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Livingstone Range School Board trustees urge caution in international travel

Livingstone Range School Division will not cancel international travel plans made by its schools, but officials are urging caution and parents to research cancellation policies.
Superintendent Dave Driscoll raised the issue of international travel at the Dec. 8 school board meeting.
Driscoll explained all school divisions are wondering what is safe and what is not, given the situation in parts of the world.
Driscoll has talked to schools who are travelling and encouraged them to look at the trip company’s cancellation policy.
Driscoll also received clarification from the division’s insurance company on their stance.
Driscoll recommended schools need to communicate clearly with parents.
Cancellation may come from the school or the school board.
Student travel companies also can work to realign trips to something else.
Driscoll was now looking for direction from the board.
Chairman Brad Toone said he attended a recent meeting of Westwind School Board. They have cancelled all travel outside Canada and the United States for two years.
Trustee Clara Yagos asked about student exchanges.
Driscoll responded there are no more after these for two years.
Trustee Martha Ratcliffe asked about travel clubs.
Driscoll replied there are two. One is to Greece and Italy, while the other is to Paris, France.
Trustee Shannon Scherger asked about the process.
Driscoll said schools send their requests to the superintendent for approval.
There is a government of Canada Web site that issues travel advisories where travel is not recommended.
Student travel organizations work with schools to reschedule and accommodate circumstances that arise.
Driscoll noted the process at each school may be different, but the request process to the superintendent is the same for everyone across the division.
Scherger said the board has to support students, and she does not agree with what Westwind is doing.
The board indicated Driscoll will ensure schools meet with parents, pass on information, and ensure they have reviewed cancellation policies.
The trip’s safety will be reviewed with parents, and any concerns from parents will be reported back.
The board will look at this issue again at its February meeting.