Washington, D.C. Trip

 

5/11/2018

Dear 8th Grade Parents/Guardians,

As our Washington, D.C. trip draws near, there are a few items I would like to highlight and ask that you review with your child.

The D.C. trip is a very exciting and educationally-focused trip for our students. The following letter addresses most items that you may have questions about...if there is anything I missed, please ask. Also, please understand there is a great deal of information below (ie, rules). We are taking students across several state lines for a few days, we want to ensure a safe and meaningful trip is provided to your child/ren.

The itinerary provides all times, venues and locations (DC 2018 Itinerary). I ask that all students are at Smith Academy by 6:45 am for a 7 am departure (Friday, 5/18). Please ensure ALL medications are updated and handled via the school nurse. We cannot and will not accept medication the day of the trip.

I would like to speak from experience about a few items and requests prior to our departure. The trip requires a great deal of walking in what sometimes can be very humid weather. I ask that you ensure your student has a comfortable pair of athletic shoes (sneakers), swimming attire, sunblock, and brings an appropriate array of clothing. I strongly discourage flip-flops on days that will require a great deal of walking. Please check the weather prior to our departure (looks like there could be a little rain): ACCUWEATHER.

We are representing our school and the Hatfield community; we want our impression to be one that reflects our community’s ideals. I ask that you do not send students with ripped clothing (sometimes teenage style) or too casual of dress. We are visiting sacred sites which require a conscientious adherence to their significance (ex., Arlington National Cemetery).

Another area that is bound to arise is the appropriate use of technology. I have run into several cases where students will not voluntarily disconnect from gaming devices and cell phones. I ask that you address the need to adhere to chaperone requests surrounding this matter and responsible use of their devices. We enforce the same expectations as we do at Smith Academy. If a student is not appropriately disconnecting; utilizing technology in an inappropriate manner; or causing a significant disruption, we will confiscate the phone and make you aware. Last, we are 100% not responsible for student devices and are unable to search for lost/stolen devices.  

I am also asking that on the day of departure, if it is not too much trouble, could you provide a cooler and a case of water. We will take a few of the larger coolers brought that morning.  Bottles of water sold in D.C. tend to sell for $5 a piece (street vendors). I found it to be a simple solution in keeping students hydrated and to ensure we adhere to our tight schedule. You are more than welcome to send your students with snacks for the bus ride or to keep in their room while on the trip.  Again, not mandatory, but appreciated.

The restaurants and food venues we visit usually provide a fair selection of items to choose from. With that, if your child is a vegetarian, vegan, or follows a restrictive diet I cannot guarantee they will always have a full array of selections. Usually these eateries offer pasta and salads, but it is hard to determine what the final offerings will be. If you have concerns or want another offering for your child, you are encouraged to call the venue and make arrangements prior to our visit (all info. on itenary). There is one food venue that requires your child's selection prior to our visit. Please make your selection for this restaurant HERE. All breakfast and dinner meals are covered in the trips total cost. The only meal not covered is lunch. Traditionally, ten to fifteen dollars for each lunch is more than enough money.

For additional piece of mind, there is a security guard who monitors the hotel hallways where our students are located. This service is provided from “lights out” to our wake up call. All chaperones exchange cell phone numbers with their assigned group for communication purposes.

As covered in the roommate selection correspondence, roommate selection takes a significant role in this trip for the students, but please understand it is actually a very small piece of the trip. Again, new relationships are always formed during this trip. While on the trip if a room becomes a significant problem (behavioral or disruptive) we will re-assign students accordingly.

Last, student teams will be asked to engage in a digital activity while on the trip. It will be a treasure hunt of sorts with all activities posted on our D.C. twitter page: @SAinWashington. This will be a fun way for parents/guardians to be a part of the trip. The page is 100% public and you do not need a twitter account to check-in on the feed.

Trip Chaperones:

1.  Trip Leader: Mr. Andrew Berrios

2.     Mrs. Cindy Kwiecinski

3.     Mr. Matt Brown

4.     Mrs. Shelley Gingras

Respectfully,

Andrew Berrios, Ed.D.

 

 

2/16/2018

 

Dear Parents/Guardians,

 

We will need all PDF iconD.C. Permission Forms completed and submitted by April 27, 2018. Hard copies will handed to your child as well. When completed, please have your child submit to their first period teacher or drop-off in the main office. 

 

If you have medical/heath business to discuss with our Nurse, please communicate with her directly: NURSE

 

All payments should be sent to the Main Office (Attn: Brenda). Any questions/concerns please contact Brenda as well. 

 

As we approach our departure date, more information will be shared concerning the trip and other logistical items. 

 

We are looking forward to a great trip!

 

Respectfully, 

Andrew Berrios, Ed.D. 

 

 

11/27/18

Dear Eighth Grade Parents/Guardians,

   As we approach our annual 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C., I would like to communicate the details and particulars of our trip. This educational opportunity is a fun, valuable learning experience through historic Philadelphia, Washington’s museums, monuments, cultural attractions, and a visit to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. This year’s trip is scheduled for Friday, May 18 to Monday, May 21. The cost per student is significantly subsidized by fundraising activities that the class has sponsored during the last two years and your Smith Academy class dues payments. If you are not up-to-date on your class dues, please submit your payments as soon as possible. The actual cost per student for this year’s trip is roughly $650.00, but class dues and fundraisers allowed us to reduce the cost for each student to $525.00. 

