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School Board due to consider three extended field trip requests

Meeting on Thursday, January 20 at 6:30 p.m., the ISD 833 School Board is due to consider three extended student field trips for students in the district, with each successive trip further from home, as defined in terms of Washington County. With a jazz band trip, golf team trip, and Spanish Club outing (to Costa Rica), here are some things that ISD 833 students could be looking forward to in months to come, pending board approval of the consent agenda item, with such agenda items considered “routine and non-controversial” by the board, and thus approved by a single motion.

Starting out the field trip review and with the official form filled out December 17 by the band directors at East Ridge, Woodbury, and Park High Schools, is a request for a trip by the jazz bands from the three schools to the University of Minnesota – Duluth, for an overnight stay to last from March 18 to 19 of this year.

Asked in the application to state the educational value of the overnight field trip, the band directors for each high school share that UMD is a “realistic post-secondary option” for many students and that the trip will include a music clinic with music professors from UMD. Taking two motorcoach buses to the city that sees ships arrive from across the world, the trip to UMD by local jazz band students leaves March 18 from Woodbury High School including 90 students, four directors, and eight chaperones, returning at 7:00 p.m. the following day. With full payment needed by March 20, the jazz bands for ISD 833 high schools, should be in for a treat.

“If this cost is truly a hardship or you have other concerns, please contact your director,” the application by the band directors says. “We would like for everyone to be able to participate.” Following the jazz band request, meanwhile, is one on behalf of East Ridge Girls Varsity Golf players.

Requesting permission to take to the road from March 31 to April 3 of this year, the group of 13 students with three adult advisors will be playing golf at Kansas City, Missouri, staying at what the application designates a “VBRO” in a quiet and safe neighborhood. With Head Coach Kathy Madden submitting the trip application on January 5, the out-of-state golf outing is deemed to promote team camaraderie and team bonding as additional benefits. The cost per student is $212 for three nights lodging plus $100 for golf, leaving from the local area in school vans during the early a.m. of March 31, and returning in the later afternoon to early evening of April 3.

For those seeking a truly far-off getaway of extended duration, though, what’s planned for students in the Spanish program at East Ridge may just be the one to beat, with Spanish students in grades 9 through 12 at East Ridge High School looking to head out for Costa Rica in July 2022, with an estimated departure time and date of July 14 at 8 a.m.

Traveling to Costa Rica by airline and on the ground in Costa Rica within the country by coach bus, the students from East Ridge will be accompanied by teachers Michele Salinas and Natalie Bird along with four parent chaperones on the professionally guided tour booked through Education First, with a company website at https:// www.eftours.com/ .

Stated goals of the extended field trip across northern Costa Rica include to immerse in the Spanish language through guided tours, along with exploration, food and interactive activities, and finally learning about the history and natural environment of the Central American country. Natural environment stops for field trip participants include visits to Tortuguera on the country’s Gulf coast with nesting sea turtles, Arenal located northwest of San José with kayaking, a waterfall, hot springs, and a “looming volcano,” and finally to Guanacaste on the Pacific with a diverse array of plants and animals “set against a backdrop of beaches and forested bluffs.”

Tentative return date for Costa Rica travelers is July 23, with all three extended field trips by land and air go before the ISD 833 school board for final review tonight.

January 19, 2022