Mesa Public School Transportation Department
Field Trip Coordinator
Annette – 480-472-0164
Emergency/After hours phone 602-826-0162
FIELD TRIP NEWS
How to Have a Great Field Trip
Field trips are one of our students’ favorite things about school
Where do you want to go? Please provide a complete street address and city for our drivers, include additional stops (lunch at park, etc.) addresses too.
When do you wants to go? Most field trips occur between 9:00 am and 1:30pm due to buses and drivers needed for their regular bus routes. On Wednesday trips need to return to schools by 1:00pm for the early release times. Book your trip 3-4 weeks in advance to be sure of trip driver availability. Remember Closed Dates are very restricted.
All drivers have to complete their routes before starting field trips.
What are CLOSED DATES? Closed dates are reserved by District programs for large events like Step Up Day, Creative Arts performances, end of grading periods and Professional Development Day. Trips on these dates are restricted to 9:00 am – 1:30pm due to the large number of buses and drivers needed for these district wide field trips. Please call the Field Trip office to see if we can accommodate your group’s trip on a CLOSED date.
Confirmations for Charters: You will receive Charter company confirmations that will be e-mailed to secretary and/or teacher/chaperone. See Charter Newsletter for more details.
Confirm your field trips: Please confirm your field trip a few days before by calling the Field Trip office 480-472-1064 during office hours (approx. 7:00am-3:30pm). Secretaries can confirm a trip is booked by looking up the trip on OBARS or calling 480-472-0164. If you have requested a bus and don’t need it please call the Field Trip office and cancel it before the day of the trip. This will free up a driver to do another field trip. If the bus has left the yard you will be charged a cancellation fee of $100 per bus. If a charter is wanted be sure to specify that on the trip request. Costs for Charters run approximately $100 per hour depending on location. Confirm all sports trips on mesasports.org or Kay in Athletics Tuesday thru Thursday 8:00am – 2:00pm.
Teachers and Chaperone Responsibilities: There must be a teacher or adult chaperone on all Field Trips with students for safety reasons. The chaperone will be attentive to the needs of the students and be the students’ primary adult contact. Chaperone and teachers are responsible for the student behavior. Only MPS students who are approved for a particular activity, assigned sponsors, coaches and instructors are permitted to ride activity buses. Other family members, friends, spouses, relatives, or other interested persons, are not authorized to ride District buses including District assigned Charter Buses. Please include chaperone’s cell phone number on all trips.
How many students fit on a school bus? 55 students will fit in a full size bus with two students/adults to a seat. Elementary students can fit three students/adults to a seat for a total of 72. All field trips are on full size buses unless wheelchair/mini busses are requested.
How do I get under storage for (sports equipment, band instruments, etc) on my Field Trip bus? When the trip is entered into the system, just add the comment “under storage needed” in the PICK UP line on the request online. The driver will be aware they need to get a bus with storage. Buses with under storage are limited at all yards.
How do I change dates/times/cancel/etc on my Field Trip once it’s on the system? Once the trip is on the system changes can be made by the person who entered the trip BEFORE the trip is approved. After approval, call the Field Trip office to make changes.
How much does a Field Trip cost? Mesa school buses charge $3 per mile for fuel and $22.95 an hour for the driver. Please include one hour prior and one hour after the field trip for bus care. Total costs will vary depending on time, distance and extra stops. Count mileage starting at the bus yard to your school then to and from the event, and back to the bus yard. Remember to sign and note the time on the trip sheet.
Plan your field trip times carefully to allow plenty of time to drive to and from your destination. Remember rush hour and the afternoon routes to take students home after their school day. Turn in your Bus Request form to your school secretary at least a month before the trip date. Check with your secretary or call the Field Trip office to confirm your trip a few days before. Be on time for your pick up at school in the designated pick up area. Note where you want to be picked up on the bus request form. If your group isn’t ready have someone run out to the bus and let the driver know you will be a few minutes late. Be on time for the return trip back to the school. All buses and drivers must be back to home schools by 1:30pm and on Wednesday by 1:00pm unless special arrangements have been made with the Field Trip office in advance. Remember your driver is part of the Mesa Schools team so include the driver in the event you are going to. Tickets to the game/event and snacks are appreciated by the drivers.
What if my Field Trip bus is late? Please be patient and wait 10 minutes before calling to check on your bus. Make sure you are waiting where you requested the pickup. Check other bus zones at your school before calling the office. Call the Field Trip office and I can check with dispatch for you.
While on your trip: Please give your teacher/chaperone’s cell phone on the field trip form so your driver can call you if needed. Parking maps and driver instructions should be given directly to your bus driver on the day of the trip. Return time is the time you will arrive back to your home school. Communicate with your driver on pick up times. Please keep your stated time as other trips and school routes are happening the same day. Remember your driver may have to leave while your event is going on to complete their routes or other field trips. This is why your return to school times need to be as accurate as possible. Allow extra time for your trip if the times are during rush hour.
Van/Buses Info: Jr. and Sr. High Schools have vans and activity buses for the use for school field trips. Contact the school secretary for details and to reserve them. Reserve early. There is no charge for vans or fuel. Contact Bus/Van Training at 480-308-7571 for 2-3 hour training certificate that is required. District vans can be reserved by calling Stapley yard at 480-472-0193.
Arizona warm weather field trips information: Advance preparation is the best way to have a safe and comfortable Field trip during our warm Arizona weather. A water bottle, even if room temperature, can provide much needed relief from the hot weather and cool the body core temperature. It is a good idea to have ample supply of water and snacks on the buses for the students, parents and staff to be provided by the program. Encourage students to bring extra water, wear hats and use of sunscreens. For some students who are medically fragile and/or sensitive to temperature changes, it may be in the student best interest not to ride on extremely hot days. The decision of whether a student rides or not will remain with the principal and/or the parents.