At ISNS we believe that a positive school climate exists when all members of the school community feel safe, comfortable, and accepted. When addressing issues of student care staff members are encouraged to focus on prevention and early intervention as the best strategies for maintaining this positive school climate. Staff members are encouraged to err on the side of caution and report any student whom you think is at risk.
All staff are expected to follow the ethical behaviour from their professional associations and to take into consideration, social codes and moral expectations of the ISNS community. Discussion of sensitive material requires teachers, counsellors, and administrators to establish an atmosphere that is open, respectful and encourages discussions of sensitive topics without disparaging and discriminating against the student. Student confidentiality should be considered and respected in all communications. (i.e., meetings, public discussions, conversations on buses, etc.).
The first responsibility is to act in the best interest of the students. All attendees at a meeting must subscribe to the following basic tenets:
- Each student has the right to respect and dignity as a unique human being.
- All services will be provided without prejudice to the person, character, belief or practice.
- Each student has the right to privacy and, thereby, the right to expect the teachers, counsellor or administrator to comply with all ethical standards pertaining to confidentiality.
- Only relevant information should be included to assist the attendees to make an informed plan to address concern(s), when discussing a student.
- Teachers, counsellors and administrators reserve the right to consult in confidence about their students.
- Teachers, counsellors and administrators recognize their boundaries of professional duties and use only those techniques for which they are qualified by training or experience.
- Teachers, counsellors and administrators must understand their role when crisis situations arise and the actions that must be taken.
- Teachers, counsellors and administrators must be knowledgeable about referral resources.
Student Confidentiality in Emails
Protecting the confidentiality of students in the school is a prime consideration for all staff. The aim of these guidelines is to help staff ensure they do not divulge such information by accident or with purpose. With the volume of emails received daily and the ease of access to IT devices or equipment, these guidelines should help ensure students privacy is maintained.
Writing and responding to an email
In the subject heading confidential emails should be titled “Confidential” only. No student details should be visible.
In the body of the email the first sentence should include a variation of the following: ‘This message is confidential; please be considerate when opening it, storing it and responding to it’.
- Give consideration to the space where you are writing the email. Can students/staff see your screen? Are you connected to display equipment? Where are you seated?
- Think carefully about who does/does not need to be “cc’d” in?
- Take your time when writing and sending an email. Be sure to include only information that is relevant and appropriate to the recipients.
- Do not put the sensitive information in the top few lines as some email readers show a preview of the email.
- Do consider if the matter is better discussed face-to-face.
- Be mindful that any correspondence can be used in a legal setting in extreme cases.
- Never divulge any request for information from one parent, such as phone numbers/WeChat ID or any other personal contact information for another parent.
Reading an email labelled “Confidential”
- Give consideration to the space where you are reading the email. Can students/staff see your screen? Are you connected to display equipment? Where are you seated?
- Take your time reading an email. Pay attention to the content and follow any given instructions exactly as outlined.
- Consider following up face-to-face with the sender.
- Tag and store the email in a secure way and not in your general inbox–do this as soon as possible.
- Inform the sender and then delete the email if you feel you have been sent a confidential email by accident. Please do not discuss this matter with anyone else.
At all times, faculty should be acting in the best interests of the student.*
Confidentiality with Professional Reports
Professional Reports may include, but are not limited to, educational psychological testing and assessments, mental health testing, physio and occupational reports, hospital reports, correspondence and reports from outside health providers, police reports, former and current school progress reports. All Professional Reports are confidential and should not be shared with anyone other than the intended/appropriate receipt (see below).
If a teacher receives a Professional Report, then the teacher will send, electronically or will hand-deliver it, if it’s a hard copy, the report to the appropriate individual outlines below:
Lower and Upper Primary Years Programs (PYP)
Academic School reports are recorded on ManageBac
All other reports for this division go to the PYP Learning Support Professional and/or relevant School Counsellor.
