Private School News
The holiday season is here in full force. It’s a time for gratitude, merriment, and celebration. But there are guidelines to keep in mind so that everyone finds it enjoyable.
Even in faith-based schools where festivities are a natural extension of the school's religious mission, take certain precautions so that holiday celebrations do not isolate anyone. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as the season unfolds.
Encourage diversity. The holidays are an excellent time to fulfill your school's diversity initiatives. Encourage participation in different faith-based traditions to promote knowledge and respect for all cultures.
Discuss holiday plans with your faculty and staff. Meet with faculty and staff in the next few weeks to discuss their plans for the holiday season. Hear their ideas and provide feedback as necessary.
Implement gift-giving policies. We have shared guidelines for accepting gifts from students and families, as well as exchanging gifts within your school. The key here is to establish formal policies and procedures that define acceptable gifts, amounts that can be spent, and more. These must be in line with your school culture and mission.
Plan appropriately for holiday parties. One concern for faculty and staff members may be whether they are required to attend any parties or gatherings. Make it clear that attendance at holiday parties is not mandatory and there will be no repercussions if they elect not to attend.
Be mindful of alcohol safety. Many holiday parties include alcohol consumption. Your school should define what consumption is considered responsible in your Alcohol and Drug Use Policy. If your school does not have a written policy that defines permissible alcohol use, make it clear before the party what is appropriate and what isn’t. Also, you should have reliable sources available for transit home (such as Uber or Lyft), designated drivers, and public transportation.
Consider personal decorations. Many people find joy in decorating for the season, including their personal workspace. Your school should have a policy stating what is permitted and what is considered unacceptable—not just for the holiday season, but for the entire year. Define what personal items may be displayed in work areas. Take into account religious and cultural sensitivities.
From all of us at ISM, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season!
Additional ISM resources:
The Source for Private School News Vol. 17 No. 3 Guidelines for Gift Giving During the Holiday Season
The Source for Private School News Vol. 17 No. 3 The Holidays Are Coming—Are You Offering Holiday Care?
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