Ask Michael

Vol. 11 No. 9

Q: One of our veteran teachers was offended by a performance evaluation that she felt didn’t adequately reflect her contributions to the school—so she wrote a rebuttal. Do I have to include this in her personnel file?


Improving Your HR Practices, One Step at a Time

Vol. 11 No. 9

As the school year comes to a close, after (hopefully) a short breather, you’ll be back at your desk, working on all the improvements you’d like to put in place next year. We have three words of advice and encouragement: “Keep it simple.” And maybe three more: “Don’t get overwhelmed.” This is easier said than done, of course—if, like many of us, you have a “Type-A” personality and strive to do as much as physically possible every given day (and it always seems like there are tons of things to do and improve). We’d like to share a few words of advice that we hope will help you.


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As you may know, a poorly written, outdated, or inconsistent handbook can hurt your school.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).

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