Middle Years Program and Diploma Program (MYP/DP)
Academic School reports are recorded on ManageBac
All reports for this division go to MYP/DP Learning Support Professional and the MYP/DP Guidance Counsellor.
Access and Distribution of Reports
Access to Professional Reports:
Teachers come to the Learning Support office and speak with relevant Learning Support teacher.
- Teachers may retrieve the file and view the information in the presence of the Learning Support teacher. Please note that the report(s) are not to be removed from the office. If school recommendations are included in the report, these may be photocopied.
- School Counsellors have full access to all student reports. A copy of behavioral reports is filed securely.
Former ISNS Students
New Brunswick School Records (NBSR) are stored on ManageBac. There are paper Cumulative Records on file for former ISNS students, however that information has been digitized and is available on ManageBac. Confidential records are in a secure file accessible by the School Counsellors.
MYP/DP Accessing NBSRs
- Come to the assigned School Counsellor’s Office for the student for whom you are seeking information.
- If it is a hard copy, the School Counsellor will retrieve the file and ask the teacher to sign on the folder that he or she is viewing the information. Please note that the NBSR is not to be photocopied or removed from the School Counsellor’s office.
- When finished viewing the information the School Counsellor will return the NBSR to the appropriate files.
- Teachers, Students and Parents are welcome to view the information with the relevant NBSRs but must remember that they are CONFIDENTIAL and should not be shared with any additional party.
Distribution of Professional Reports or of information within Professional Reports
- The School Counsellor and/or Learning Support Teacher will distribute the appropriate information to relevant teachers or supervisors of the student in question. This will include professionals who are working with the student in the current academic year.
- Information distributed is considered CONFIDENTIAL. (Please refer to the Student Confidentiality procedures.) Teachers should not share with each other anecdotal information from Professional Reports of years past or present.
- Any information shared should be done so with the student’s best interest in mind and enhancement of his or her well-being and academic success.
- Teachers should appreciate that information may not be shared if permission from the family has not been given, especially if it is deemed highly sensitive or if it is perceived as not being helpful or in the best interest of the student/family.
- Teachers, Counsellors and Administrators must pay particular attention to the directive of not speaking or discussing details in Professional Reports with the student in question when it is requested.
- When transferring from ISNS the school reserves the right not to disclose information in a professional report to the new school.
Counselling Communications Protocol
Rationale: To ensure effective communication between necessary parties while respecting confidentiality standards and to monitor and track individual student needs and progress, as well as patterns of student needs within the school. To ensure the safety of our students through discussion of best practices and the protection of all individual counsellors through consultation and professional support.
Case Management of Elevated Situations
Examples of elevated situation could include, but not limited to: anxiety, depression, suicide, self-harm, child-at-risk, bullying, disclosure of sexual activity/abuse or any other behavior deemed unhealthy by the school counsellor.
When an elevated situation arises with a student or students, the counsellor must initiate the process of case-management.
A. Case Management Process
- Counsellor contacts the appropriate divisional principal or designate in the case of Principal’s absence for consultation on the situation.
- If, after consultation, Case Management is needed, three people will be involved in further discussion. These three people should include, but are not limited to, the relevant Counsellor, division Principal and an additional counsellor. The relevant School Counsellor becomes the Case Manager.
- Through a Case Management Conference, an Action Plan will be created, recorded and stored in a secure file with the Case Manager. For tracking and monitoring purposes, the Counsellor and Principal will maintain their own notes and record-keeping in a secured file.
- Protocols for dealing with elevated or crisis situations will be carried out in accordance with the “Responding to Student Crises: A Counselling Handbook”.
- Case Manager will continue monitoring the student(s) needs and call further Case Management meetings within two weeks for feedback to the Case Management team as needed.
- The Case Manager will be responsible for reporting situations, when relevant, to the School Principals and Head of School.
B. Regular Meetings to Update School Counsellors and Designated Administrators about All Counselling Cases.
On a bi-monthly basis, divisional school counsellors will meet with the relevant Principals to update all parties on students matters.
