School safety is a big concern and recent incidents have made students, teachers, and parents more anxious. In addition to planning and providing quality learning experiences, teachers are responsible for protecting their students in emergencies. To create safe learning environments, it's essential to have comprehensive safety training. School leaders play their part by identifying and providing training programs that take a holistic approach, focusing on prevention and response strategies, teamwork, and knowing how to keep the campus safe.
We’re living in a time in which posting updates and sharing news on social media instantly is the norm. The immediate gratification of seeing simple messages that convey information that may impact views and actions can be applied to the needs of a school. Campus communication that can clearly, quickly, and reliably share alerts and information is essential for the overall safety and sense of well-being that staff and students need. With nearly all schools implementing technology – whether on a large or small scale – all need to know what can affect them.
When I was teaching, I really looked forward to parent conferences. Each of my students had a folder filled with assessments, writing samples, and other pertinent evidence of learning growth (or needs for improvement). Students facilitated their conferences, talking about what was in their folders, and gaining a sense of accountability and ownership of their learning. Afterwards, I’d talk with the parent(s), grandparent(s), or guardian and inevitably get to know about other family, their work, and family plans. Parent conferences gave me a sense of deeper connection to my students through their families. That connection would start a bit at Back to School Night, but a one-on-one, sit down convo was much better than the 30-minute “this is who I am and what I expect” show and mingle in the second week of school.