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How School Officials Can Prepare for the 2020-21 School Year

As schools reopen, there are a variety of ways that school officials can mitigate risks that are brought on by both virtual lessons and in-person learning.
From safety precautions and proper hygiene to obtaining the appropriate insurance, there are a variety of measures that school officials need to consider.

Ways to Keep the Classroom Safe

To keep schools safe for both students and educators, school officials should consider taking the following precautions:

• Social Distancing- Desks should be set up six feet apart or at least three apart while avoiding physical contact.
• Classroom and Hallway Logistics- Reduce traffic in the hallways by having teachers move classroom to classroom rather than having students travel between classes.
• Lunchtime- students should eat at their desks or in small groups inside or outside to keep the lunchroom from being overcrowded.
• Hygiene and Face Covering- Encourage students and staff to wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at a minimum of 20 seconds. Also, require face coverings for staff and students.
• Checking and Testing for Illness- While taking students temperatures daily is not feasible, it is crucial to establish a way for staff to identify students who are showing signs of illness such as fever.

Virtual Learning Safety Tips

If your school is not bringing students back into the physical classroom, there are guidelines for school officials to consider to help reduce their liability and risk in a virtual learning environment.

• Be sure you are following federal and state law, as well as school system policies regarding recording video or audio of students and staff. It is best to avoid recording student classroom discussions when possible.
• Make sure you outline the type of technology you are using and the measures you are taking to protect student data to keep parents informed.
• Allow parents to decide whether they want their child to participate in video sessions or not. If they choose not to use video sessions, be sure to provide them with other methods of connecting to the lessons as needed.
• It is also important to avoid using virtual platforms or video conferencing that requires students to create personal accounts.

Cyber Liability Insurance to Protect Staff and Student Data

With virtual learning at the forefront of education during the COVID-19 pandemic, cyber threats can impact students, staff, and teachers, or your IT networks and systems. If either of these elements is compromised due to a data breach, malware, phishing, etc., it can interrupt the school operations and put the personal information of your students, staff, and teachers at risk, making you liable.

In addition to developing and promoting policies to keep your information and network secure, purchasing cyber liability insurance is another way to protect the school in the event of a data breach or other cybersecurity issue. With a cyber liability policy, you can financially protect your district, providing coverage for costs such as replacing infected computers or lawsuits resulting from the cyber attack.

Contact Quantum Source Insurance Group today to learn more about how a cyber liability insurance policy can protect your district.

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