   Parents/guardians who wish to have their 8th grader participate must make a $150.00 down payment on or before March 23, 2018. The remaining balance, and any outstanding class dues from 7th and 8th grade, must be paid, in full, by May 11, 2018. The annual class dues amount is $60.00 per year. Brenda Kempisty or I can answer questions you may have regarding class dues payment and whether one may be eligible for a reduction in the price based on your family’s ability to pay all of the costs associated with the trip. If you need a reminder as to whether you paid your dues for this year or last year, please call us. 

  I have enclosed a draft 2018 Itinerary which contains most of the information one needs to know about the trip; however, for those who decide to attend, you will receive an official 2018 packet as our departure date approaches. It is critical that you read through the information with your child to make sure that he/she understands the expectations we have for students while we are away. Spending time on this now will make for a more enjoyable and successful trip for students, chaperones and parents/guardians.

   Finally, a trip of this type requires that students have shown an age appropriate level of maturity, positive social skills, and a demonstrated ability to understand and follow directions. If the administration deems that a students conduct may compromise the trip, the student will not be invited to attend. This educational opportunity is a privelege for those who have conducted themselves in an appropriate manner throughout the school year. If I have any concerns, I will contact you directly. Again, please be sure to mark all of the deadlines on your calendar. Thank you in advance for helping to make the trip a big success!

*Please note that we have specific procedural safeguards for dispensing medication while on school trips. All medications, including non-prescription medication, must be held and dispensed by one of the SA staff chaperones. Our Health Office has provided specific guidance surrounding our medication procedures listed below this letter. 

Thank you,

Andrew Berrios, Ed.D.

 

Health Office Guidance

Dear Parent/Guardian,

 

 

The field trip to DC is a great experience and I want to ensure your student has access to the medications they need during this trip.  If your child takes medications at home that they may need during this trip it is important that all required (by the MA Department of Public Health) permissions be received in a timely fashion.
All medications, including over the counter (OTC ex: ibuprofen/zyrtec/tums) require 3 things for your child to receive them:
  1. Written MD orders (due on or before Tuesday 5/9).  MEDICATION ORDER FORM
    • Most medical practices will need 4-6 weeks to complete this form. 
  2. Medicine in original container (bring a 4 day supply by 5/15)  
  3. Written parent permission (at time of medication delivery or before)
Please call me if you have any questions.
 
Thanks
Martha Elliott LPN
SA Health Office
413-247-5641

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALL 2017-18 INFO. IS ABOVE THIS POINT ON THE WEBPAGE. 

4/30/17

 

Dear Parents/Guardians, 

Good morning, I hope this email finds you doing well. I am writing to touch base about our fast-approaching WashingtonDC trip. Below you will find pertinent information regarding the trip and several pieces of paperwork we need completed prior to our departure.

1. First Choice Permission 
2. Smith Academy Permission Form 
3. WashingtonDC 2017 Itinerary 
4. Roommate Request Form (Due by Friday, Apr. 28)

*These will also be available on the counter in the main office. Once completed, please have your student drop off at the main office. 

TRIP REQUESTS

I am asking that you speak to your child about appropriate conduct during our trip. We will visit sacred sites which will require maturity and respect from our students. I want to ensure we represent our school community in the highest regard possible. Your support is appreciated. 
 
I have accompanied this trip for many years and ask that you take several things into consideration when packing your child for the trip. First, please ensure your child has a pair of athletic sneakers as we do an extensive amount of walking. I strongly discourage flip flops for this trip – it is inevitable that they will fall apart. Students are welcome to bring flip flops but they should not serve as their primary shoe during our day trips. Second, there is usually a pool at the hotel...if time permits, I try to take the students for a dip. There is usually a lifeguard but I will always supervise to ensure a safe time is enjoyed by those who partake. Please pack a bathing suit if your child is interested. Third, I ask that you send your child with appropriate clothing. We usually dress more formally for the theater show. Also, all breakfasts and dinners are covered in the cost of the trip. You will be responsible for all lunches. Traditionally, $10 dollars is an ample amount for a single lunch. Protection from the sun in the form of sunblock and sunglasses is encouraged. Students are permitted to bring snacks on the bus (peanut-free if possible). If parents/guardians do not mind donating a cooler and case water it is greatly appreciated. If it is not too much trouble, please bring the morning of departure and we will decide on which ones to take (usually the largest available). We will mark with a black marker to ensure your property is returned. Street vendors inflate water prices....we will save money and ensure all students are properly hydrated. We replenish ice each morning at the hotel to keep water cold. Upon our return, any left over water bottles will be donated to future school activities. 
 
Last, please see message from our Nurse's Office:
 

Dear Parent/Guardian,

 

The field trip to DC is a great experience and I want to ensure your student has access to the medications they need during this trip.  If your child takes medications at home that they may need during this trip it is important that all required (by the MA Department of Public Health) permissions be received in a timely fashion.
All medications, including over the counter (OTC ex: ibuprofen/zyrtec/tums) require 3 things for your child to receive them:
  1. Written MD orders (due on or before Tuesday 5/9).  MEDICATION ORDER FORM
    • Most medical practices will need 4-6 weeks to complete this form. 
  2. Medicine in original container (bring a 4 day supply by 5/15)  
  3. Written parent permission (at time of medication delivery or before)
Please call me if you have any questions.
 
Thanks
Martha Elliott LPN
SA Health Office
413-247-5641
 
 


Your support is appreciated! 

 
Any questions, please ask....
 
Chaperone and group lists will accompany roommate information. 
 

Respectfully, 


Andrew M. Berrios, Ed.D.