Questions on Student Safety

The SAIS accreditation process uses engagement questions to give the leaders of member schools an opportunity to discuss key issues affecting independent schools with school leaders outside of their institutions. The question topics are areas that schools across the country often find challenging and where school leaders would often like more support.

These questions pertaining to student safety are to be addressed by the school during the accreditation visit chair’s initial compliance visit.

SAIS Student Safety Questions

Has the school developed and adopted an appropriate definition of child abuse (physical, emotional, and sexual), including inappropriate behavior of children toward other children?

Does the school have a policy that describes its commitment to preventing and responding appropriately if children are harmed, or if allegations of harm to children are made?

Has the school developed structured procedures for reporting suspected or disclosed maltreatment or abuse?

Does the school have specific child protection policies, practices, and faculty and staff training programs to ensure the safety and welfare of all students, including as appropriate: trips, student exchanges, boarding facilities, homestay and residential arrangements?

Does the school engage in periodic internal/external reviews and revisions of policies, protocols, and practices pertaining to all facets of student safety?

Does the school have formal procedures for determining the character of adults who interact with students? Do these procedures include: obtaining and verifying references and conducting background checks?

Does the school have a scheduled program of regular, systematic professional training for all adults who have unsupervised contact with students (i.e. volunteers, contractors, faculty, and staff) on boundary setting between adults and students, recognition, intervention, reporting, and responding to allegations of sexual misconduct?

Does the school regularly provide developmentally-appropriate training for students on recognizing and reporting sexual misconduct?

Does the student safety plan address clear lines of responsibility, procedures for both immediate and follow-up actions, a communication plan, identification of community and outside resources, and a record of actions taken?