As all educators and parents are well aware, it’s almost the end of the school year, and frankly, we’re all just tired. The months of May and June are particularly chaotic and tiring in schools. There are an almost overwhelming amount of social, academic, and athletic events going on - prom, award dinners, field day, championship games - the list goes on and on. Combine this frantic level of activity with the tiredness and complacency that can develop and you have a a potential for disaster.
So, as we wind up the year, here are some tips to remember…
Big events in schools create unstable situations - there are lots of visitors in the building, schedules are changed, students are excited and moving around more freely and unsupervised - meaning that sometimes safety is the last thing on anyone’s mind. It’s always a good idea to take a minute to help everyone re-focus on safely enjoying these events.
As the days wind down, we become more complacent. The threat of violence or the potential for accidents doesn’t go away just because there are only a few days of school left. If a safety procedure is a good idea on the first day of school, it’s still a good one on the last day of school.
Supervision is not seasonal - When people get busy they tend to prioritize, and supervision is one of the first things to get bumped down the list. Even on a good day, schools tend to have too little supervision in critical areas - cafeterias, bus lanes, hallways, locker rooms, etc. Don’t allow the demands of the end of the year to become an excuse for skimping on this most critical of duties.
Being outside can be hazardous. As the weather improves, school settings are increasingly shifted outside. Gym classes are on the field, extra recess is happening, classes are meeting in courtyards, multiple games and practices are occurring. Be sure that any communication that occurs within the building can also be heard outside - whether it’s by PA, radio, or cell phone - and that there’s a procedure to make sure it’s done. If those in the building went into lockdown or severe weather sheltering, how would those outside be notified? Conversely, if an injury or incident occurs outside, how will they call for help?