Van Cleve D.C. trip a go

New tour group steps up

TROY — Troy City Schools has announced the annual sixth grade trip to Washington, D.C is back on as scheduled.

According to Superintendent Eric Herman, in an email, the district was able to obtain a trip at no cost through WorldStrides tour company.

Students are scheduled to leave May 20 and will return May 24.

On Wednesday, Steven Borenstein of WorldStrides, said he learned about the Van Cleve’s plight after Principal Matt Siefring reached out to his company and through a student travel association. Siefring had used the company when he was a teacher at Troy High School.

“I reached out to them and let them know I thought we may be able to help. We certainly wanted to help the school and the kids. We feel very strongly that it was a difficult and very hard thing that happened to them. We are the kind of organization that had the ability to step in and help when we can. This situation was one we felt that could do that for, so we did,” Borenstein said.

Herman did note the trip will be shortened by a day. The company’s only request was when and if monies are reimbursed to the families, the funds will be submitted to their company.

The school district, however, is still accepting donations at the board office for the trip. Donations can be dropped off or sent to Troy Board of Education, 500 N. Market St., Troy, OH 45373. Make checks payable to Troy City Schools and write “DC Trip 2018” in the memo.

Last week, Troy City Schools received an official notice cancelling the Van Cleve Sixth Grade student trip from the tour company.

Principal Matt Siefring received an email sent by Alfred Cipoletti, president of Discovery Tours, that said, “We regret to inform you that Discovery Tours Inc. has suspended its operations, effective immediately. All future trips are cancelled. Further information will be provided when available.”

The Van Cleve sixth grade trip was originally scheduled for May 20-26 at a cost $860 per student. Approximately 192 students and 58 chaperones are scheduled for the trip.

Parents made direct payments to the Discovery Tour company, not to the district, for the trip.

The state’s Consumer Protection Section is reaching out to potentially affected school districts and gathering information from consumers. Affected consumers are encouraged to file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

Herman said the district has used the company in the past five years. The school did not collect the funds directly and parents made payments for the trip online directly to the Discovery Tour company. The payments were broken up into three payments, with the amount due in full by March 16. The company also collected money raised by the school’s various fundraisers for the students.

New tour group steps up