By Nikki Jamieson
Four policies received their final reading during the Horizon School Board’s monthly meeting on Jan. 19.
These policies come on the heels of the Education Act, which is replacing the School Act.
“Given that we are in a state of flux, between the School Act and the Education Act, any policies that needed change or required updating because of the implementation of the Education Act, we started looking at all of those policies, to ensure when the Education Act comes into power or is proclaimed, then our policies are in alignment,” said Wilco Tymensen, superintendent for the HSB.
The first policy read was GAB, or Police Information Checks. This is a new policy that requires all staff to declare annually what their police background check – which includes a criminal record and vulnerable sector check – and their child intervention check status is. Previously, these checks were done only when they were first hired.
Policy GBD, or First Aid Training, is an updated policy that was first created Feb. 27, 1997, and was further amended in 2006 and 2009. This update provides more clarification and complies with new OHS regulations.
Policy HICA, or Off-Site Activities, is an updated policy that was first created on Nov. 27, 1996, and further amended in 2000, 2002, 2006 and 2009. This update provides further clarification, with an emphasis on international trips, risk assessments and trip cancellation.
Finally, last but not least, policy IGAA, or Use of Physical Restraints, is an update on a policy first created on May 28, 1997, and amended in 2002. The biggest change in this policy is that it requires staff, who may be required to physically restrain a student as part of their regular responsibilities, to receive training on how to safely handle a student, should they need to be restrained.
Policies generally get updated every five years, unless legislation is coming/comes out that affects them. In those cases, changes are delayed or changes are made immediately afterwards.
“For a long period of time, they were saying, ‘Well, we’re coming out with a new act’. There’s no point changing something if we don’t even know what the act looks like,” said Tymensen. “Then the act came out, and said start building policies.”