Registration opens for annual Ventura student tour

Students visit the familiar sights in Washington including the monuments.

Two local educators been teaching through travel with their annual 8th grade trip to Washington D.C. Registration has begun for the annual Spring Vacation student tour to the nation’s capital. The trip, which is open to area middle school students in grade 8, has become an “institution” according to many participants. The non-school activity is led by local teachers and has involved more than 17,000 students during the past 40 years of operation including a “second generation” of participants whose parents participated when they were students!

A parent Information meeting has been scheduled for students attending Balboa Middle School and DATA Middle School on Tuesday, October 3rd in the Balboa Middle School Cafeteria at 7:30 pm

“We have learned so much from the past years, that we have been able to continually ‘fine tune’ our itinerary to insure the best trip possible,” stated Don Zimring, a retired Las Virgenes Superintendent who, along with Tom Johnsen, coordinates the trip each year for nearly a dozen schools.

Despite significant increases in airfares, the organizers have been able to keep the trip cost below what is charged for similar tours. The entire cost of the trip including airfare, lodging, all meals, evening activities, sightseeing and tips is $1,789.00. Applications are taken “On Line” at ( The trip is a non-school activity and is conducted during students’ Spring vacation.

Students visit the familiar sights in Washington including the monuments, memorials, the National Holocaust Museum, and even attend a performance at the Kennedy Center.

Local teachers Mike Hertenstein from Balboa Middle School and Mike Gennaro from DATA Middle school will be again leading the trip. In keeping with the eighth grade state framework, the trip has a special focus on the Civil War through a visit to the battlefield, visitor center, and museum at Gettysburg.

For further information, parents may contact Tom Johnsen at 499-1569 or Don Zimring at 818-920-9059. Information may also be obtained via the internet at

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