The safety and wellbeing of children in Adventist schools is of paramount consideration. Children deserve to be protected from abuse, neglect, bullying, harm or threat of harm. Therefore, all Seventh- day Adventist Church, BC Conference schools will ensure that children attending these schools will experience a learning environment that enables every child to feel safe, accepted and respected.
Adventist schools will continuously develop strategies to make students feel valued, respected and connected within the school community. This will include the protection of the students’ physical safety, social connectedness, inclusiveness as well as protection from all forms of bullying, regardless of their gender, race, culture, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, while remaining consistent with the Seventh-day Adventist faith-values, cultural perspective and philosophical values.
It is the responsibility of parents to acquaint themselves and their child with the proper home evacuation procedures. All students learning at home should have a planned meeting area outside the home in case of fire. Fire drills should be held once a quarter. Students who attend one of WCAS’s learning centers must practice Fire drills with their Teacher’s Aid. The following procedure is recommended.
- When the alarm sounds, all students stand and calmly walk in single file to the nearest appropriate exit.
- The first student through the exit door will hold it open until all in the room have exited.
- All windows are closed, lights and equipment turned off by Teacher Assistant
- Teacher surveys the building to verify that the prescribed exit route is safe and, if not, determines the use of a safe alternate route.
- All students assemble in the pre-designated area.
- The teacher takes attendance to ensure that all students are accounted for.
- Students in other areas of the building should exit through the nearest door and walk around the outside of the building to joint their class in the designated place.
- Teacher assistant(s) will direct class back into the school after the all-clear is given.
Earthquakes occur suddenly, without any warning. At the earliest indication of the earth shifting, life-protecting actions must be taken. It has been noted that buildings rarely collapse and that shattering or falling non-structural objects most often cause injury and death. Earthquake drills are the single most important preparedness measure available.
At least two earthquake evacuation drills should be held a year. The following response plan has been developed for use in the event of an earthquake:
- Students drop to their knees under their desks, tables, etc., turn their backs to the windows, and assume the earthquake safety position on knees and elbows, with their hands clasped behind their necks or head covered with a book or jacket. Count aloud to 60; earthquakes rarely last longer than 60 seconds and counting is calming.
- Students who are outside should move away from the building.
- Avoid all possible broken electrical, gas or water lines.
- All students should remain in their respective areas and await further instructions from the person in charge to move to the outdoor evacuation area.
Child abuse is a serious problem. It is morally and legally wrong. Its impact can last a lifetime and even extend to future generations. Anyone who has reason to believe that a child has been or is likely to be physically harmed, sexually abused, or sexually exploited by a parent or other person, or needs protection in the circumstances described in section 13(d) to (k) of the Child, Family and Community Service Act, is legally responsible, under section 14 of that act, to report promptly to a child protection social worker. In British Columbia, a child is anyone under the age of 19.
Knowing this, West Coast Adventist School will follow protocols outlined in the booklet Supporting our Students: A Guide for Independent School Personnel Responding to Child Abuse when responding to child abuse and/or neglect situations.