Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions page.  Here you will find almost anything you may think to ask about Washington Seminar.  Should you have a question and do not find it here please feel free to e-mail either Mr. Albert Paulsson at or Mr. Joseph Bossio at  Either of these two trip coordinators will be happy to answer your query.

Transportation  bus

How do the students travel to Washington, D. C.?
Students will travel on coach style buses that remain with us for the duration of the trip. We depart HS North at 6:30AM on the first day and arrive back at approximately 6:00PM on the following Saturday.

How are buses assigned?
Students are assigned to buses as a group with their roommates.


Where are the accommodations?
We are staying at the Residence Inn Arlington Capital View for this trip.

How many students will be in each room?

Students will be assigned four to a room

Are there security personnel at the hotel?

Yes, there will be roving security for the hallways where our students are lodged between the hours of 11:00PM and 6:00AM.

Are students assigned a roommate?

All students will be given the opportunity to select four other members of the trip they would like to have as roommates.  Roommate selection will not take place until after grades are finalized and released for the first full semester, usually around the end of January or beginning of February. Should a student not select anyone, they will be assigned to a room according to availability. If any room is not full students who did not indicate a preference can be placed in them. If there are any special circumstances that may preclude a student being randomly placed in a room please contact either Mr. Paulsson or Mr. Bossio.

Health Questions   nurse

What if my child gets sick while on the trip?

A school nurse accompanies us on the trip. In the event that your child is not feeling well they would contact the nurse who would determine any next steps.

Can my child bring any medication on the trip?

No, in following New Jersey State Law all medications, even over the counter type, must be registered ahead of time with the school nurse who is responsible for distribution while on the trip. All medication, even over the counter type, require a doctor's order to be carried by the nurse. Students typically work out a schedule to meet with the nurse as required or necessary. The nurse has standing orders to dispense Tylenol and/or Motrin in case of headache, fever, etc.

How are medications dispensed to students?

The school nurse who accompanies us on the trip dispenses all medications to students.

Are there any exceptions to this law?

Yes, students may carry insulin, inhalers and epi pens however they still require a doctor's order that must be carried with the nurse on the trip. Students using birth control medication may also have this in their possession.

General Seminar Questions  questions 

Are there any accommodations for vegetarians or food allergies?

Yes, we will provide you with contact information so that you may speak directly to the eating facilities to understand their ingredients and work out a plan suitable for your needs.

Can my child meet with a family member while in Washington, D.C. ?

While not encouraged, students with written permission from their parents are allowed to meet with a family member in the Washington, D. C. area. A chaperone must accompany the student to meet with the family member both for pick-up and return.

Can my child leave the seminar early?

In the unlikely event that your child needs to leave the seminar ahead of time arrangements must be made in advance. Written permission must be given and the student will only be allowed to leave in the accompaniment of a parent or legal guardian. A chaperone must accompany the student to meet with the family member.

How much money should my child need?

Breakfast, dinner and limited evening snacks are included in the fee. You should budget funds for lunch and any outside purchases your child may choose.

Are there any weather cancellations?

Short of a late season blizzard the trip will leave and return on schedule. Please plan accordingly when packing for a variety of weather conditions such as cool, warm weather or even rain.

Are there chaperones available at all times for the students?

Yes, any chaperone is available to students for any questions or concerns.

How does my child contact you in the event of an emergency?

Students will be supplied with a number to call and they will be able to reach Mr. Paulsson and/or Mr. Bossio at all times.

How many school chaperones attend the trip?

High School North's staff including members from various departments such as teachers, guidance, child study team, etc. will accompany the students.  This number can vary depending on the total amount of students attending.

Are there dress codes?

Yes, most day activities will require business style attire. Button down shirts and ties for the gentlemen, dresses, skirts and blouses or business style pants for the ladies. Don't forget we do a lot of walking and students will be on their feet for long days so bring comfortable shoes. Casual attire will be permitted for evening events such as the night tours of our national monuments.

Are there prerequisites for going on the trip?

Yes, students must be members of the junior class and in good academic and disciplinary standing. Good academic standing means having a minimum of C or better in each subject including Physical Education up to the departure time of the trip.  This includes the first and second marking period as well as their semester grade. Good disciplinary standing is based on students adhering to the disciplinary code as outlined in the student handbook and enforced through the school administration.

How is payment made?
Payment is made by check in two installments.  The deposit payment of one-half the total trip cost is usually due in late November.  The final payment of the remaining one-half is usually due by mid January.

What is the deadline for refunds?

Should you need to decline after paying your deposit a refund will be available up to the final payment date. After that no refunds are available as the school is contractually liable for all funds based on the number of students who signed up to attend.

What forms of identification should students bring with them?

Preferably students should have some form of government issued photo identification with them. If your son or daughter has their license this would be a good ID to bring. At minimum students should bring a school issued photo ID.

May students carry cell phones during the trip?

Yes, students may carry their cell phones with them; however, there are places we will visit where they are not permitted inside. An example would be while visiting the Senate or House galleries in the Capitol building. Students will be required to check them before being allowed to proceed through security.

Are maps and directions provided to students?

Yes, students are given maps and directions for any necessary stops such as the Smithsonian.

Where do students eat?

Breakfast is provided at the Residence Inn. Students have the opportunity to enjoy lunch on their own.  Dinners will be arranged at outside restaurants.  This will be communicated as the agenda becomes finalized.

Are there curfews for students?

Yes, all students are required to be in, and remain in, their respective rooms by 11:00PM. Chaperones take attendance at this time and security is posted.

When does the trip leave and return?

Washington Seminar will depart at 6:00AM on Tuesday of the trip's schedule week and return at approximately 6:00PM on the following Saturday. Please be prepared for long days away from the hotel. Wake up takes place, depending on the day, as early as 5:00AM and we don't return to the hotel until the evenings.

Is there any down time during the trip?

Yes, on most evenings we will be returning to the hotel by 9:30 or 10:00PM. Students have until bed check at 11:00PM as down time.

What is the process to check my child's luggage?

Students will bring their packed luggage to school on the Monday evening immediately prior to departure from 5:00PM to 6:30PM. At that time school personal, to insure compliance with the school's overnight field trip rules, will check all bags. After having their bag checked, students will be directed to store it in a secure room according to bus assignment. Students will next see their luggage on Tuesday morning after having their carry-on bags screened and prior to boarding the bus. They are responsible for taking their bag to the bus and placing it in the luggage bay to ensure it will make it to Washington, D. C.

Will my child be penalized for missing any sport practices or games while on Washington Seminar?

Washington Seminar is a school related, and sanctioned trip. No student will be penalized as a result of attending. If there are any issues or concerns they need to be raised to either Mr. Paulsson, Mr. Bossio or one of the school's administrative staff.

Is there a policy for missed work or exams?

Students are afforded the opportunity to make up any work missed while on Washington Seminar. The policy for allowed time is the same as any absence. They are given the same number of days to make up the work that they missed. As always students are responsible for any of the work they missed.

Is there a class assessment for students who attend the trip?

No, there is no formal assessment for students who attend this trip.

What happens if the trip is canceled due to unforeseen circumstances?

Should the Board of Education decide Washington Seminar must be canceled for reasons beyond our control any monies that have already been paid and contracted for cannot be reimbursed. The school will gladly provide a refund for any expenses not already disbursed or contracted to be paid but still unpaid as of the cancellation date. Because this trip is run directly through the school, and not via any travel agency, there is no trip insurance offered or included. Students may, at their own expense, purchase outside insurance from one of the many companies that offer it.

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