GLOVERSVILLE – The Gloversville High School 2023 senior class trip will cost at least $492 per student, up dramatically from past years when the cost was closer to $150 per student.
Three GHS seniors — 2023 class officers Nia Rush, Abigail Seltzer and Kyle Robare — made a presentation to the Gloversville Enlarged School District Board of Education Monday night, outlining two potential options for the senior class trip and asking for the board to endorse both of them in advance of a planned class vote on the subject on Monday.
Rush said in the past most class trips have only required a 1 night stay, but the hotels the class of 2023 is looking at both required a minimum of two nights, which combined with increased general price inflation has driven up the cost of the two trip options dramatically over past years
She said the senior class trip option preferred by herself, Seltzer and Robare would cost $520 per student for a three-day, two-night trip to Washington D.C., with a planned itinerary that would include a trip to the International Spy Museum, and a guided tour of Arlington National Cemetery and some of the other landmarks in Washington D.C.
“The only thing we’d have to pay for on this trip is our lunch, because it’s not included,” Rush said.
Seltzer, who also serves as the elected student representative to the GESD school board, said the second trip option would be a $492 per student, three-day, two-night trip to Hersheypark, an amusement park in Hershey, Pennsylvania. She said the trip would include the Hershey “Chocolate World tour” as well as a visit to the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Using the past standard of $150 per hotel night per student cost of GHS senior class trips a two-night trip would cost about $300, making the Washington D.C. option 73.3% more expensive and the Hersheypark trip 64% more expensive than recent past senior class trips.
“We all understand this is much higher than the average senior trip price, which is around $150 (per student), but prices have been rising very much,” Seltzer said. “It’s a pill to swallow, but it’s really our only option, and this comes with all gratuities included, meals, hotel, everything you could want.”
GESD School Board member Kelli DeMaio, one of the 2023 senior class advisors, said the price quotes from the companies the class is looking at are only good until Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m.
“If we waited until January to ask for approval, the price could potentially be higher,” DeMaio said. “”What’s killing us is the buses. The [cost of two buses] to Washington D.C., two years ago [during a previous school trip] was about $11,000. Now it’s $17,000 for two buses, because we priced [the trip] at 80 to 100 students. Hershey Park was $7,800 a couple of years ago, now it’s almost $13,000. Instead of $150 per day, it’s closer to $174 per day, and no hotel will let us stay for only one night.”
GESD Superintendent David Halloran said he likes the concepts involved with both trips, but is concerned about the costs.
“I think both trips sound great, certainly from an educational standpoint I think the Washington trip sounds more, but I appreciate your advisors putting these trips together and having the educational piece in both of them,” Halloran said. “My concern, and I know the board shares it, is how many of your classmates are going to be unable to attend because of the price? And I know you were impacted by COVID, so, I don’t know, but I’m guessing your fundraising wasn’t as robust as previous cohorts.”
Seltzer said recent past GHS senior class trips have included between 80 to 100 students, and the buses for the trip can accommodate 55 students.
“While it’s completely unfair that some of our peers can’t be with us, it’s sort of unbeatable sometimes, so we just have to push forward with the ideas that we have now,” Seltzer said.
Rush said the class has had a “point system” awarding points to class members for participation in fundraising events since freshman year.
“Every point you get, for the trip now, is a dollar off, so say Kyle has 200 points that would be $200 off whatever trip we choose to take,” she said.
Halloran said it may be prudent for the class of 2023 to seek additional fundraising opportunities, if the school board will waive the typical prohibition against senior class fundraising during the final spring semester of their senior year, as a way of making up for any lost fundraising the class may have endured during the unusual school years during the COVID-19 pandemic shut downs.
“Obviously we want as many kids to go as possible,” Halloran said. “If there was ever a time to break tradition and allow seniors to fundraise in the second semester [of their senior year] this might be the time to do it.”
Several GESD school board members indicated agreement with Halloran’s statements about allowing additional fund raisers.
DeMaio said the class of 2023 plans to have a class meeting on Monday and then a google online vote to choose between the two trip options, if the school board agrees to endorse both. She said additional fundraising ideas will also be discussed.
“We have a couple of ideas that we plan to talk to [the class of 2023] on Monday, one would be to put letters out to the community to sponsor our postprom,” she said. “Instead of it costing the class money for prom, maybe local businesses might want to sponsor a food station or a coffee station, the hypnotist show, so we could take the money, the $5,000 that was allocated for post prom, and apply that to cut down on costs too. We also thought about asking the community, putting letters out, to see if businesses want to sponsor students on the trip, or give a donation to pay for a pizza party or dinner.”
By a show of hands, the GESD school board agreed to endorse both senior class trip options.