Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Apr 24, 2012 at 10:58 am
I do not know the answer to your question. However my experience with our own children and their various trips is that the teachers (i.e., "the organizers") either go for free or at a discount. Same policy (discount) usually goes for the chaperons - which are also included in this particular trip.
I am very familiar with the operations of a local age group sports club. The coaches typically travel for free as the trip fees paid by the families cover those expenses.
I would say that the choir trip is somewhat similar.
Posted by Annoyed, a resident of another community, on Apr 26, 2012 at 9:12 am
My daughter (different town, different school) was on the Color Guard team. Each year they took a different trip, Russia, Asia, England and each trip was paid by parents and fund raisers for those who couldn't afford the trip. I paid for her because I wanted her to see the world (I didn't) and be better enriched for it. She came home with a greater appreciation for different cultures and had a blast. @Mom...unless your child is going, why do you care what it costs or who pays for it? If you can't afford it there are ways to raise the money. Your child will be richer for the experience. I would gladly, and did, pay my share for the teachers to chaperone and in fact, several parents paid full shares to go as well.
Now...if you think I had a lot of money, you are sadly mistaken. But I sacrificed a little to send her. Worked extra days and had her contribute by raising money. She is 33 now and still talks about dancing on the Great Wall of China and for the Prince and Princess of Thailand.
Sure there were those that couldn't go because of financial difficulties and the dissapointment at the planning meetings were painful to watch. We did everything we could to minimize the pain and worked extra hard to raise funds for those students. In the end, during my three years of participation....no student was left behind.
Posted by Former Paly Choir parent, a member of the Palo Alto High School community, on Apr 26, 2012 at 10:10 am
Thank you for your comment "Annoyed", you have expressed my feelings exactly. I had been reading this and wondering how to participate and you have done it well.
As the parent of a choir member who went on the Brazil trip, I feel that all the money spent was an investment in my child's education. Travel is an experience that will last a lifetime and the unique part of this trip is that part of the time they feel like tourists and other times they are made to feel like visiting US ambassadors or even "celebrities". This is something that a family trip couldn't do and the lessons as well as the memories are more than money can buy.
Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Apr 26, 2012 at 12:48 pm
@ Mom. I'm not sure what your agenda is here. It is coming across that you disapprove for some reason or another. Whatever.
Roundtrip SFO-Rome is $1700. That leaves $2200 (for 9 days) to cover lodging, meals, transportation (bus), venue rental fees, sound equipment rentals at each site, performance permits, performance promotion, pay for teachers' expenses, supplement chaperones' expenses, tours/guides, fee to tour organizers. Do the math - the costs are fine.
Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto, on Apr 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm
I don't have kids, nor did I travel to Europe w/school groups in high school. Instead, I chose to travel to various parts of the vast US. The experiences I had deeply effected me & made me a better person. heck, I even set up 2 people who then married & have a wonderful family.
I have a lot of friends who traveled to Europe as part of their various clubs, as well as to other places to do volunteer work. Hands down, it's made a big difference in their lives. While being in a choir & seeing the sights in Europe may not have the same do-gooder vibe as those who work w/the poor in Mexico, these are young people we're talking about, whose lives are being shaped & their personalities being formed in part by their experiences. Sure, globalization has made the world seem smaller, but it really isn't & it's no substitution for experiencing the real deal.
I'm lucky to have family in & from Europe, but most people don't. These experiences are immeasurably rich & I hope that this year's trip is a joy for all involved.
Posted by Mom, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2012 at 10:44 am
Paly is a public school, accountable to the entire school community for budget choices. When an expense benefits just 40 students at a high school with 2,000 students, then I think everyone has the right to know what it costs.
Every expenditure, whether of paid teacher time, subsidizing of student costs or equipment, comes from the same limited budget and impacts other programs.
Posted by paly parent, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2012 at 10:57 am
Mom from Old Palo Alto - Paly does NOT pay for this trip in any way. It happens during the summer when the teacher's time is their own. Students pay their own way. With large trips like this, usually organized thru a tour company, the teachers may even get their trip for free.