All students deserve the opportunities and growth field trips bring


Juliana Castro, C. K. McClatchy High School

Is it right that not all C.K. McClatchy High School students have experienced a field trip? 

The lack of funding and effort into planning school field trips for students who are not taking advanced language classes or in an academy McClatchy offers was brought to my attention when my journalism class planned our own field trip.

Some classmates mentioned it was their first, including a fellow editor, junior Jaida Cohen. She took the initiative and planned a field trip for the journalism class. Her fellow editors voted to let her pick where she wanted to adventure out to, within our budget. 

On May 18, the journalism class went on a field trip to an ice cream shop called Sweet and Sugars – in order to have an interactive and fun experience after all the hard work they had done. We all ordered and reviewed different items on the menu and created a fun photo series. 

After the trip Cohen said, “As my first field trip it was great, It wasn’t educational but I had a good time with my friends and it was an exciting change of pace from my unexciting school routine.”

The academies offered at McClatchy are the Air Force Junior ROTC Unit (JROTC), Humanities International Studies Program (HISP), Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA), Law and Public Policy Academy (LPPA), and the Criminal Justice Academy (CJA). For students who are not a part of the academies or not in classes that include field trips as part of their curriculum it is much less likely for the students to experience learning outside of the classroom. 

Cohen was not part of any of the academies offered at McClatchy because she transferred late to the school. She did not have the opportunity to join VAPA or to participate in any AP level language classes that offer field trips outside of the country because she feared falling behind after her late transfer. 

“I think general education doesn’t offer field trips because of lack of funding and the teachers don’t care enough,” Cohen said. “My English teacher last year said it would be too much work to find chaperones and do everything.” 

As a HISP student, I had had the privilege of experiencing a field trip through the academy but never in any class outside of the program. 

Mia Miyata-Rodriguez, a senior HISP student, also considers field trips a privilege. “If a field trip is educational it should be part of the curriculum,” she said. 

In her experience, Miyata-Rodriguez said, “field trips are more interactive and more memorable than a lecture or completing a homework assignment. HISP classes offer field trips to plays and a field trip to the courthouse our senior year to understand government better with a real life reenactment of a court case, which has been my favorite of them all.”

Cohen said, “I definitely think field trips should be a part of our curriculum. It would raise students’ motivation for school and be bonding for the class. Every adult I’ve told we don’t have field trips is shocked and disappointed. Going out into the world and learning through more than lectures is an integral component of education.”

“It is true that any teacher who wishes to offer a field trip is encouraged to do so,” said McClatchy principal Andrea Egan. “I will work with the teacher to figure out how much they can cover costs and secure transportation. And any teacher can initiate a field trip and make it part of their curriculum.”

However, she added, “it is not enforced nor mandated by the district to ensure field trips are part of curriculums for all subjects.”

In response to knowing many students have never experienced a field trip, Egan said, “I don’t like it, and I actually called that out to the School Site Council. I’ve proposed language in the 2023-24 School Plan to include the ability for the site to help support field trips outside of academies if teachers wish to initiate a trip.” 

Hopefully, her plan will be approved.