School/District Rules for Allowing Teams to Meet During the Summer

Hello,
This question is really meant for high school VEX team advisors, however, if you’re a team member and have experience with this issue, please feel free to reply as well. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

Do your school districts have specific rules in place for allowing school-affiliated VEX teams to meet outside of school (e.g. at a team members house) to build and test during the summer without the advisor being present? Right now, I’m trying to get our teams permission to meet on their own time during the summer months, but my district is prohibiting this for liability reasons.

I’m looking to put together a set of protocols that my district will approve and was wondering if there are any team advisors that have already experienced this issue. If so, could you let me know how you addressed it? Thank you!

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What is there policy for equipment going home during the school year? If the club can only work on school premises and each competition is treated as a field trip.

I’ve seen many HS teams working at home during competition season and during summer.

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I’m a HS teacher and team coach/advisor/mentor (whatever you want to call it). We meet in the summer usually twice a week at our lab. These meetings are never required and attendance varies from team to team. Students will sometimes take a few parts home in between meetings to prototype something, and they often collaboratively work on CAD from home, but most of the actual building happens on campus. This is not because of any rule that our district has in place, but rather simply because all of the tools, parts, sensors, electronics and field are in the lab. The kids would much rather work in the lab where they have access to everything they might need as well as each other.

As for what you are asking, I’m sure a lot depends on school/district rules and funding. I am allowed to let students take parts home because my teams are a part of a club, and all of our parts were purchased with club funds that we fundraised for. Our school district did not purchase them, so they don’t tell us what we can/can’t do with them. That is a club decision, and the club has always voted that it is okay to check them out. In my district there is a way to check out district purchased equipment, but I’m sure that varies. In my district any materials that are checked out for the summer (or otherwise) have to be checked out through the library and are on the student’s account like a textbook or school issued electronic device would be.

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Thank you for your response. Regarding your district not telling you how to use materials purchased through fundraising - they aren’t concerned from a liability standpoint? All of our equipment was purchased via fundraising and sponsorships too, however, since we’re a school club the district has rules we need to follow about how the equipment is used outside of the school year.

We can sign equipment out from the building during the school year, however during the summer months, the district currently prohibits clubs from meeting outside of school without an advisor present. In an ideal world, I would be able to let the captains setup a field in their basement during the summer where they could meet and build with their teammates on their own time. Due to district liability concerns, we’re not currently allowed to do this.

My district treats our team as an actual team, similar to an athletic team. So they provide us all of our parts, and essentially allow us to meet as much as we need, so taking things home isn’t an issue. We actually meet for 2 hours daily, and this gives us a lot of really good time. Try seeing if your district will allow you to meet more often for longer periods, and it may help eliminate the need to take things home. Like cougarbots, my students have no reason to take anything home as the tools and everything else are housed here in the building. Many of my kids don’t have the space at home anyway.

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