Staff make preparations for spring fine arts field trip


Myah Lear

Time To Play Orchestra director Kelly Detwiler conducts the string ensemble.

This spring, the fine arts department will be going on a trip to New York. The different groups going include orchestra, band, chorus and the drama club. While planning the trip, advisers have to figure out a number of things including paying for nurses, planning activities and getting coverage for teachers’ classes.

The fine arts department didn’t pay for the school nurses to join on the trip. Instead they used another method for getting nurses on the field trip.

“Sometimes there are parents that are registered nurses, but we also have a couple of nurses that we just know that have done it before,” band director Larry Detwiler said. “We just contact them and they just do the nursing for us.”

While the advisers may plan the trip, the cost for students attending the trip falls to the students.

“What we do is we figure out the price of the trip, and we put it out to the students,” Detwiler said. “If they want to do it, they do it either through paying or through fundraising or a combination of both.”

While fundraising was available to all students, some chose to just pay the fee out of pocket.

“I’m already doing a bunch of fundraisers for the France trip because that’s coming up in June,” senior Makilee Woomer said. “I really wanted to put my focus on that because it’s $5,000 compared to around $300. I would choose to fundraise for the $5,000 because I have $300 right now.”

Myah Lear

Some of the different expenses for the trip are covered by the school budget.

“[Teacher coverage] is actually part of our school budget,” Detwiler said. “We’re covered as part of our budget because we’re traveling with the kids.”

During the planning process, advisers and chaperones have to go through some steps to get a field trip approved. The fine arts department first has to reach out to and work with Performing Arts Consultants (PAC).

“PAC will put the trip together and tell me what the price is so I can go to the school district to get permission. I give them information such as telling them the price and the dates for the field trip,” Detwiler said. “Once the school district gives me permission, then it’s the student side of the paperwork, which is like permission slips, parents, signing off med forms, all those normal things that go with a trip.”

To have a group of students go on a school trip, it first has to be approved by both the school board and the administration.

“We actually have a field trip form,” Detwiler said. ”The way it goes through is when I’m done with it, it gets signed by an assistant principal, then gets signed by the principal and then it gets signed by the superintendent. If you’re doing a trip that’s within Blair County, and not overnight, that’s as far as it has to go. If you leave Blair County, or you stay overnight, then it has to go to the school board. So once the superintendent signs it, then it goes to the school board, and it’s discussed at the next school board meeting.”

For some students, it will be their first time going to experience New York, and Detwiler is happy he gets to make that experience happen for them.

“I’m excited. It’s always fun,” Detwiler said. “It’s always really neat because a lot of the students haven’t been in Times Square. It’s like it’s one of those moments where it’s like ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve always seen Times Square like on New Year’s Eve and things’ and you’re looking around you’re like ‘Oh my gosh, this is what it looks like on TV’ because a lot of them haven’t been in Times Square before. Then any show on Broadway is unbelievable.”

One of the issues that occurred when planning the trip was that “Hadestown” would no longer be shown on Broadway. To remedy this problem, “Sweeney Todd” was offered in its place or students could choose to see a different show.

“I was upset because I really wanted to see ‘Hadestown’, but it’s fine,” Woomer said. “I’ve decided to see ‘Wicked’ instead, which was my number two [option].”

According to Woomer, the fine arts trip last year could have been organized better, but she believes this year’s trip will be better.

“Because it’s only a day trip, I don’t think it will be as bad,” Woomer said. “It’s not like we’re going all the way down south to Florida and being away from home for like almost a week. I think it could go either way, but I think it’ll be fine.”

While the students that have chosen to attend the trip are aware of when it is happening, some students don’t know much about how the day is going to play out.

“I haven’t really given much thought to the situation, but it does make me a little nervous since the entire duration of the trip is only going to be a day long and I feel like with our schedule being jam packed like that it can be a little more susceptible of something going wrong and the trip being ruined,” senior Alison Keirn said.