School Activities

School Activities

A school activity is deemed to be any event that is approved, organized, directed and controlled by any school board employee(s) who has the authority to do so. Often times misunderstandings occur when independent organizations are granted permission to conduct their activities on school premises. These are not considered school activities – please refer to the section on “Permit Holders”.

Approval of school activities should always take into consideration the educational value, the intended design of building/facilities, the injury risk factors associated with the activity and the resources available to manage these risks.

The following list contains common examples of risk exposures that may be beyond the control of school resources or falls outside the intended design of the school premises.


  • Excursions to natural disaster areas – e.g. earthquake, floods, hurricane, tornado;
  • Excursions to war zones – imminent or existing;
  • Excursions to regions with political or civil instability – e.g. civil war, terrorism;
  • Excursions requiring the use of non-commercial aircraft – e.g. private planes.

Fun Fairs/Pep Rallies:

  • Dunk Tanks;
  • Diving into or sliding on foam, mud, ice or snow;
  • Hot air balloon rides from school properties;
  • Aircraft or helicopter rides from school property;
  • Animal rides;
  • Demolition of derelict vehicles, equipment or buildings;
  • Sky-diving demonstrations;
  • Use of fireworks or other pyrotechnic devices.
  • Use of air-filled “Fun Structures” designed for jumping, free falls, sliding or crawling
    (Note: Does not apply to inflatable goal posts, hockey nets, basketball hoops)

Field Trips:

  • “Extreme” sport activities;
  • Skydiving;
  • White water rafting;
  • Cliff rapelling;
  • Rock climbing;
  • Firing ranges;
  • Paint-ball warfare games;
  • Wilderness and/or winter camping.

Risk Management Recommendations:

  1. Confirm that the activity is suited to the intended purpose/design of the facility/premise.
  2. Use Informed Consent forms that must be signed by parents.
  3. Ensure that all school activities are properly supervised by teachers and competent volunteers.
  4. Recommend students carry Student Accident Insurance and, if necessary, out-of-province medical insurance.

Transporting Students

Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for people between ages 4 and 21 years. Travelling on the highway is the most dangerous single activity we do each day.

In spite of the risk, it is still necessary to transport students as part of the education process. The safest means of transporting students is in a school bus. According to Transport Canada, a passenger travelling in a school bus is 16 times safer than in any other private passenger vehicle. This fact should be taken into consideration whenever students must be transported.

Risk Management Recommendations:

Transporting Students


  1. Use school buses or public transportation whenever possible.

Volunteer Drivers:

  1. Using students and volunteer drivers under the age of 21 may pose a risk exposure that is outside of the school board’s ability to control and manage.
  1. Teachers or volunteers driving their personal vehicles to transport students to school activities should sign a Volunteer Driver Form which includes a declaration about proper licensing and insurance. See your board’s policies and procedures.

Rental Vehicles:

  1. Ensure the driver(s) carries the proper class of license. Vehicles rented to transport students for school purposes may require special classes of license to legally operate the vehicle. Operating a vehicle with an improper class of license is illegal, and may void or limit insurance coverages on the vehicle.
  2. Ensure the vehicle complies with the safety requirements under the Highway Traffic Act. Rental vehicles used to transport students for school purposes may be subject to safety equipment and inspection regulations under the HTA.