- Lower PYP – Counsellor and Principal
- Upper PYP – Counsellor and Principal
- MYP and DP – Counsellors and Principals
For tracking and monitoring purposes, confidential notes will be stored in a secure file.
The Case Manager will be responsible for reporting, when relevant, situations and patterns to the School Principals and Head of School.
Students who are Suicidal or Contemplating Suicide
According to the World Health Organization and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, suicide in Hong Kong is on the rise and is the leading cause of death within the 15 – 24 age group. The impact of suicide on the family and community of the related victim is profound and procedures are vital to handle and reduce the threat of suicide and the consequences of any actual act.
- Suicide: “the action of killing oneself intentionally.”
- Disclosed ideation: “the act of confiding, verbally, written or otherwise, in anyway suicidal thoughts.”
- Disclosed intent: “the act of confiding, verbally, written or otherwise, in anyway a plan for death by suicide.”
Confidentiality and Suicide
In any case of disclosed ideation or intent of suicide, confidentiality may be extended to include parents, legal guardians, appropriate divisional Principal, and Head of School, School Counsellors, appropriate Teachers and relevant community support professionals.
General School Wide Precautions
- All students are advised of the general response that the school will under take in the case of disclosure of harm, the intent to harm (self or others) or the awareness of harm (to others) at the start of each academic year. This is communicated in the student policies and procedures and by the School Counsellors via classroom visits.
- Classrooms are provided with “emergency cards” to follow in the case of any occurrence as stated above.
- All staff members should bring any suspected disclosed ideation or intent to the attention of the relevant School Counsellor. The School Counsellor will follow up and investigate any student identified in this regard and take appropriate action.
- Students are encouraged, through a sense of community, to support one another and to refer any peer they feel need assistance to School Counsellors or teachers.
- The school will continue to provide suicide prevention education.
Procedure for disclosed ideation or intent
- If a student discloses, verbally, written, or otherwise, that s/he is suicidal or contemplating suicide, s/he should be immediately escorted to the relevant School
S/he must not be left alone or escorted by another student to the School Counsellor or Principal. If a classroom cannot be left unsupervised then one of the above individuals should be called to the class to collect the student.
AT NO TIME SHOULD THE STUDENT BE LEFT ALONE WITHOUT ADULT SUPERVISION.
- The School Counsellor will discuss the situation with the student and carry out a risk assessment. (see Appendix)
- A Case Management team will be assembled to review the results of the risk assessment and will determine the appropriate response depending on the level of risk: “Low”, “Medium” or “High”. (See Following “Risk” Notations)
- The student must remain in a designated area with adult supervision at all times (including bathroom/cafeteria visits).
- Administration will immediately contact the parents/guardians.
- The Counsellor will compete a Safety Plan with the student.
- If it is not reasonable or possible for the parents to collect the child, a mutually agreed upon party may collect him or her. This agreement must occur between parents, child, and administration. If there are no suitable alternatives, local emergency centres will be contacted and the student will be transferred to Shenzhen Mental Health Center (include address in English and Chinese). An appropriate faculty member will escort the student until parent/guardians can resume their parental responsibilities. Prior to making this decision, the School Counsellor and the Leadership team will be consulted.
- If the student is deemed to be “low risk”, parents will be encouraged or in some cases even required, to seek outside professional help. Recommendations can be provided by the School Counsellor. The student is required to abide by the Safety Plan jointly created by the Counsellor and the Student and the signed Contract for Safety.
- A follow-up plan will be created by the School Counsellor, which may include counselling support and monitoring the student until s/he has stabilized.
MEDIUM or HIGH RISK
- If the student is deemed to be “medium” or “high risk”, parents will be contacted to come to the school immediately to take their child to see an outside medical professional (i.e. psychologist and/or psychiatrist).
- The student will only return to school when deemed fit by a recognized medical professional and approved during a Safety and Re-Entry meeting.
The following procedures are to be followed for suicidal intention that comes to the attention of a school member outside of school hours of operation. This could occur while on field trips, CAS experiences, extracurricular activities or on evenings or weekends.
