Policies and procedures are an important part of running a school productively, just as they are for any type of business or organization. Some might be required by legislative instances or governing bodies, while others might be optional. Policies and procedures should be documented and shared with applicable people, including staff members, faculty, parents and students. These tools make expectations clear and help avoid inefficiencies, conflicts and lawsuits.
Procedures and other documented expectations in a school setting should aim at creating an environment that is safe and supportive for students, and that gives them the space to do their best in their studies and lives.
A school may need bylaws in addition to other policies and procedures. These are generally required for registered non-profit schools.
Bylaws are school rules that have the purpose of designating legal parameters related to the governance and operation of the school.
Generally, the school board creates bylaws. A school board is in place to help create a good environment for learning, well-being and community.
Nonetheless, the school board also has the power to delegate another authority figure to create bylaws. These figures could include the principal or other staff members of the school.
Bylaws are not necessarily set in stone forever. It’s possible to change them when needed, as schools and their culture change over time. The school board or delegated authority could amend the bylaws to better run the school or for specific reasons, such as legal or safety concerns. When the bylaws are amended, the changes should be shared with all stakeholders.
Policies are essential for a school to maintain control.
These are rules that school leadership creates to define expectations of students and their parents, as well as staff members. They contribute to establishing a shared culture and consistent behaviors within the school.
They should include values and expectations, and they help create a consistent culture within the school.
Policies give staff members a way to manage a variety of situations that occur within a school environment, including ones related to health, behavior, welfare and discrimination. Policies also offer a framework for dealing with situations when the rules are violated.
These documents should be accurate and accessible, allowing everyone within the school community to work together toward a productive and safe environment.
They are also helpful for attracting new students, staff members and leaders. It may make a difference to a parent what the school’s policies are on certain issues, such as cyberbullying.
Similarly, a person considering becoming a staff member may want to know school policies regarding performance assessment as part of making the decision on whether to accept a position.
Procedures create a system for managing school operations. Schools are complex organizations with many moving parts. This is why procedures are so helpful. They help set forth how to address issues when they come up.
Being proactive in this way guides teachers and administrators through problems, and also lets parents know what to expect.
Procedures ensure students are all treated the same way in response to problems, and they help the school run as smoothly as possible even in difficult or unexpected circumstances.