Foreign travel will remain a practice in Summit schools

Kathryn Turner
Summit Daily News

Foreign travel will stay as it is for Summit School District students: a school-sponsored activity.

The Summit School District Board of Education decided Tuesday to keep the practice after district administration suggestion to nix it, citing “increased foreign issues, as well as the district liability concerning foreign travel,” according to a memo to the board.

If the policy suggestion had gone through, students would have had to plan trips around school breaks and hire a liability company to cover them in case anything happened. But if, for example, the band went as a group, they would have still been able to wear their Summit uniforms.

“I really feel that travel is an enriching experience,” board member J. Kent McHose said Tuesday night. And, because of the International Baccalaureate, children in Summit Schools are studying other countries starting at a young age, he said.

The policy recommendation came in the wake of other districts around the country, which are now changing their policies to nix school-sponsored foreign travel due to liability issues, superintendent Heidi Pace told the board at a March meeting.

Tuesday night was the third time the re-written policy went before the board, which wanted more information from neighboring districts before they voted on it. Out of the six school districts staff talked to – Park, Aspen, Denver, Jeffco, Boulder and Cherry Creek – only Park does not allow school-sponsored foreign travel.

“There’s risk in everything. I think it’s a matter of how you manage the risk,” board member Dave Miller said Tuesday.

Board members Sheila Groneman and Sue Wilcox both commented that their minds were made up after hearing that neighboring school districts still sponsor foreign travel.

“I could not take that away from what we offer in terms of educational opportunities,” Groneman said.

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