Saturday, October 15, 2016

Montreal Field Trip Information

The team is looking forward to an excellent day in Montreal next Wednesday, October 19. Weather looks good at this point.  The exchange is rate is the best it's ever been for this trip.  Below, families will find information to help prepare for the trip. PLEASE REMEMBER - this trip is a walking adventure of Montreal.  When students leave the bus in the morning, they will not get back on the bus for several hours and be out in the city.  Anything a student brings in their backpack, they must carry the entire time.

Weather and Clothing
Weather Forecast for Old Montreal:

Students should not wear shorts on this field trip - even if the weather looks warm, the team will be walking around the city in the morning and the winds will be blowing hard.  Plus, inside the museum will be cool. Students should plan to bring:
  • a fleece like coat (no winter coats at this point)
  • a winter hat or hood 
  • gloves
Food and Money
*Please do plan on packing your child's foods in a large, insulated lunch box.  They will not want to carry it the entire day, and students will not have access to the bus after being dropped off.  Anything that can fit comfortably in their backpack would be acceptable. 
**DO NOT PACK FRESH FRUIT OR VEGETABLES - these items are prohibited from crossing the border.
***If your student needs a bag lunch, you or they need to contact the team before Tuesday to arrange for that lunch to be ready before the team leaves.
****Rumor has it New England Federal Credit Union in Williston will convert US dollars to Canadian for no additional fee - even non-members can access this opportunity. The Merchant's Bank in Jericho does not carry Canadian money on a regular basis.

Students are encouraged to bring lots of snacks, sandwiches - foods that do not require refrigeration. There will be many opportunities to eat throughout the day, and students don't need to spend money in Canada to eat.  That said, Montreal has many affordable food options that students would find appealing. At the current exchange rate, $20 American is the same as $26.50 Canadian - plenty of money for sandwich style lunch and dessert, plus coffee/hot chocolate.  Some student groups are planning to have lunch at a restaurant, which is great.  They (and you) should be able to see the restaurant's menu online and make a ballpark guess to how much lunch will be.  Chaperones reserve the right to say "nope" to student lunch plans if it conflicts with the overall team schedule and appears too expensive for every member of the group.  Again, all these plans should be worked out ahead of time by the group members; no surprises.

International Calling and Texting
*The team does not feel your child needs to have phone/text/data service for this field trip. There is a photo component to the trip but most students can use the camera without data.
**Contacting your children: unless you place an international calling plan on your child's phone, it will be VERY expensive for you to reach them, and for them to use their phones. If families need to get ahold of their children, please contact BRMS during school hours and the message will be passed on to Mr. Pless, who will pass it on to the child. After hours will not really matter as the team will be heading home.

All that said... there are options for using phones in Canada:

Verizon International Calling Plans (Travel Pass is probably the best option - $2/day; Mr. Pless has used this option multiple times - it is a great value because all data/calls/texts are the same as the US):

AT&T International Calling Plans (apparently, a call to customer service can get you unlimited texting only for a small daily rate):

Drop-off: A team member will be at the school by 6:15am, so if your child needs to be dropped off early, that can be accommodated.  The building should be open by that time.  Students should be to school no later than 6:45am; the team leaves no later than 7am.

Pick-up: We never know when we will return from Montreal - depends on the border and traffic.  In the past, the team has returned between 6:30-7:30pm.  After we get through the American border, your child should be contacting you about what time they should be picked up from BRMS.  Students are not allowed to leave until a team teacher has made visual contact with a parent or adult who is driving them home.  This procedure also allows teachers to give back the IDs! If your family is planning to have another one drive your child home, the team must have an email or written note confirming this arrangement.

Does your family need any other information?  Contact Mr. Pless directly!