Top Eight Employee Handbook Mistakes

Vol. 11 No. 8

As you may know, a poorly written, outdated, or inconsistent handbook can hurt your school. In fact, omitting certain language can actually increase your risk of lawsuits or decrease your flexibility to act in the best interests of the school! Knowing that the stakes are high, updating your employee handbook can be a daunting project, especially if you’ve never done it before or if you don’t have any support or guidance to help you along the way. Don’t lose heart—it is an important task! Here are a few common mistakes to avoid as you dive in.

green feet

Green Corner: Holistic Allergy Treatments

Vol. 11 No. 8

Allergy season is well underway. As trees and flowers wake up to greet longer days, so are allergy symptoms for nearly 35 millions Americans. It’s a beautiful time of year—but for sufferers, it’s misery. Sniffles, sneezes, watery eyes, itchy throat, constant drowsiness, headaches, and sinus pressure are just some of the reasons for long lines at the pharmacy counter. Here are some natural remedies to help ease seasonal symptoms—and hopefully reduce your wait at the pharmacy and strain on your wallet.


Just a Few More Wellness Program Ideas

Vol. 11 No. 8

A recent ISM study revealed that most schools don’t offer wellness plans. We found this interesting because wellness plans help control health insurance costs—they save organizations money! The healthier your employees, the fewer health claims. It’s that simple. And, wellness programs in themselves cost very little. Here are a few ideas to consider.


Social Media Policies: An Opportunity for Conversation

Vol. 11 No. 8

We have written about social media policies a number of times in the past few years—so, one might wonder, “Why rehash the topic? Hasn’t everyone gotten the message by now?” Perhaps, but since questions continue to cross our desk, we wanted to offer a fresh perspective on the matter, which is: social media policies really aren’t about “policy” at all. Rather, they are about community (i.e., having a conversation about what it means to be a member of the school community).


Ask Michael

Vol. 11 No. 8

Q: A member of our Board came up with a performance evaluation form that he wants us to use to evaluate teachers. Is it better for us to introduce this to teachers at the end of the semester in May, or should we wait until September when the new year begins?


Be Not Afraid: The Head is In Charge, Not HR and the Attorneys

Vol. 11 No. 8

There was a fascinating—and deeply disturbing—case in the national media this month involving the termination of a college coach for verbally and physically degrading his players. Many of the reports about the case indicated that certain administrators wanted to terminate the coach when the incidents first came to light, but they were advised by HR and legal counsel that they “didn’t have enough evidence” to do so. While we have no special insight into the veracity of the facts reported, we wanted to use this example as a means of examining a key leadership issue in private-independent schools today: How much power should the school’s attorney (and HR adviser) have?

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