School Administration

Co-op Education

An effective Co-operative Education or Experiential Learning Program should have the following goals:

  1. The safety of the students;
  2. Making the Co-op/Experiential Learning program a beneficial educational experience for the students;
  3. Establishing and maintaining good relationships with participating employers.

In order to achieve these goals, consideration must be given to the following risk management issues:

Work placements which expose students to risk of personal injury should be carefully reviewed. Conduct a risk assessment and consider making job duty modifications if possible. Examples of such placements would include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Emergency first responders – riding with police ambulance, fire or rescue teams;
  • Ground or air crew member for any aircraft;
  • Activities involving the handling of nuclear or other hazardous materials or chemicals;
  • Use of heavy machinery, ensure that site specific safety training is arranged/provided;
  • Medical labs – exposure to hazardous bacteria, Hepatitis, AIDS or HIV;
  • Also consider, fall heights, exposure to blood or bodily fluids, exotic animals ;
  • Where driving personal, employer’s or customer’s vehicles is required.

Risk Management Recommendations:

  1. Co-op teachers should regularly visit the work sites.
  2. Ensure that appropriate skills and training are provided if necessary.
  3. Follow up immediately on any safety-related concerns reported by co-op students.
  4. Ensure students are physically/mentally/emotionally capable of the job duties.
  5. Ensure employers are fully aware of their responsibilities and any insurance coverage issues related to students operating vehicles.

Permit Holders

A permit holder is considered to be any independent group or organization who has been granted permission to use school facilities by any school board employee(s) who have the authority to do so.

The nature of permit holders’ activities should be monitored, as these can place an additional risk of being sued on the school board should an injury occur. Many groups who seek to use school facilities are “ad hoc” and usually do not carry their own liability insurance. Permitting uninsured groups to use school facilities may make the school board liable for any injuries resulting from that group’s activities.

The following list contains common examples activities that may not be acceptable on school property:

  • Any activity involving the discharge or use of weapons – e.g. guns, archery, cross-bow, knives;
  • Activities involving the sale or consumption of alcohol;
  • Activities involving the use of board-owned equipment by unqualified/untrained individuals;
  • Activities involving fireworks or other pyrotechnical devices.

Risk Management Recommendation:

  • Request certificates of insurance coverage ($2 Million Limit) from all permit holders.
  • Implement a Community Use of Schools Master Insurance Contract plan to make insurance available to permit holders who do not access to insurance. Contact your permitting office for details on the program your board has in place or if you wish to implement a Community Use of School Insurance program please contact OSBIE.
  • Do not approve permits for ineligible activities.
  • Do not approve permits for uninsured groups.
  • Ensure that the permit holder is aware of his/her responsibility with respect to maintenance issues – e.g. who is responsible for snow clearing or salting/sanding, etc.
  • Never give a permit holder a key to the premises.
  • School building custodian(s) should be on duty during the time the building is in use by the permit holder.

Community Involvement Program

The Community Involvement Program was released by the Ministry of Education in April, 1999 under Policy/Program Memorandum # 124.

The program is mandated by the Ministry, and managed by the principal of each school, with the school board involved in determining the types of activities and the forms to be completed for the program. This meets all of the criteria for the OSBIE liability insurance to apply in the same way as it does for other programs, such as Co-op Education or “Take Our Kids to Work”.

The board’s liability insurance carried with OSBIE will protect the students and the community sponsors from any law suits that may arise from the students’ activities in the community involvement program for the 40 hours required.

The board’s insurance does not cover the sponsors for law suits that arise from their negligence, or for student injuries in the work place.

Ineligible Activities

The ministry has developed a list of activities that may not be chosen as community involvement activities. These are referred to as ineligible activities. An ineligible activity is an activity that:

  • Is a requirement of a class or course in which the student is enrolled (e.g., cooperative education portion of a course, job shadowing, work experience);
  • Takes place during the time allotted for the instructional program on a school day. However, an activity that takes place during the student’s lunch breaks or “spare” periods is permissible;
  • Takes place in a logging or mining environment, if the student is under sixteen years of age;
  • Takes place in a factory, if the student is under fifteen years of age;
  • Takes place in a workplace other than a factory, if the student is under fourteen years of age and is not accompanied by an adult;
  • Would normally be performed for wages by a person in the workplace;
  • Involves the operation of a vehicle, power tools, or scaffolding;
  • Involves the administration of any type or form of medication or medical procedure to other persons;
  • Involves handling of substances classed as “designated substances” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act;
  • Requires the knowledge of a tradesperson whose trade is regulated by the provincial government;
  • Involves banking or the handling of securities, or the handling of jewellery, works of art, antiques, or other valuables;
  • Consists of duties normally performed in the home (i.e., daily chores) or personal recreational activities;
  • Involves activities for a court-ordered program (e.g., community-service program for young offenders, probationary program).

In addition, the list of ineligible activities for my school board are:

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(See Ministry of Education Policy/Program Memorandum # 124 for details)