Charter School families, this news is HUGE!
I’m a mom of three and my oldest just started kindergarten this year. In her reminder to families about end-of-year funding utilization, our Education Specialist (ES) was good enough to let us know about a new vender on our school’s Approved Vendor List, Explorer Field Trips.
Note: Taylor of All Trades does not have an affiliation with Explorer Field Trips and is not being paid to advertise for them.
Here’s how it works:
- If Explorer Field Trips is an approved vendor with your charter school (which can be arranged if they are not already), you take a look at their website to determine which field trip you’d like your child(ren) to attend. They have so, so many options, ranging from theme parks to museums to fairs to discovery centers (here is a quick snapshot of a small number of field trips offered by Explorer Field Trips, but they offer so many more and can create custom field trips upon request)…
- Once you determine how much your trip will cost based on the field trip you would like to take (and how many vouchers you will need), you submit a Purchase Order to your charter school and they will process payment to Explorer Field Trips. It took roughly two weeks from the time I submitted my PO to my ES for me to receive my Voucher e-mail from Explorer Field Trips.
- When Explorer Field Trips receives funding for your child(ren) from your charter school, they will send you an e-mail with specific instructions about how to redeem your vouchers as well as a link to the printable Field Trip Guide your child(ren) will complete during the trip. Each Field Trip guide includes prompts for the four core learning categories: Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies – the Physical Education requirement is also present in most of these field trips because of the high level of activity involved in the children experiencing everything there is for them to see and do (here’s a snapshot of one of the Disneyland pages…
- One you receive the e-mail from Explorer Field Trips, you will follow the Voucher Redemption Link provided in the e-mail and they will get digital tickets to you within a few days if they are able to. If they are required to receive actual tickets from the participating venue, they will get those printed tickets to you within two weeks. They do suggest that you request your tickets at least two weeks before your intended trip date(s) to avoid any issues receiving your tickets in time.
- While on the field trip, your child(ren) will complete the Field Trip Guide and you will submit it to your ES as a sample at your next meeting. Explorer Field Trips may also require you to submit receipts for their wrap-up, so please confirm with them via e-mail inquiry (firstname.lastname@example.org). They have a lightening fast response time, so don’t hesitate to submit any questions you may have at any time!
- One last note: All charter schools will have their own set of limitations for things like this. For instance, our charter school will only approve one theme park field trip per student per semester and there is a cap on the amount they will approve for each child, so you couldn’t request a month-long trip to Disney World or anything like that. Our charter also does not approve any trips involving transportation by boat. It will be best for you to check with your ES about your charter’s parameters for these trips to avoid any issues down the road.
Otherwise, that’s it! I cannot tell you how thrilling this is for our family! I am blessed to have been introduced to my charter by my sister so we are already planning family field trips through Explorer Field Trips and the kids are over the moon about it!
Until Next Time My Friends,
The Taylor of All Trades