April 10, 2012
“Local, State, and Federal Laws and Policies”
One of the most important aspects of teaching is providing a safe environment where student learning can be achieved. The only way this can be achieved is by staying up-to-date on all laws and polices in place to help schools and teachers provide a safe environment. There are many documents provided for teachers and students to help them get familiar with all the local, state, and federal laws and polices. This essay will focus on a “Student/Parent Guide”, “Faculty Handbook”, and a “Comprehensive School Safety Plan.”
The first artifact is a “Student/Parent Guide.” This book is considered both a rule book and an information booklet to help in all aspects of student life. It contains a multitude of information regarding the rules governing students, student activities, school curriculum, and general information about the school and it's procedures. The first pages describe in detail two Acts dealing with a students' enrollment, attendance at school, and the right to retain a driver's license. It also describes the state law relating to the “Quiet Reflection Time” that public schools are required to uphold. The next section deals with general school information. This section has policies ranging from absences and truancy to first aid and emergency procedures. The next part in the book is the rules governing students section. This section includes the policies dealing with fighting, dress code, drugs, cheating, and many other rules and their consequences. The third section is titled Instructional Program and deals with the school's curriculum. This section begins by stating the school's accreditation and also states that it meets and exceeds “Section 504” in it's special education program. It also stats the policies on parent conferences, graduation requirements, and summer school. The last section is the school's policies on student actives and assemblies such as pep rallies. Overall, this booklet contains a massive amount of information containing all levels of polices and procedures aimed for student and parent usage.
The next artifact is a “Faculty Handbook.” This handbook is designed as reference book for teachers. It is the centralized book containing all school policies. It beginnings by describing the faculty absentee policy and how to prepare for a substitute teacher. The book details many types of leave such as professional, sick, and personal, and what to do for each situation. The next section of the handbook covers many policies on posting attendance, lesson plans, and grade posting. Classroom procedures, which include discipline, structure, and monetary collections is discussed in the next section. The last section in the handbook explains the policies on field trips, purchase orders, report cards, summer school, and the school's philosophy of education. With all the policy and procedural information contained in this handbook, a teacher can be better prepared for any situation.
The last artifact for discussion is a school's “Comprehensive School Safety Plan.” The school system devised this 100 page plan to ensure the “highest degree of safety and security in the school environment”. In the first section, a detailed description is given on emergency contacts, school crisis teams, and a list of emergency supplies in school. The second part deals with teacher training for emergencies. It describes how communications should be handled, securing the grounds, student supervision. The last section in the safety plan details a multitude of security risks and their procedures. Some examples include bomb threats, hostage situations, sexual assault, fights, and severe weather. The first is to always be prepared for whatever situation may arise, and with this document, teachers are better prepared to deal with almost all safety situations.
In conclusion, with all these documents, students, teachers, and parents can be up to date on all policies that affect them in and around the school environment.