In a post put out on Facebook by Long Reach High School Boosters Club:

From HCPSS: Field Trips Reimbursements

HCPSS understands that the decision to cancel out-of-state field trips is not convenient and causes disruption for many students and families. We have received numerous inquiries about potential refunds.

As stated on the field trip permission forms, HCPSS is not responsible for any financial loss related to the cancelation of a field trip, however, please know that our staff is working diligently with our vendors over the next several days to attempt to secure refunds for canceled field trips. HCPSS cannot provide refunds without receiving refunds from individual vendors. Any funds recovered will then be disbursed to families accordingly. There is no guarantee that all vendors will provide reimbursement and we ask for your patience as staff works through this process.

If you have any questions or concerns specific to your child’s field trip, please contact your principal.

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I am guessing this was some type of email communications from HCPSS to families. I checked the HCPSS news site and checked the news article (updated March 12th) “HCPSS Cancels All Out-of-State Field Trips, In-State Field Trips Being Reassessed” and that specific guidance is not noted on the website (that I could find).

I understand the situation HCPSS is in with this issue…and it is not good for anyone that paid in advance for a trip. I am guessing some families paid a decent amount of their money for these trips and the field trip permission form statement of “HCPSS is not responsible for any financial loss related to the cancelation of a field trip” is not going to make people happy if they do not receive refunds for trips their kids were not able to take because of the Coronavirus outbreak.

I hope for the following from either HCPSS or our elected Howard County Board of Education members:

  1. Let the community know which vendors were not willing to provide refunds given the current situation we are in today. That is information I am very interested in learning. I would also be interested to know if HCPSS plans to continue to do business with that vendor in the future.
  2. HCPSS updates their RFP process and contract language when contracting with vendors to handle this type of situation in the future (let us hope we never need it again after this…but better to be prepared just in case).

If HCPSS or the HoCoBOE members provide additional guidance on this topic I will be sure to follow it up on the blog.

As noted above “If you have any questions or concerns specific to your child’s field trip, please contact your principal.

Scott E