As many of you know, the Timberlane Regional School District scheduled several student trips throughout the spring of 2020. Trips to France/Germany/Switzerland, Spain/Portugal, Montreal, and Hawaii had been coordinated as an opportunity for students to enhance their learning experience. These trips have all been cancelled as is appropriate given the current pandemic. With the cancellations, many parents have made the District aware of the difficulties they are encountering with respect to obtaining refunds from some of these travel companies.
We, the Superintendent, Administration, and School Board are sympathetic to the families affected by these cancellations and want to do as much as we can to support them as they attempt to obtain full refunds. Though we find some of the refund practices outrageous, the District’s ability to interact with these companies is limited as these trips were arranged through third-party providers, where families have made payments directly to the third-party providers and have entered into agreements or contracts to which the District is not a party.
Nonetheless, we are working with legal counsel on these issues and are monitoring efforts by the NH Department of Education regarding the same. We have asked legal counsel to reach out to the companies on the District’s behalf in the interests of the families to demand a better refund option for families and to make it clear that their treatment of our students and families will impact any decision to utilize their services in the future.
Because these companies have no obligation to respond to our demands, we can make no promises regarding a possible outcome.
In the meantime, parents are encouraged to contact their own legal counsel, to negotiate directly with the companies, to contact the Consumer Protection Bureau of the New Hampshire Attorney General with complaints regarding the conduct of these companies, and to contact the NH Department of Education at Christopher.Bond @doe.nh.gov .
Dr. Earl Metzler,
Superintendent of Schools