As we close out the school year and begin planning for the next, it is important to review and update key policies and plans. The information below offers guidance and resources for schools as they examine employee and student handbooks, crisis plans, and school safety concerns.
New Leaders suggests three ways to get a running start on next school year.
“The end of the school year is busy, to be sure, but it’s also a great opportunity to set aside some time for you and your team to officially close out the year together and do some advanced preparation for the school year ahead.”
Review and Update Employee and Student Handbooks
Advice from NAIS encourages schools to identify one person to be responsible for the handbook. This person can loop in subject matter experts, such as the athletic director or school nurse, as necessary. The school’s legal counsel should review the handbook early in the process to ensure compliance with new federal and state laws and best practices. Heads of school should be a part of this process and conduct the final review. Trustees, however, should not be involved in the handbook development or review process.
An Employee Handbook Refresher Course for Independent Schools McLane Middleton (webinar recording)
Employee Handbook Samples NBOA (membership required for access)
Four Items You Must Include in Your Employee Handbook ISM
Independent School Guide to Employee Handbooks NAIS (membership required for access)
Key Handbook Updates for the 2023-2024 School Year Venable
Key Topics for Updating Student and Employee Handbooks McLane Middleton
Student Handbooks – Essential Updates for the New School Year McLane Middleton (webinar recording)
Time for Spring Cleaning! Key Handbook Updates for the 2022-2023 School Year Venable
Top Eight Employee Handbook Mistakes ISM
Safety and Crisis Planning
Cyber Safety Considerations for K-12 Schools and School Districts U.S. Department of Education (Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools)This guide addresses online threats to students. This office also offers guidance on guidance for threats to school infrastructure and networks and a cybersecurity tabletop exercise which could be helpful summer exercise for the admin, crisis, and tech teams.
Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans U.S. Department of Education (Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools)This guide provides a six-step planning process.
Five Questions to Ask Yourself about Your Safety Program Joffe Emergency Services
Four School Safety Priorities for the Spring and Early Summer Joffe Emergency Services
Improving School Safety Through Bystander Reporting US Department of Homeland Security“Effective reporting systems, and the willingness of bystanders to come forward with safety and wellness concerns for themselves and others, are critical components of student health and school violence prevention efforts.”
Planning an Upcoming Leadership Transition? Make Sure Safety Is a Priority in the Handoff! Joffe Emergency Services
Preparing for a Cyber Incident U.S. Secret ServiceResources to help you monitor, prepare, and develop policies.
Private Schools: Emergency Management Planning for All Settings U.S. Department of Education (Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools)Specific challenges and considerations for private schools, training opportunities, and guidance for building private-public partnerships.
Increasing Safety Concern – Opioid Use and Overdose
Guidelines for the Administration of an Opioid Antagonist for Students Suspected of a Drug Overdose State of TN (example)
Naloxone in the School Setting National Association of School Nurses
Preparing for Opioid-Related Emergencies for K-12 Schools and Institutions of Higher Education Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS)
Why the Rainbow Fentanyl Trend Might Lead You to Stock Naloxone (Narcan) in Your School Fisher Phillips
Identifying Potential Risks
Potential Risks to Independent Schools EAB Independent School Executive Forum“This list is not exhaustive, nor is it a substitute for implementing a comprehensive risk management process to identify risks to your institution. Instead, this resource is meant to help you vet your own list once it has been created through the risk management process.”
Risk Management Considerations for Summer Camps VenableHiring, training, and registration