3 Reasons You Should Automate Your Field Trip Process

Limit Waste

We are all concerned about waste. We teach our students how to limit waste in school.  But, have you ever thought about how schools may be wasting resources through paper intensive processes that can be automated?  Just think of the paper trail required for organizing a field trip.  Some schools still use carbon paper and triplicate copies!  Now, multiply this by the number of field trips in a year.    Paper may not be the only thing that is wasted.

What about food from our cafeterias?  For example, when the 4th grade class is gone on a field trip for the entire day, does the cafeteria get notified or do they prepare food that won’t be eaten?   It’s very easy to overlook this area in a process that requires getting multiple approvals, lining up chaperones, scheduling buses and many other related tasks.  This can be an enormous and unnecessary waste in both the food and the time to prepare the food.

Save Time and Money

The amount of time it takes to plan a 4th grade field trip might surprise you.  Administrators spend con­siderable time with paperwork, telephone calls and emails to manage the school trip planning process.

In addition to the costs that are relatively easy to see, school trips also incur substantial hidden costs. These costs are more difficult to quantify and are not visible on a written receipt. They do, however, add to the expense of arranging school trips.

Teachers’ time: Arranging school trips requires a substantial commitment of time from teachers. They may spend several hours initiating the trip, ensuring that all the required elements are in place (transportation, volunteers, accommodations, etc.), getting approvals secured, and paperwork collected. This is time that teachers might otherwise be spending with students.

Administrators’ time: Several administrators are involved throughout the process of planning school trips.

  • Principals usually review all proposals from teachers.
  • Curriculum professionals might review proposed trips for their academic merit.
  • Volunteer coordinators are involved when non-teacher chaperones are required.
  • Superintendents or assistant superintendents review and approve trip proposals.
  • Administrative assistants in the schools and in the district office track the status of approvals, notify everyone involved, and collect information after trips.
  • Transportation managers need to arrange for buses and drivers.
  • School boards need to review and approve certain school trips if, for example, they are overnight or out-of-state.

Each of these tasks requires forms to be submitted and tracked and can involve multiple phone calls at each step… unless you automate the entire process!  Think of the paper savings, not to mention the reduced amount of time it takes to make all of this happen.  Then multiply this by the number of field and athletic trips you take in a year!  The savings can be very significant when this process is automated.

Safety

We all know about bus safety and train our drivers on safe driving.  But, what if we need to get in touch with one of our drivers on a Saturday or holiday?  How easy is it for you to know where all of the buses are at any given time, especially when you are not in the office?  Weather issues or unexpected circumstances can dictate the need to reach bus drivers quickly.  There may be times when you don’t have time to get to the school and find out if you have a bus out and who is driving.  What do you do when you have only minutes?  Automating the school trip process allows you to access the system from your smart phone or computer and quickly locate buses that are out and contact the driver.  Minutes count at times like this. Watch this short video from Lee County Schools in North Carolina where the Travel Tracker was instrumental in helping when minutes counted.

The Travel Tracker provides field trip software for hundreds of school district across the country and is the premier field trip solution for schools.  Make field trip management easier with the Travel Tracker field trip software.  Contact us for more information or to schedule a demonstration today.

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