- If outside of school hours, a teacher or supervisor becomes aware of student’s suicidal intent, he or she should contact their appropriate divisional principal or designate in the case of Principal’s absence, or the Head of School. The Head of School can contact a support staff member who can help translate if necessary.
- The Administrator will then contact the relevant School Counsellor. This will then become the basis of the Crisis Management Team to determine an appropriate action plan.
- As it is impossible in these situations to assess the level of risk, in all cases, the parents of the student-at-risk must be contacted as soon as possible.
- The student should not be left unsupervised at anytime.
- The student will be taken directly to the nearest hospital to under go a risk assessment to determine next steps.
- If the student is in the care of his or her parent(s) or legal guardian(s), they will be responsible for ensuring the safety of their child and obtaining a letter stating that student is safe to re-enter school.
- In cases, where the student is in the care of a school supervisor, the supervisor will communicate with the Case Management team about appropriate next steps, which could include contacting Emergency Services, going to the nearest hospital or in some cases evacuating the student to the care of their parents.
- The student will only return to school when deemed fit by a recognized medical professional and approved during a Safety Re-Entry Meeting.
Resources available in Section:
- Initial Screening Tool
- Safety Plan Outline
- Re-Entry Plan
ISNS Procedures for Student who Self-Harm
Self-harm refers to deliberate acts that cause harm to one’s body, mind, and spirit.
It can include cutting scratching, burning, banging and bruising, hair pulling (head, eyelash, etc.), overdosing (without suicidal intent), deliberate bone-breaking/spraining.
Typically, people who self-harm are not trying to kill themselves. Usually, they are not trying to end all feeling; they are trying to feel better. Self-harm may seem frightening, but it’s important to look beyond the injuries and see what’s really going on. It is important to keep a close eye on vulnerable students such as those with a history of abuse.
(Source: Canadian Mental Health Association: https://cmha.ca/understanding-mental-illness/self-injury)
Signs that someone may be self-harming:
People who self-harm often go to great lengths to conceal their injuries or condition making it difficult to know whether a person is self-harming or not.
- People who self-harm can seem withdrawn or depressed.
- You may notice cuts or bruises that may be accompanied by excuses that don’t seem to fit.
- Many people who self-harm will cut their arms and so they may wear long sleeves, even when it is very hot.
- Within school, people who self-harm may have excuses to not wear shorts or short sleeves and therefore may avoid activities like PE or swimming.
If the student is suspected of self-harming, the following steps will be taken:
- If a staff member suspects that a student is self-harming, he or she should not confront the student. The staff member will notify the appropriate counsellor immediately of his or her suspicions.
- If a student discloses that they are self-harming to a staff member, the staff member must listen, validate the student, and help the student to know it is not possible to maintain complete confidentiality. The staff member will bring the student directly to the appropriate counsellor and follow-up with a written referral.
- Once a referral is made, the School Counsellor will have a general discussion with the student to ascertain the level of risk/concern.
- Depending on the level of risk/concern, a Case Management Team would be assembled. This team could include administration, other school counsellors, and the school nurse.
- The Case Management Team meeting will determine whether the school can successfully counsel the student on-site.
- The Counsellor will call the parents in identified cases of self-harm. Depending on the level of severity, parents may be required to come to the school.
- The Counsellor will remain the Case Manager and will follow up with all involved parties as needed.
Three levels of risk/concern have been identified:
Low: Students have just begun experimenting with self-harm. The counsellor will suggest alternative coping strategies and check in with the student within 48 hours to re-evaluate the level of concern. Weekly or bi-weekly counselling sessions should occur until both counsellor and student feel the issue has been resolved.
Moderate: There is a history of previous self-harm, there are current injuries, risk of infection or existing social emotional symptoms (emotional distress, anxiety, depression, self-loathing). In the absence of a school psychologist, the student should be referred to a private psychologist for therapy.
