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CFIS: A safe and enduring school
Goal 2 of CFIS’s strategic plan is to ensure that CFIS is a safe, secure, and enduring school community. To that end, a number of initiatives have been implemented that foster a positive and safe environment in which to learn and work.
The members of CFIS’s senior leadership team take parents’ feedback to heart, and use the results from safety-focused questions from both Alberta Education and internal surveys to develop action plans to deliberately and proactively address related themes. Some key activities in this regard have included:
- Emotional safety: A focus on encouraging positive behaviours, creating an inclusive environment, and preventing bullying included presentations celebrations of diversity, and gender-neutral uniform guidelines. Additionally, the CFIS Society Board recently updated its Mutual Respect policy, which applies to all members of the CFIS community.
- Internet safety: To deepen community awareness regarding internet safety, CFIS hosted cybersafety expert Paul Davis, who presented to students and parents about staying safe online, and to staff about the positive, safe use of social media in the educational field.
- Physical safety: Investments in the public address system and key-fob access control have improved physical security at CFIS. Protocols are in place to ensure access control to the building during school hours.
- Emergency preparedness training and drills: CFIS utilizes a comprehensive emergency response system called Hour Zero, and conducts six annual mandated fire/evacuation drills each year as per Alberta Education legislation. Additionally, all CFIS faculty and staff are required to have up-to-date first aid certification.
- Privacy and protection of personal information: A number of CFIS employees deepened their knowledge of privacy legislation through training and working with representatives from Alberta’s Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner to review CFIS’s privacy practices and use of personal information.
- Risk management: CFIS staff utilize a Board-approved risk matrix to assess risk and make decisions with regard to student activities. As well, an active Health and Safety Committee is populated with representation from divisions and departments throughout the school.
- Healthy workplace: Providing a healthy environment within which to work is a key to ensuring that CFIS is an employer of choice on the Calgary educational landscape. In the past two years, improvements have been made to employee benefits, at little additional cost to the school.
Management of safety and security at CFIS is an ongoing undertaking and will continue to remain as a top priority for CFIS employees. In particular, CFIS’s pedagogical leaders will be placing an even stronger focus on working with students and faculty to ensure that each and every CFIS student has a sense of emotional well-being.