School health and safety policies define preventive methods, and best practices for handling emergencies. Policies are often written by a team of staff, administrators, parents, community members and public safety officials.
Policies explain the identification and control of infectious diseases, and the notification of individuals who may be affected. Methods of protection from food borne illnesses are included. Most schools also have policies restricting the use of foods, such as peanuts, which can cause severe allergic reactions.
School health and safety policies describe plans for handling emergencies, such as tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, wildfires. Consideration is given to communication, first aid, food and shelter for an extended time, in case emergency personnel are not immediately available.
The U.S. Department of Education encourages schools to have written policies regarding harassment and student conflict. Policies should also include guidelines for handling intruders and weapons.
Schools may include policies to protect students from inappropriate Internet use. Policies often add guidelines for student and parent Internet safety training, since school assignments may be completed on home computers.
Policies detail playground equipment safety, secure storage of chemicals, and building inspections and maintenance.
Concerns Specific to the School
According to the U.S. Department of Education's Guide to Vulnerability Assessments, policies need to address concerns specific to the school. A school's location or student population may necessitate additional policies.