Schools should maintain comprehensive records and transcripts of students. These records should be kept in a secure location and access should be limited to authorized personnel. Consult privacy laws, such as HIPPA and FERPA, to ensure confidentiality of sensitive information is being maintained. Have a written records retention plan in place. Also, have a retrieval plan in place for student transcripts in case the school closes or merges so former students can access their records. Having complete and thorough student records aids in the transfer process between schools and prevents educational lapses due to placement issues.
Teacher and Service Personnel Development
An easy way to improve your school is to invest in and have standards for engagement in professional development for faculty and staff. Those that routinely participate in professional development are up-to-date on the latest technology trends, teaching methods and curriculum development. Knowing about current outlooks in the education world can ensure your school is providing a relevant, rigorous and thorough education for your students.
Define expectations for staff to participate in professional growth and plan time in your school calendar for participation. Identify the types of professional learning your staff should be engaging in. There are many free and low-cost professional learning opportunities out there. Please refer to our list of professional development opportunities in our Helpful Links section. Subscribe to education related newsletters and services to keep updated on current trends. Join an education association and attend conferences. Encourage your faculty to pursue state licensure or alternative private certification. There are many ways you can grow your staff and students.
School Operations and Safety:
All schools should have a handbook that clearly defines expectations of both students and staff. This should be reviewed regularly and updated accordingly. Make sure your school website and social media feeds have current information, including contact information for the school. Have a Continuity of Operations Plan in place in case of another global pandemic event and have plans for providing remote instruction.
Make sure you have proper sign in/sign out procedures in place and you conduct routine fire safety drills. Ensure your staff is trained in how to respond to various threats, such as an active shooter situation or child abduction. Ensure your staff knows how to spot and report possible signs of abuse in children. There are many agencies that will assist you in developing and training staff such as local Department of Health and Human Services offices, local law enforcement offices, State Fire Marshal and Department of Homeland Security.
W.Va. Code §18-9F-9 requires all private schools to have a crisis response plan in place and on file in the Office of Homeland Security. The WVDE has a template that you can use in drafting your plan. Please visit, Crisis Prevention and Response Plan Template – West Virginia Department of Education (wvde.us), for more information.