Extreme: Regular self-harm, cutting more deeply, or burning is considered a medical/psychiatric emergency. Parents will be contacted to take their child for immediate medical and/or psychiatric evaluation. Referral to a private practitioner is required. Re-entry procedure must be followed (refer to Re-entry Document).
If the situation becomes accelerated and the student expresses suicidal ideation the counsellor will immediately implement the suicide risk procedure.
Please Note: only a small percentage of students who self-harm become suicidal.
ISNS Procedures for Suspected Child Abuse
All staff employed at ISNS (Faculty, Non-Faculty) are mandated to report their concerns about the well-being of any student to ISNS administration and/or school counsellor. Reporting and follow up of all suspected incidents of child abuse and neglect will proceed in accordance with procedures outlined in the Child Protection Policy. (ISNS Child Protection Policy Statement)
If a student discloses abuse to a staff member and/or a staff member suspects abuse the staff member must report their suspicions of abuse/ neglect to a school counsellor as soon as possible, and the counsellor will submit the Record of Concern form (ISNS Child Protection Policy pg.32 ) to administration. The counsellor responsible for that grade level or for that specific student becomes the Case Manager.
After notifying administration the counsellor will take initial steps to gather information regarding the reported incident.
- The counsellor will interview staff members as necessary and document information relative to the case using the ‘Record of Concern’ form. Staff members may include: school nurse, teacher(s), and other individuals as the administration sees fit.
- The counsellor will review the student file, digital records, and child’s history.
A case conference is called by the counsellor to determine next steps. A case conference must involve a minimum of 3 people. Participants may include, but are not limited to, administrators, school nurse, and other school counsellors (CPOs).
If there is sufficient evidence of abuse and the student is at immediate risk of
physical and/or sexual abuse, the senior administration team will proceed with contacting:
- China Police- School Liaison Officer
- China Police Ministry of Public Security Report Form (QR code)
If there is sufficient evidence of abuse but the student is not considered to be in immediate risk of physical harm, the counsellor will, under the direction of the administration, proceed with contacting the appropriate authorities.
If there is insufficient evidence and no further cause for investigation is needed, then the counsellor will document the incident in the student’s file. The counsellor may meet with the family to share concerns and provide resources and referrals if necessary. The counsellor will monitor the student periodically.
- Relevant staff members are informed of the process by the counsellor. The counsellor, school nurse, and administrator will continue to support the student and family and collaborate with the social welfare department and other relevant agencies involved. Appropriate documents will be filed and stored in the student’s electronic and/or paper files.
- Communication with parents will be determined on a case-by-case basis in consultation with administration and when necessary, the China Police.
- Cases of confirmed child abuse or neglect may be reported by a member of administration to the appropriate employer of the involved parties, to the respective consulate in China, to the appropriate child protection agency in the home country, to future institutions who act in loco parentis, and/or to the local authorities.
In handling suspected child abuse cases in schools, the paramount concern is the welfare of the child. School personnel have an obligation to safeguard the best interest of the child. Early identification and intervention at the initial stage are vital. Failure to recognize abuse cases may lead to further abusive injuries or even death of a child. School personnel should be sensitive to the emotional needs of the child throughout the investigation process and should render ever possible assistance to help the child re-integrate and adjust to school life after the investigation.
(with permission from CISHK Responding to Student Crises: A Counselling Handbook)
It is crucial to involve only the relevant staff in the process of handling suspected child abuses cases.
Delay in making reports of child abuse cases may affect the child’s safety.
The designated personnel involved should have close communication among themselves and adhere strictly to the principle of confidentiality in the course of handling the suspected child abuse cases.
Information on Child Abuse and Neglect:
- Definition of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISNS CPP-page 10)
- Signs and indicators of neglect and abuse (ISNS CPP-pages 21-22).
In cases of suspected abuse involving an ISNS faculty or staff member, please refer to the Child Protection Policy and Procedure document – Annex 5.
