I haven't done our HSN yet, but with another training I did a long time ago that involved glow germ activity, I just used that time to give everyone a 5 min. "stretch". No one really missed anything that way. Or if you have resources with you, you can use those couple minutes to plug the resource library again, or "check" out a book until others return. Linda
What do you (specialists) think is the biggest challenge in conducting a SACERS review?
Scoring those programs that have unusual situations that don't quite fit into the "box". It is also discouraging to discover that newer trainees have different answers and that folks trained by different people have also been given conflicting information.
Is there a compiled list of questions and particularly “common problem questions”?
I have tried to save all the emails that clarify questions since I started doing SACERS; some from when Elaine was here.
Do you always refer to the additional notes when you are scoring up? If not, why? (i.e.: forget to refer to them, takes too long, they add confusion, etc.)
In some cases, where I feel certain that I know what I am doing I do not check those notes. However; if I am unsure, I do.
Do you use the sample questions listed by a “Q” for several items?
Yes, I do look at those.
How are the taped notes we have in our purple book incorporated into the tablet system now used on a SACERS visit? Are they directly linked to each specific item they pertain to?
I guess that I have not had time to make those comparisons. It appears to me that they match, but I have not taken the book and matched it carefully to the tablet.
People do not seek help from me about 21st Century until AFTER they get a grant, and I contact them, build a rapport etc. After that is done, they sometimes rely on me to keep them in the ODE loop, for Brown Bag info., etc. And with 21st Century as our 3rd priority, I haven't been able to seek out who might be interested in applying as was done in the past. So I'm not much help here.
#4 a common problem I hear often after they get a grant, is that the ODE info. goes to the grant writer or Superintendent or treasurer, and does not get to the Program Director in a timely manner if at all. I think Cheryl is working on getting Program Directors added to the list that goes out. I think our role will still be to keep on top of those changes and make sure any information that we get goes on to them.
Another issue is those schools that don't have a grant writier on staff and have to rely on someone doing it as an extra duty. This tool kit would help that issue, and maybe a training on grant writing or accessing info. But again you'd have to know who's even interested.
Responses from a specialist....
My review, do you mean the observation itself, or the summary review that is done afterward? The answers below pertain to the observation itself.
#1 The SACERS itself, it's very subjective. The variation to answeres based on the trainer and/or time of the initial training. It's also very center oriented and a bit more difficult to do in other settings i.e. 21st Century, Boys & Girls etc. It doesn't allow very much for the diverstiy in the field.
#2 Not that I'm aware of. It's rather piecemeal. I have some e-mail responses that I have kept, but most came through Alycia, so I didn't attach them. Let me know if you need them.
#3 Sometimes, if I'm unsure or can't remember.
#4 I think so, I'm not positive what you're asking
From a specialist:
1. I think one of the biggest challenges is getting the teachers/staff to go about their daily routine and forget that I am even there! Having to flip back and forth to those extra notes is also very annoying!
2. I have not done that many SACERS yet to really have too many questions.
3. YES! Since I am fairly new to doing the SACERS I always am using those notes! It is just so confusing sometimes with them taped in all over the place.
I looked through a few books that I have here. From "101 Games for Trainers":
Review game set up like *Hollywood Squares* where nine people are chosen for 'celebrities' (three standing, three in chairs, three sitting/kneeling on the floor in a tic-tac-toe format). The rest of the participants are divided into two groups for X and O, or participants can be rotated each round for X and O. Turns are taken by the X and O to choose a 'celebrity' to answer a review question and then they decide if they agree or disagree with the answer. If the X or O agree with a right answer or disagree with a wrong answer, the 'celebrity' displays their symbol. Repeat until three in a row is achieved. Small prizes can be awarded for correct answers. Or, if the X and O are represented by teams, the team that gets the tic-tac-toe can be awarded a prize.
Another review activity is to divide the participants into small groups and have each small group come up with a list of 10 random nouns. Then, the groups swap lists and try to connect each noun with a key topic within the training. (i.e. bird- we as child care staff help the children develop their wings.)
A third review activity is to divide the participants into small groups. Give the groups one minute to come up with a list of single words that relate to the training. At the end of one minute, have the groups in turn share what their words were. If there are words that are on multiple lists, they are crossed off. The group that has the most words at the end gets a small prize.
From "Playful Activities for Powerful Presentations":
Have the participants create a bumper sticker that reflects one of the main points of the training. (Note to the participants that an effective bumper sticker conveys the message using only a few words and at times are humorous.)
From Debbie Kittridge with Care After School in Worthington - they are housed in schools, but run by a non school entity.
This is a statement that we put in our Parent Handbook:
Any person who is suspected of being impaired by alcohol or drugs will be asked to call another designated person to pick up the child. The police may be called if necessary.
Then this is our proceedure as written in our Employee handbook:
Any staff member who suspects that someone picking up a child may be impaired by alcohol or drugs is to notify the Site Director. (Symptoms of impairment may include slurred or mumbled speech; glassy, droopy or bloodshot eyes; swaying or stumbling gait, etc.)
If the person is NOT a biological parent, the Site Director will not release the child. The Site Director will call the biological parent to pick up the child.
If the person IS a biological parent, the Site Director will take the parent aside and request that they contact someone else to pick up the child. If the parent refuses, the Site Director will tell them that CAS policy is to call the police to administer sobriety tests and make a determination on releasing the child. If the parent insists on leaving with the child, call the police and attempt to delay the parent until the police arrive. If the parent leaves, get the license plate number and a description of the vehicle to give to the police when they arrive. DO NOT get into a physical confrontation with the parent.
Becky Ciminillo sent me this information from the YMCA Crisis Management Handbook - lots of great information.
•If the parent is non-abusive, move him/her away from the children (i.e. hallway, another room, etc.) If the parent is abusive, signal the “association-wide child care danger” signal to the other staff and remove children from the scene immediately.
•Remember, you cannot legally keep an authorized parent from picking up his or her children, regardless of the state they are in. You may recommend that he or she have someone else come to pick up the children, as you are concerned about the children’s safety.
•Attempt to get information about the vehicle the parent is driving. If there are more than two staff on site, send a staff member. Try to do this without making the parent aware.
•The Site Director/Director or a staff member should contact the police, informing them of the situation, with as much information as possible about the vehicle (license plate number, make and model of car, color, direction it is going if possible).
•If there is no way to gain information about the vehicle prior to departure, and the parent insists on leaving with the child, try to get whatever information you can on the vehicle and call the police as soon as you can after they leave.
After contacting the police, the Site Director/Director should contact the Program Director/Supervisor (or the Branch Executive Director in the absence of the Program Director). The Site Director/Director will be notified if any further action is needed on his or her part.
•Document the incident, and turn into the Program Director 24 hours, preferably the day that the incident occurred.
Preventive measures to minimize consequences:
1.Use association-wide child care danger code to indicate danger (i.e. bomb threat, individual with weapon, abusive parent etc). Use this signal to start practice fire alarms occasionally, so staff are familiar with it incase of an emergency.
2.If you have a parent who staff suspect is drinking before picking up a child, you may want to develop an on-site code word to signal that staff need to follow predetermined procedures.
3.Develop a positive rapport with all parents, so if there is an incident where you might need to reason with a parent, it is not take as a personal affront.
4.If you need to pull a parent aside, make sure another staff member knows where you are and who you are with. Also, make sure you are within sight or hearing of another adult at all times. This is for your safety!