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Bringing New Staff 'Up to Speed' on

Dennis Lewis
Date of Post
Sep 27, 2009

Bringing New Staff Up To Speed On Safety

With the beginning of each school year administrators all across the country provide orientations, professional development opportunities, and assistance to new employees as to the way "we do things around here". These procedures include, but are not limited to student attendance, computerized record keeping, school improvement plans, master schedules, lunchroom procedures, etc.

Granted, all of these are critical functions in the secondary schools of today, but administrators should reserve ample time on their orientation agendas to discuss specific matters related to student and staff safety. And, it is equally as important to involve support staff, as they will have roles and responsibilities during an emergency. Among topics that should be reviewed and discussed with all staff should be relocation sites and evacuation procedures, in place sheltering procedures, access control, supervision, and crisis management plans.

In addition to the aforementioned, individual schools or districts may have other information considered "critical" to new employee orientation. If so, this information needs to be included, as well. But as all good teachers and principals know, "Teaching is not as simple as just telling". Consequently, it will be necessary for this group of new employees to reassemble mid year to discuss and review these same topics. And just as importantly as the orientation itself, principals should retain a copy of the agenda for the purpose of documentation.

Administrators know the importance of adequate supervision. Staff should be made to realize that it takes everyone working together to monitor students and their activities while on campus. The supervision of students is especially critical between classes, lunch hours, and before and after school. In addition, it is always a good idea to discuss staff supervisory expectations for chaperoning dances or when students are at school activities away from the campus. Don’t forget that support staff is a part of the school’s valuable group supervision plan and expectations and limitations should be made clear to them, as well.