Forms to be completed (see Appendix):
- Record of Concern Form
Disclosure of Sexual Activity
According to the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China:
Article 236: Intercourse with girl under 14
Whoever has unlawful sexual relations with a girl under the age of 14 shall be guilty of an offence and shall be sentenced to not less than 10 years of fixed-term imprisonment, life imprisonment, or death.
Age of consent for sexual activity:
The legal age of consent for sexual activity is fourteen (14) years.
*Note: It is required that students at ISNS understand the China law. This should be implemented at the beginning of every school year.
According to the ISNS Child Protection Policy:
A child is defined as being any person under the age of 18 or any person enrolled at ISNS as a full- time student even if that person has reached his/her 18th birthday.
When the situation is determined to involve a student under the age of 14 the school is obligated to inform the parents.
- Student discloses to a teacher and/or counsellor that they are involved in a sexual relationship. The teacher will notify the counsellor immediately.
- The Counsellor will meet with the student to discuss the situation and gather information.
- The Counsellor will then form a Case Management team which should include the divisional Principal or designate in the case of Principal’s absence.
- The Case Management Team will review the information. Parents will be contacted by counsellor and asked to come in to the school as soon as possible to discuss the situation about their child.
- The Counsellor and the Administrator meet with the parents to discuss the situation. Parents are informed about the People’s Republic of China law about the age of consent and non-consensual. It will be a family decision if they choose to report the incident to the China Police.
It will be highly encouraged for the family to seek outside support, including medical and psychological, at an institution or professional of their choice. (See Appendix for a list of possible choices).
If a student under the age of 14 discloses involvement in non-consensual sexual activity, please follow procedures outlined in the Suspected Child Abuse policy.
Students over 14 years of age who disclose consensual sexual activity
- For students 14 years of age or over who disclose sexual activity, the teacher may have a confidential conversation about the disclosure with the student’s counsellor without revealing his or her name.
- It is recommended that the teacher strongly encourages the student to speak with his or her designated counsellor.
- Any further support is determined by the counsellor and will be in the best interest and well-being of the student. The counsellor would encourage the student to speak with his or her parents but is neither obligated nor permitted to inform the parents of the student.
ISNS Policy and Procedures for Bullying Prevention
ISNS believes that students and staff have the right to a safe, positive, caring, and healthy school environment free from bullying. This document will explain what bullying is, procedures for reporting bullying incidents, and what ISNS does to prevent bullying.
Definition of Bullying
Bullying is typically a form of repeated, persistent, aggressive behaviour that is directed at an individual(s) that is intended to cause fear, distress and/or harm to another person’s body, feelings, self-esteem, or reputation.
There are four main types of bullying:
- Physical – it may include hitting, pushing, slapping, and tripping and also includes sexual assault.
- Verbal – name calling, teasing or making offensive remarks.
- Cyber – the use of technology by an individual or group in a way that is intended to upset others. Examples include using social websites, mobile phones, text messaging, photographs, video and e-mail.
- Social – indirect emotional tormenting by gossiping, excluding from social groups, spreading malicious rumors, etc. Social bullying may also occur through the use of technology.
To what degree is the incident:
- Severe, persistent or pervasive
- Has the effect of doing any of the following: hurting or threatening another person, either physically, emotionally or mentally
- Creating a threatening environment
- Substantially interfering with educational opportunities, benefits, or programs of one or more students
- Is based on a student’s actual or perceived distinguishing characteristic, or is based on an association with another person who has or is perceived to have one of these characteristics
When to report:
Students and staff should report the bullying as soon as it happens. Do not ignore it. When bullying is ignored it may get worse.
Procedure for reporting a bullying incident:
If a bullying incident has occurred, first determine the level of severity by applying the criteria described below, and then report it to either School Counsellor and/or Administration depending on the level of severity. A Bullying Incident Report Form will be completed and placed in the student’s electronic and/or paper file.
Step 1: Determine the level of severity. Level of severity will determine who the incident should be referred to.
Level 1 Bullying (Record in ManageBac): Behaviours that generally involve thoughtless acts that happen one time or occasionally.
