Personnel and Bus Drivers to Assist
with Crisis Prevention
MELISSA ALLEN HEATH and ELLIE L. YOUNG
Noninstructional personnel include secretaries, office staff, bus drivers, custodial staff, and cafeteria workers. These individuals play a vital role in running a school. Indeed, they may be referred to as the “backbone of the school.” With some basic training, these individuals can provide support during a school crisis or assist with critical incidents. On a day-to-day basis they can also provide emotional support to students. Additionally, noninstructional staff should be very familiar with the portions of the crisis plan that relate to their duties.
A secretary is typically the first person visitors see. Many times an angry parent vents his or her frustration on a secretary. The community depends on the secretary for a wide range of information. Often when the principal is out of the building, secretaries monitor misbehaving students in the office area until the principal returns. Therefore, secretaries and office aides, by default, end up handling a variety of student behavior problems. Secretaries also handle student mini crises such as forgotten lunches, lost items, desperate calls home, students who are late, scraped knees when the school nurse is unavailable, and so on. Given the multiple roles performed by school secretaries, basic training in listening