Trustees Trip Over Field Trips

Test scores or field trips? On Thursday it was field trips that
got board members talking
Gilroy – David McRae sighed. He was visibly frustrated.

“When we talk about low math scores I don’t hear that it’s because the wrestling team went on a trip,” said the Gilroy Unified School District trustee. “It’s confusing to me why we’re spending so much time on field trips.”

So much time wasn’t an exaggeration. The board members spent 40 minutes debating the pluses and minutes of field trips, before unanimously approving 12 requests from Gilroy High School.

McRae said schools are dealing with so many actual issues that he doesn’t understand why field trips have become such a sticking point. Discussing every single field trip in such length is called micromanaging, he said.

Trustee Jaime Rosso agreed that questioning every single trip is not productive.

Trustee Pat Midtgaard said she’s not trying to micromanage, she’s simply concerned about field trips contributing to the absentee rate.

Board members Tom Bundros and Rhoda Bress said the loss of instruction time when students travel out-of-town during the week is a concern.

Bundros said he’s also worried about the number of day trips.

Trustee TJ Owens, who attended college on an athletic scholarship, said that extra-curricular activities are an important part of high school, and sports teams and school clubs are the groups usually taking field trips.

All of the requests on Thursday’s agenda were from the Gilroy High School band or athletic teams.

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