Everyday elementary students spill out onto our school playgrounds for that much needed exercise and chance to just be kids at recess. And everyday school staff go outside with them. But what exactly is the school staff doing? Are they really effectively monitoring the student's activities or simply available if a problem arises? Michael Dorn, an internationally recognized school safety consultant notes that there have been several successful law suits against schools and their staff for failing to properly supervise playground activity.
The question that is often asked is NOT "how many staff members were on playground duty" but "what exactly was the staff doing when the injury occured?". Sadly the honest answer is all to often they were standing near the building and talking with each other. If you are not already assigning specific duties and posts to your playground staff it is time to consider it. Many playgrounds today have several components; swing set, jungle gym, basketball court and maybe even a ball field. Think about how you could strategically place staff members to watch each of these areas and what you want them to be doing while posted on the playground. The ultimate goal is to be proactive and provide a safe and fun play envirnoment for the children. Make sure to include a written plan for playground supervision in your schools safety guidelines.
This is John Baker for safetysolutions4schools.com