Saturday, July 24, 2010

Supervision & Safety of a school

The importance of knowing the policies regarding supervision, safety and suspension became very clear in this module. According to Education Act, it is the duty of principals to supervise performance and behaviour of all board employees. Principals must act therefore, in a very deliberate manner to supervise employees, and maintain safety of the premises and people.

In class, we learned that legal issues may arise from time to time involving a teacher or principal. Being aware of what we could be held responsible for, therefore, is important. It is also important to document all that we do in our role as principal and to keep that documentation for a period of 7 years. A case can arise at any time, and by doing our due diligence, we can avoid any unfavourable outcomes.

In the online video for this module we learned that all board employees have a positive duty to report any action that could be subject to suspension or expulsion to the principal using form 1 under new legislation for the Safe Schools Act section 175. The principal, teacher or educational assistants also have a duty to respond and/or intervene when they see students engaging in behaviour that is affecting the school in a negative manner. It is important to note that even if this behaviour is not on school property, the student can still receive consequences from the school.

In class, we also examined the legitimacy of a court order in custody cases and releasing of information. It is integral that we do not release ANY personal information on a student to anyone. Only teachers, the principal and vice principal are subject to having access to this information.

According to the Family Services Act, teachers and principals have a duty to inform Children’s Aid Services (CAS) in the event of physical, sexual, verbal, psychological or emotional abuse. It is important that the principal make this clear to staff from the onset. Teachers and Principals are bound by the standards of practice: care, honesty, integrity & respect towards all students.

Not only are our obligations rooted deeply in our morals, school leaders must also rely on policy to dictate their response to a situation. Our moral imperatives may guide us, but following policies and procedure will have the best possible outcome for our success in this role.

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