Band trip to Hawaii in question |

Band trip to Hawaii in question

SUMMIT COUNTY – One week after members of the Summit Singers and their parents asked the school board to reconsider Superintendent Wes Smith’s decision to cancel the group’s trip to Italy, Marina Larson updated the school board on the high school band trip to Hawaii.

“We still want to go as conditions stand right now,” said Larson, a parent of one of the band members.

Two weeks ago, Smith announced his decision to cancel the Summit Singers’ trip to Italy and a middle school trip to Washington D.C. He based his decision on legal and moral responsibilities, he said. It was too soon to include the high school band’s June trip among the cancellations, but Smith said band members and their parents should be aware that it is a possibility.

The Summit Singers and the middle schoolers went ahead with their trips after the school board agreed they could travel with no connection or liability to the school district.

But Larson and the parents she met with last week would rather have their children travel under the auspices of the school and the district, Larson said.

“Our kids would like to say they’re from Summit High School,” she said. “We also want to make sure we have performance viability.”

The band group has until May 1 to cancel its trip and still get a refund, Smith said. Should the group choose not to cancel the trip by that time, it risks losing its money as the school board may be forced to cancel it.

“I truly hope that (the situation) improves dramatically between now and June,” Smith said. “While very hopeful, I have no reasons to believe it will … unless the war has ended by then. But then there are other concerns.”

According to Smith, the war in Iraq and associated travel risks are not the only concerns he and the board will consider when it comes time for the band members to depart for Hawaii. There also is the emerging severe acute respiratory syndrome epidemic, which may be of particular concern since Hawaii is a common stopover for travelers from Asia.

Larson and the other band parents are keeping all three factors in mind as they consider whether they wish to cancel the trip or allow their children to travel to Hawaii.

“We are trying very hard to be conscious and responsible about this,” Larson said.

In the meantime, Larson suggested, the school board might consider updating the district’s travel policy.

“I think you don’t let loose a school trip again,” she said.

Lu Snyder can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or

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