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Paly Choir Trip to Italy

Original post made by Mom on Apr 23, 2012

I am hearing from my daughter about the Paly choir trip to Italy in June. It is a ten day trip filled with sightseeing, and more than 40 Paly students and several teachers will go.
The choir will perform five concerts, but this is not part of a national or international competition, but rather just an enrichment experience.
Who pays for this kind of trip? What are the costs to PAUSD?

Comments (20)

Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Parents pay. This is outside of the per view of PAUSD in that it is not an official school trip. No grades or credit associated.

I'm not a choir parent, but my understanding is that the choir also did their own fund raising to help with those who were tight on funds.


Posted by Mom, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 24, 2012 at 6:31 am

Do the teachers pay their own way and volunteer their time?


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
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 Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 24, 2012 at 10:59 am

Typo. Should read: I would *guess* that the choir trip is somewhat similar.


Posted by VoxPop, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 24, 2012 at 8:33 pm

@Mom: Why not contact the choir director or whoever is in charge of the trip with your question?


Posted by Mom, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 25, 2012 at 11:28 am

That's ironic, VoxPop. I DID start with calling the front desk at Paly and they did not know know anything about it.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm

BTW - this same group has traveled to the following:

Spain & France: 2004
Brazil: 2006
Mexico: 2008
Hungary, Slovakia & Austria: 2010

I googled...they have a "friends of the choir" website if you'd like more information:

Web Link


Posted by Mom, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 25, 2012 at 5:06 pm

I am stunned...the Italy tour has a $3,979 per person cost.


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 resident of Palo Alto High School
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 Bravo Choir Parents, a resident of Fairmeadow School
on Apr 26, 2012 at 10:17 am

Thank you Annoyed and Former Paly Choir Parent.
Touring with performing groups is an amazing experience for students. The Paly Choir works hard, sings well and this is an opportunity of a lifetime!


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
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 Old Palo Alto
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 Duveneck/St. Francis
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.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 27, 2012 at 11:43 am

Yes, paly parent is correct. No school funds are being spent. The trip is during the summer...

What is the big deal?


Posted by Aquamarine, a resident of Stanford
on Apr 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Hah - Mom could'be just asked straight out if this trip costs taxpayers anything, instead of all of this back & forth, thinking there was something scurrilous afoot.


Posted by She Did!, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 27, 2012 at 12:22 pm

@Aquamarine - she did ask! Her original post was "Who pays for this kind of trip? What are the costs to PAUSD?"

Of course, the first poster also answered: "Parents pay. This is outside of the per view of PAUSD in that it is not an official school trip. No grades or credit associated"




Posted by She Did!, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm

@Aquamarine - she did ask! Her original post was "Who pays for this kind of trip? What are the costs to PAUSD?"

Of course, the first poster also answered: "Parents pay. This is outside of the per view of PAUSD in that it is not an official school trip. No grades or credit associated"




Posted by Aquamarine, a resident of Stanford
on Apr 27, 2012 at 12:33 pm

She could've actually gone to the source.


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