Parents object to East Allegheny's new field trip policy

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Two mothers objected to the East Allegheny school board on Monday about a change in the district's policy on field trips.

School directors had changed the policy so that only field trips with educational value would be approved. Trips eliminated included bowling field trips that were given as rewards to students who did well on their Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests.

Melodi Janosko said that she thinks reward field trips affect the motivation of students to study to do well on their PSSA tests.

Karen Hensler, East Allegheny school board vice president, said directors were concerned because they realized students were spending a lot of non-instructional time out of the classroom. Directors said they did not eliminate all field trips - now, teachers must just demonstrate the educational value of trips before they are approved.

Ms. Hensler said rather than rewarding students who read 25 books with a field trip, directors are considering rewarding them with a book instead.

Dawn Richardson-Frank, president of the Logan Middle School Parent Teacher Organization, said research done by education professors indicates field trips have educational value whether they are to Carnegie Museum or to something like bowling.

Field trips get students out in the community, help them learn to think critically, and help them to be better citizens, Ms. Richardson-Frank said.

School Director Roxanne Sakoian Eichler said directors will look at the research Ms. Richardson-Frank collected.


Anne Cloonan, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com .


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