Each school year, members of the Emma Willard School administration and student life teams reevaluate, refine, add new, or expand policies in our community handbook Fine Print, and the Employee Handbook. This year, the team worked with our partner Culture of Respect on this process to ensure that student safety was as clearly defined and as accessible as possible.
As the school prepares for the opening of the 2017-18 school year, both of these updated guides were provided to each member of the Emma faculty and was accompanied by a detailed walk through of additions and changes. The community handbook will also be distributed to parents and students during Opening Days.
Among the policies added or expanded upon this year were an amended and more detailed Safe Harbor policy and the addition of non-retaliation and amnesty policies. Extensive updates were made to our sexual misconduct policy, including expended definitions and examples of what constitutes harassment, bullying, assault, and grooming.
The school’s process for reporting harassment or sexual misconduct appears in a number of forms, which in addition to being in the handbooks, will also appear on the residence halls and other key places on campus.
Also discussed in the presentation was Emma’s ever-increasing partnership with the Sexual Assault and Crime Victims Assistance Program at Samaritan Hospital in Troy. Our Wellness Advocates will train with the center in advance of Opening Day.
Throughout the presentation, school officials emphasized how setting and maintaining boundaries and keeping students safe is solely the responsibility of the adults in the community.
The conversation that followed was thoughtful and productive, and included plans for discussing these topics and updates with students on these topics in early advisory meetings.