Level 2 Bullying (Report to Principal and School Counsellor): Behaviours that have been going on for some time and are consistently hurtful to the person being bullied.
Level 3 Bullying (Report to Principal and School Counsellor): Behaviours that are constant over a period of time and are intensely cruel and threatening.
Step 2: Refer the incident to either Guidance or Admin depending on the level of severity. If level 1 or 2, refer to Guidance. If 3, refer to Admin.
Step 3: Admin or School Counsellor will determine how to document the incident. The Bullying Incident Report Form (see Appendix) will be used at this point; but in all cases the incident will be documented.
Step 4: School Counsellor and/or Administration will decide course and take appropriate action.
The Bullying Incident Report Form will be reviewed by Administration in consultation with the student’s School Counsellor and used in determining follow up and plan of action for both the victim and the bullying student.
Prevention strategies include:
- Instructing students about respectful relationships, including digital citizenship.
- Teaching students about violence prevention, conflict resolution, anger management, problem solving, and developing polices which promote student safety.
- Teaching for and about diversity.
- Providing professional learning for staff.
Intervention strategies include:
- Counselling students who have been bullied.
- Talking with parents about the situation.
- Teaching students to be proactive bystanders.
- Ensuring that all staff know how to address bullying effectively and respectfully.
- Putting consequences in place for those who bully others.
Consequences include but are not limited to:
- Temporary removal from the classroom
- Loss of privileges
- Classroom or administrative detention
- Education from School Counsellor
- Referral to disciplinarian
- In-school suspension
- Out of school suspension
- Legal action
Post intervention strategies include:
- Monitoring the situation between the students to ensure that their safety and wellbeing are maintained.
- T alking with parents about strategies.
- Creating a rehabilitation plan for the student who has been bullying.
- Reviewing and evaluating behavior codes and polices.This policy will be distributed to all students and staff at the beginning of each school year and at the same time published on the ISNS website.
Student Re-entry Procedure
A Plan of Action is a support system used by the school to help minimize stressors for the returning student. The Plan of Action represents the school’s efforts to identify and mobilize resources available within the school setting to assist the student.
- A re-entry meeting shall be held at the school to include the School Counsellor, an administrator and other team members. The designated School Counsellor will be responsible for completing and implementing the Plan of Action (refer to Plan of Action form). Parent(s) / Guardian(s) and the student shall be present at the meeting. The student shall not return to the classroom until the re-entry meeting has been held. Non- school health professionals working with the student may be present at this meeting to offer recommendations.
- The student’s relevant documents shall be made available at this meeting and a release of confidential information (see Consent for Release of Confidential Information Form) shall be completed thus enabling the school to communicate with other service providers if necessary. The Consent for Release of Confidential Information Form may have been signed at an earlier time.
- If relevant, then school shall obtain a copy for the documented current treatment plan/letter stating the student is able to return to school.
- A Plan of Action Form (see Plan of Action form) shall be completed and agreed upon by the student and parent in order to help the student integrate back into the school.
- If the student is returning after inpatient hospitalization the following may be required according to the Plan of Action:
- It is recommended that the parent/guardian provide a copy of the discharge summary from the hospital before the student re-enters the school. This discharge summary may include the nature and reason for student’s discharge and if the discharge was with or without authorization.
- A letter from the mental health facility stating that the student is no longer at risk shall be provided if such information is not formally indicated in the discharge summary.
- A follow-up meeting may be scheduled to assess student progress and amend the Plan of Action if necessary. Any outside health providers currently assisting the student may be included in such meetings.
Notes: Because a student who is re-entering the school is at greater risk in the months following their return, it is extremely important for the School Counsellor to closely monitor their re-entry into school and to maintain close contact with parents and health professionals working with the student.
This documented is adapted from “Resource Guide for Crisis Management in Virginia Schools” published by the Office of Compensatory Programs, Virginia Department of Education, 2002, accessed at http://www.indiana-ins.com