A group of freshmen will have the opportunity during this year's Spring Break to take a trip to Washington, DC to learn about American government hands-on at the White House, Pentagon, U.S. Capitol and other sites.
School Committee members unanimously approved the bus trip on Monday night. It will be the first time that Braintree students visited the nation's capital through a school program since Sept. 11, 2001.
A Washington trip had been part of the BHS offerings for many years, Superintendent Dr. Peter Kurzberg said, until the terrorist attacks forced the shut-down of many government buildings previously open to the public. The price of the trip also became prohibitive for families, he said.
The new trip will be guided by EF Educational Tours out of Cambridge, a "first-class" company, said Gorman Lee, the K-12 Director of Social Studies who presented the proposal to the committee. It involves taking about 40 students plus chaperones and a nurse on a chartered bus, leaving Saturday, April 13, 2012 and returning Thursday, April 18.
Each student will pay $850, an amount that covers all costs, including travel insurance and the chaperones. The group will stay at a hotel in or near Washington with a private security staff. In addition to those listed above, building visits will likely include the Treasury, U.S. Supreme Court, Smithsonian and Holocaust museums and various monuments, Lee said.
A post-trip project or written assignment is required of each student and the trip coincides with the ninth grade U.S. government requirement. To join the trip, students must write a 150-word essay and get two non-family references, Lee said. If more than 40 students are deemed eligible by a panel of teachers, a second bus may be chartered.
"I am so excited that this trip is coming back," Committee Chair Shannon Hume said. Hume said she went on the trip when she attended BHS and that her family travels to Washington annually.
"What better way to educate our students on U.S. history than bringing them to the nation's capital," she said.