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Appendix - Safety Considerations


  1. Severe/Inclement Weather
    1. Generally outdoor activities will not be held during inclement weather, however, should inclement weather arise after departure, alternative activities must be planned. However, alternative activities must not fall under the category of “High Risk Activities” whereby parental informed consent must be attained.
    2. During severe weather or poor driving conditions, principals must ensure that weather and road conditions are conductive to travel before students leave for an off-site activity trip.
    3. On return trips, the lead teacher must verify weather and road conditions.
    4. Students must be appropriately clothed for travel during the winter as determined by the lead teacher.
  2. Water Activities
    1. All participants involved in sailing or boating activities must:
      1. Have swimming skills commensurate with the activity; and
      2. Wear a Transport Canada approved lifejacket or Personal Floatation Device.
    2. For activities involving canoeing and sailing the activity must meet or exceed the Safety Guidelines for Physical Activity in Alberta Schools.
    3. When canoe trips take place on lakes or rivers, the lead teacher must have visited the site prior to the trip, and be familiar with the proposed route and the seasonal conditions at the time of the trip.
    4. Adequate instruction and demonstration must be given to all participants involved before allowing the participants to undertake any water-related activity.
  3. Swimming Pools
    1. Students may not use swimming pools on off-site activities unless there is prior signed parental informed consent and a lifeguard on duty.
    2. If parental informed consent has been attained but the facility operator does not provide a lifeguard at a swimming pool, students may only use the swimming pool if the school provides a lifeguard with current certification in National Lifeguard Service (NLS), Standard First Aid, and CPR Basic Rescuer for every fifty (50) participants using the swimming pool.
  4. Remote or Wilderness Areas:
    1. In a remote or wilderness area, the lead teacher must:
      1. Acquire sufficient awareness of and information about the proposed site(s) of the activity to make safety assessment for the activity as detailed in Form 260-2;
      2. Use professional guides when appropriate or as directed by the trip approving authority, (Principal or Superintendent as applicable);
      3. Establish and communicate class safety and emergency procedures to all participants;
      4. Ensure that appropriate communication devices are taken on the trip;
      5. Ensure constant communication with the group and access to external communication as needed;
      6. Be familiar with the nearest accessible medical station and telephone service;
      7. Notify local area authorities, such as RCMP, forestry or park officials or other persons in the area; and
      8. Obtain fire permits, fishing and other licenses and area use permission where required.
    2. In a remote or wilderness area, if a group splits into two (2) or more independent traveling groups, each group must have a teacher in charge. Independent traveling groups do not include groups of two (2) or more high school students conducting course related field studies in an area designated by the teacher in area of study, re-assembly procedures and timelines, and emergency procedures applicable to the situation.
  5. Mountain Biking
    1. Mountain biking is permitted within urban and suburban areas on designated roadways, quiet residential streets near the school, bicycle pathways and trails at established parks.
    2. Backcountry mountain biking is not permitted unless professional guides are employed.
  6. Skiing and Snowboarding
    1. Downhill skiing and snowboarding are acceptable activities for students as long as all of the following conditions have been met:
      1. Conditioning activities have occurred in physical education classes, or as part of a fitness program leading up to the skiing or snowboarding activity;
      2. Skiing or snowboarding are part of a well balanced yearly program, and reflect the school’s commitment to a quality physical education program; and
      3. For novices, the activity includes at least one (1) mandatory lesson at the beginning of each day on a ski hill.
    2. Downhill skiing and snowboarding activities must be conducted in accordance with the applicable Safety Guidelines for Physical Activity in Alberta Schools.
    3. School sponsored downhill skiing and snowboarding activities shall be restricted to Grades 4-12. Only commercially operated ski facilities with suitable teaching areas, (gentle slopes) are to be used. The area is to be patrolled by members of a recognized ski patrol. The guidelines in the Safety Guidelines for Physical Activity in Alberta Schools must be followed. An individual consent form is required for skiing that informs parents of the nature of activity including the need for appropriate clothing and sunscreen.


Sections 1, 18, 20, 45, 60, 61, 113 School Act

Traffic Safety Act

Safety Guidelines for Physical Activity in Alberta Schools

Safety Guidelines for Secondary Inter-School Athletics in Alberta

Physical Education Safety Guidelines