Administration creates new field trip policy

Maia D'Amoto, Staff Writer

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A new field trip policy, new procedures, and new school employees are all designed to increase student safety, according to administration.

There are new rules and procedures for off-campus activities. President Paul Turnbull sent out a letter earlier this school year including the updated safety procedures. 

  • All non-athletic activities or events will be subjected to a double-layered review process that includes consideration of water safety and proximity. 
  • Mid-Pacific now employs a full-time, certified lifeguard, as well as additional lifeguard-certified faculty members.  
  • All non-athletic activities or events that involve swimming will require the presence of at least one certified lifeguard. 
  • For non-athletic activities or events, the use of watercraft that is not the property of Mid-Pacific will not be allowed. 

Mid-Pacific’s new safety committee created a more thorough field trip form for teachers. The committee was established at the end of last school year and the form has been in place since, said high school principal Paul Passamonte. 

“It guides the teacher or the person that wanted to request the field trip … through some questions and a checklist so that they’re thinking about those [potential risks] before they take a group to that particular location,” said Passamonte.

Zachary Severson, 10th grade, went on a field trip to the City’s H-POWER waste-to-energy plant in Campbell Industrial Park for MPx 10.

“I didn’t really feel more safe since it was just on the paper. We didn’t really incorporate that into the field trip,” said Severson. 

Passamonte said the form has given an opportunity to form better trips with safety in mind. An estimated 50 trips have been carried out since last year.

“I think where this new form benefits is it just puts another layer of safety and another layer of accountability in place,” said Passamonte.

Mid-Pacific recently hired a Safety and Compliance Officer, Christi-Anne Kudo Chock. Kudo Chock further enhanced safety procedures and ensured compliance with all safety guidelines, the letter stated.

MPX teacher, Gregg Kaneko, said the previous policy provided ample protection for Mid-Pacific students. 

“For the actual safety of the students, I don’t really think [the new policy] does much because we were already really safe,” said Kaneko.

The new policy might have an affect on future field trips. 

“I do think that there will be activities that we used to do that will be harder to do,” said Kaneko.

According to teacher Billie Napoleon, the new policy makes teachers more aware of their students’ safety.

 “The new form requires teachers to really think about … what might pose as a threat or be harmful to students which is a good thing because if you’re already enumerating those things then you’ll be more aware of how to keep students safe,” said Napoleon.

Napoleon said the new policy doesn’t hinder the field trips.

“The new policy didn’t affect … the field trip, it didn’t make the field trip less than, but as a teacher it made me more aware,” said Napoleon. 

“I went on a trip to H Power for MPX 10

I didn’t really feel more safe since it was just on the paper. We didn’t really incorporate that into the field trip”