Learning and activities can always be fun, but the afterschool safety and security of students participating in those programs are very important to parents and schools. We know the teachers that spend the day enriching our children and the familiar environment of their classroom, so it’s even more important to have confidence in their afterschool safety as well. Parents entrust Flex Academies to care for and protect their children when they are attending a Flex class. This trust is an important matter that we take very seriously. Flex has taken these 5 important safety steps to ensure the safety and security of the students we serve, which every after school program should be doing for your child:
1. Coordination With School Staff
The most fundamental way to protect our students is by working closely with school staff to communicate about student attendance, about the school environment, their transportation, and more. Close coordination between school staff and Flex staff ensures accountability and that no students are at risk.
2. Onsite Coordinator
Providing an onsite coordinator at an after school program to serve as a front line staff person to immediately address any issues or situations that may arise during after school activities is important when it comes to student safety. Onsite coordinators are skilled professionals who are the first point of contact for parents and school staff members regarding any concerns they may have regarding a student, a vendor or any other issue. Importantly, Flex onsite coordinators are responsible for monitoring the attendance of every student and every vendor in their schools’ Flex programs on a daily basis.
3. Check-in And Check-out Of Students
It’s important to provide an onsite coordinator with a roster of students participating in each after school activity. By making sure to check-in students at the beginning of classes and check-out students at the end of classes, Flex teachers are cross-checking with school staff for any “missing” students. They account for their absence during the school day and then the parent is contacted if necessary.
4. Check-in And Check-out Of Afterschool Teachers & Vendors
An onsite coordinator should be responsible for checking-in every afterschool activity vendor and ensuring that they are delivering a quality program every day. Flex vendors know that their continuing participation in programs at any Flex school is conditioned on their ongoing performance at every Flex school. Flex also expects vendors to arrive at their schools at least 10 minutes prior to their class times to ensure the after school safety for kids transitioning from day activities into their afterschool program.
5. Background Checks
All activity vendors should be required to complete background checks of every staff member who teaches a class at an afterschool program. These background checks are critical for afterschool safety and are all professionally done by Flex by reviewing the employee’s records in several key areas:
- Social Security verification
- Address trace
- Local criminal record search
- National criminal record search
- Sex offender registry
Successful completion of these background checks provide Flex parents with a level of confidence in the character of the instructors who are teaching their students.
6. Insurance Coverage
Lastly, having activity vendors retain a designated level of liability insurance coverage for their roles in an afterschool program plays an important part in student safety. While Flex’s expectation is that we will never need to make on claim on this insurance coverage, it is critical that this coverage is in place to cover any potential liabilities that may be incurred through the vendor’s activities in the Flex school.
In 23 schools across 4 states, Flex vendors deliver fun, exciting, and of course safe, activities that motivate students to learn and grow. Whether it’s a cooking class at Pyle Middle School or a pottery class at Ashburton Elementary School or a Lego Robotics class at North Mianus School, the hallmarks of a Flex program are FUN and LEARNING, with our top priority in after school safety and security!
These measures should give parents a high level of confidence regarding the afterschool safety and security of their students while they are participating in a Flex Academies program. Have questions about after school safety? ASK US and send us your questions.