The difficulties with International School trips within OPS

MaRaya White, In-Depth Editor

In attempt to expand the learning environment beyond the beige, plain walls of Omaha North’s classrooms, several organizations plan trips to various locations that would be beneficial for the students; a variety of the trips are International. Although, many of the organizations that plan international trips have difficulty getting those trips approved.

VEX Robotics is a one example of those organizations. VEX is a program at Omaha North High in which students build robots and form teams to compete in competitions. In August 2017, they took an international trip to China.

James Musil, Curriculum Supervisor of the Skilled Technical Department and Jeremy Weimer, teacher at Omaha North High took initiative with getting the trip approved.

Weimer took the first steps toward getting the trip approved by assuring the basic forms for the trip were filled out by students such as the health form and the standard permission slip.

Musil handled the more serious task of getting the overall trip approved. When first learning of the trip he consulted with the Ex-Assistant Super Intendant, Dr. ReNae Kehrberg. She advised and guided him through the process.

“I consulted with ReNae to decide what steps to take and ask for her guidance in the right direction.” said Musil.

Musil first submitted a request to travel to the district which had to be approved by the executive Directors board.

Within the process he had a set back with the travel requests. The location and date of the competition changed. The original date changed from July to August which interfered with the first week of school.

After being reapproved for the request to travel, Musil then took steps to be approved by the Super Intendant. He consulted with Susan Christopherson, Director of Secondary Education Curriculum.

The trip took almost two months for all the factors to come together seeing as how they weren’t ready until the day before their departure. “The process is long tedious and difficult but you have to stay persistent.” said Musil.

Another educational department at Omaha North has faced recent difficulties with the approval of an international school trip. The department will be taking their trip during second semester of the 2017-18 school year.

Originally, the plan for the trip was denied by the district for safety and educational reasons.

The department choose to appeal the denial with a letter stating the purpose of the trip and answering multiple other questions. They also sent an itinerary of the trip, a petition of 30 students interested in the trip, and parent information of the students.

‘The denial created conflict seeing as how we had 30 students interested in the trip when we requested to travel,” a teacher in the department said.

The district just recently approved the department to be able to go on their trip.