parental assurance that they will provide prompt transportation home in the event that their child does not follow the instruction of the chaperones or requires an early return home for other reasons.
Out-of-country trips should be conducted during school vacation periods or immediately following the school year. It is expected that out-of-country travel shall be conducted during school vacation periods. However, for trips of exceptional educational value, up to five school days may be used as part of such a trip. Should an exception be made, there must be no conflict between missed school days and Regents examinations. The cost of such trips is the responsibility of the participating students.
One official chaperone per seven students is required. Such chaperones must be either (1) current or previous employees of the district or their accompanying spouses or (2) persons expressly approved by the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction.
Participants in the district’s out-of-country travel programs shall be limited to Niskayuna students and official chaperones and – with Board approval – students from other school districts. At least one chaperone shall be provided by each participating school district.
Participants in district sponsored foreign travel programs must participate in the district’s district’s insurance program. The fee and coverage shall be described in the travel program materials. Students may acquire additional personal coverage from other sources but such coverage is not a substitute for the required district insurance.
The district shall not sponsor or promote foreign travel other than during or immediately following the school year.