Happy 4th of July. I hope you are reveling in the warm summer days. Whether you have just finished up the year, or are preparing to return, it’s never too early to think about how to do better in the next school year.
Our teachers are already thinking about new lesson plans and teaching strageties. Our parents want to help their students be more successful in the new school year. And our administrators are looking at ways to improve the educational experience and overall school performance.
Here at Safe and Sound Schools, we never stop thinking about ways to improve school safety. That’s why this summer, we’re providing daily tips to help provide you with some new ideas. Check out our #100DaysofSafety campaign on social media. It just takes one small idea to make a big difference.
During these few shorts weeks of summer, we wish peace and quiet, time with your loved ones, and an opportunity to rethink school safety and recharge for the year ahead.
Keep up with #100DaysOfSafety on our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
– Michele Gay
As the end of the school year nears, we sometimes forget about school safety. But for those of us sending or thinking about sending our children to summer camp, safety remains a priority. If you’ve sent your child to camp before, you may be familiar with many items on this list, if you’re a new, we’ve got you covered.
Your approach to summer camp safety should be no different than your approach to school safety. So whether you are preparing to send your child to summer camp or looking into possible programs, take a look at the summer camp safety checklist below:
Review the Camp – Think about touring the camp, speaking with a reference, and doing a little background investigation to determine whether the camp is accredited and if it adheres to safety and health standards as mandated by the state and/or city.
Camp Staff – Consider asking about the screening process, as well as staff experience and training. Are staff members subject to background checks and/or drug tests? What types of training are staff required to participate in and what types of certifications do they have? For example, are they familiar with first-aid and CPR? What about emergency training and behavior management? If there are swimming activities are there certified lifeguards?
Emergency Plans – Perhaps one of the most pressing concerns: do you have emergency plans in place? Ask about the types of emergency preparedness plans in place and communication procedures. What types of threats is the camp prepared for? How will parents be notified? Are there reunification plans in place?
Field Trip Safety – Ask about methods of transportation and how field trips are managed. Will camp members split into groups? How do group supervisors/chaperones communicate with each other? What is the adult to child ratio? Is there a buddy system? What is the protocol for a lost camper?
Sun Safety – During the summer children are subject to sunburns and heat exhaustion, how will the camp mitigate this issue? Remember that some camps don’t allow staff members to touch campers, so consider packing a spray-on sunscreen or asking beforehand.
Food Safety – What types of snacks/meals are typically served and how does the camp accommodate campers with food allergies? Does the camp have EpiPens and are there medical staff onsite prepared to deal with food allergy emergencies?
Medical Staff – Are there licensed medical professionals on site? What kinds of issues and procedures are they prepared to deal with? Don’t forget to inform them of any medical issues and instructions.
As you review the checklist, remember to voice any concerns you have with your camp director. Have a safe and sound summer!
Each June finds us hopping here at Safe and Sound. Only two years into our mission to advocate for safer schools nationally, the humble non-profit we began as parents of children killed at Sandy Hook School is now working with school communities and organizations across the country for safer schools.
As June signals the end of another school year and communities begin looking ahead to the next, we find ourselves scrambling to keep up with invitations to visit and speak to school communities and professional organizations. Thankfully, our team is growing to help us better keep up with and grow the national momentum for safer schools!
This June, we invite you to join us in celebrating the work of many to keep our schools safe, and look ahead to another year of improved school safety. Follow us here on our blog, and on Twitter (@SafeSchoolsOrg) and Facebook (Safe and Sound Schools) for the tips, information, and inspiration you’ll need to prepare and inspire others for another year of safe learning and teaching!
Wishing you time this summer to relax, recharge, and reflect on the safety successes and challenges of the past school year, so that the next one can be even more Safe and Sound!
-The Safe and Sound Team