By Tom Strasburger, Vice President of PublicSchoolWORKS
In many of today’s schools, staff safety training and management of the process is handled with in-service workshops and pen and paper sign-offs. Besides the frustration associated with manually keeping track of all those who attended, it also requires that administrators hold follow-up sessions to ensure everyone who did not attend receives training.
With the power of today’s technology, there is no reason why this should be the case. Safety training, an important and necessary component of running a school district, can be easy on both teacher and administrator when it moves to an online automated system. And effective online safety training systems ensure that all staff, even those hired mid-year, receive the required training without having to schedule meetings or keep track of those who have not received proper training.
With online training, staff has the option of taking training at their leisure, when it best fits into their schedules. The training should feature an assessment component to ensure that each staff member comprehends what is covered in the training and the assessment should be delivered randomly so that no two people are likely to have the same questions in the same order.
In addition, an online system that automates and manages training can almost completely take that task away from an administrator by auto-notifying staff when training needs to take place, getting virtual sign-offs on things like board and district policies, and auto-alerting administrators when training has not been completed by the designated time. This frees up administrators so they can spend more time running their schools and ensuring that students are progressing.
It is encouraged that training should take place based on either meeting compliance requirements or based on the time of year to address safety or risk management concerns. For instance slips, trips and falls training should take place prior to potential weather hazards arriving in an area while custodial or maintenance staff may need to take a proper lifting course prior to the summer project season. By offering training when it is needed, districts can reduce injuries and workers compensation costs.
In addition, an online system with a robust course catalog can help all school districts meet the demands of ever-changing federal and state legislation. Traditional safety issues such as child abuse detection and prevention, as well as new issues such as cyber-bullying, can be addressed quickly with online courses. Adding an online course to a catalog to meet a new law can be done in a fraction of the time it takes to find an expert and schedule an in-service day.
In addition, an online tool that provides a reporting mechanism that automatically notifies appropriate administrators ensures that training is taking place without burdening administration.
The Future of Online Safety Training and Management
Online training and automated management will continue to grow as the demands on teachers and administrators continue to increase. The myriad of requirements a school system must meet and the potential legal and monetary ramifications that could occur when they do not, require an online and automated approach to school safety training. By doing away with in-service days focusing on safety training, it frees up time for teachers to collaborate on curriculum and improved teaching strategies.