VIP Focus: 4 Ordinary Ways to Prepare for an Extraordinary School Year

DashBoard, June 24, 2020

SET SEG School Insurance Specialists

The 2020-2021 school year has yet to begin, but the response to COVID-19 has already exhausted a tremendous amount of time and effort as public school leaders find ways to balance safety with a productive learning experience. Taking action in four key areas can help districts navigate their new normal as they continue operations through the summer and prepare for an extraordinary school year in the fall.

#1 Complete Regulatory Requirements Now

Staff should complete their mandatory regulatory training requirements now to allow for coronavirus-related prep closer to the start of the school year. SET SEG members have access to a multitude of trainings via SafeSchools, the nation’s leading provider of school-specific online training courses. Members can assign courses and track course completion all within the online platform, at no-cost.

#2 Educate Your Staff

An effective way to ensure a smooth transition this fall is to invest in employee education to prevent potential setbacks. Whether a second wave of the coronavirus hits or your district has already committed to a hybrid model of remote and in-person learning, it’s critical to prepare your staff for the threats to safety and security that go along the new learning landscape. Focus your communication efforts on work-from-home safety expectations, remote work best practices, cybersecurity considerations and IT infrastructure preparedness.

#3 Provide Support

It is common for many people to deal with increased feelings of stress, depression or anxiety in uncertain times. Working in new ways, and in new environments, can also pose challenges for your staff. Acknowledge these new hardships and show your support by highlighting resources and outlets that are available for additional assistance.

  • Share mental health resources and make sure employees are attentive to creating a balanced work/life schedule.
  • Promote your district’s Employee Assistance Program, if available. EAP services help address and resolve employees’ personal issues and often include features like a 24-hour helpline and counseling.
  • Encourage your staff to take advantage of no-contact health services such as at-home prescription deliveries and telehealth options to encourage routine check-ups and limit their exposure to COVID-19.
  • Ensure home offices and workstations are set up to adhere to ergonomic standards.

#4 Implement a Routine

School administrators must remain diligent in the care and maintenance of their property and buildings. The number one way to properly maintain your district is to perform routine walkthroughs at all buildings and around property grounds to survey for issues or potential exposures and execute preventive measures. Urge your facilities teams to implement a routine that includes daily onsite building and property surveillance, measures to prevent hazardous accidents, and procedures to prepare your buildings and property for inclement weather.

Take action now so your district will be better equipped to begin this unique school year. For additional tips, resources and important updates, visit SET SEG’s COVID-19 Resource Center

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VIP Focus articles are company-sponsored advertisements and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of MASB. It’s intended to provide Very Important Partners with a space to share information of value to you and your district.