Risk management is a significant part of the functioning of any organization. This process focuses on identifying, assessing, and controlling threats that may arise both for the institution itself and its staff and clients. The sources of threats can be external and internal, for example, concerning insurance, crisis situations, applied practices, and so on. This research paper aims to develop a risk management plan that will help identify possible risk areas for Ladue Horton Watkins High School. The main areas to be investigated are organizational structure, personnel, conducted activities, supervisory practices, facilities, emergency action plans, and insurance coverage. Developing the right plan will help to avoid threats that may affect the activities of the educational organization in the future.
Organization Description: Overview of the Organization
Ladue Horton Watkins School is an organization that primarily provides educational services. The school was founded in 1952 in Missouri, United States of America. Schools philosophy is aimed to “do everything possible to put our student participants in the best possible situation to succeed in the classroom, in competitive play, and in life” (“Athletics Handbook”, n.d.). According to statistics, it ranks 296th in the National Ranking and is the best in the district (“Ladue Horton Watkins High”, n.d.). This place was awarded for students’ successful preparation and high level of performance on state tests.
In addition to the curriculum, the Ladue Horton Watkins School provides services for sports sections in which its students are engaged. The heads of the educational institution believe that interschool events, such as sports competitions, contribute to the addition and improvement of the secondary education program. Moreover, they are valuable because they enhance students’ educational and social experience. The involvement of the sports aspect also helps, in addition to physical, to improve the psychological qualities of the younger generation and contribute to the disclosure of true potential.
Overview of Services Provided
The school provides various types of activities for both boys and girls and divides them into autumn, winter and spring. All of them have been confirmed by the Missouri State High School Activities Association. Fall sports include swimming, soccer, soccer, cross country for boys, volleyball, golf, tennis, field hockey and softball, cross country for girls, sideline cheer, and coed cross country. Among the winter activities are basketball and wrestling for men and women and swimming for girls. Tennis, track, baseball, and golf for boys, soccer, lacrosse, track for girls, and water polo are included too (Ladue School, n.d.). In addition to sports clubs, the educational institution provides various clubs for everyone in different directions. Examples of such clubs are anime club, 6th-grade homework, dance club, Amnesty International and others.
Red flag: In case the team participating in the competition does not have a sports coach with them, the head coach of the host school should be informed about how to find a host sports coach in case of an emergency. This can significantly waste time on providing assistance in a situation of risk or threat to the student’s health.
Overview of Clientele Served
All students from the seventh to the twelfth grade can try out for any sport they wish to participate in and must meet specific educational standards to participate in sports competitions with other schools. Moreover, the school is calling for a fee of seventy-five dollars. This fee covers the costs of maintaining various circles. The coach is one of the most influential people who determines which player or athlete will be included in the sports program and who will not feel fit to be a part of it.
Red flag: Finding information about what specific criteria should be used to exclude sure students, in addition to performance criteria, caused sufficient difficulty. Moreover, judging by the information provided, coaches are not required to report who was not accepted to the sports director, which can lead to patent problems.
To see the complete list of personnel involved in the Ladue Horton Watkins High School, see Appendix A. The main ones are the director of activities, activities coordinator, and administrative assistant. These specialists perform several essential functions on the success of which the effective functioning of the organization depends. For example, the Director of Activities is responsible for budget management, staffing, evaluation, facility, and others. The Activity Coordinator manages clubs and organizations within the school, coordinates conferences between parents and coaches, and section leaders, and manages various events. An administrative assistant has fewer functions than other specialists but is also essential. Among the functions of this specialist, there are also assistance in budget management, software and media support, fee collection and other possible assistance duties.
All processes and functions related to the financial component of the district’s services are managed through the principal office of the educational institution. These functions include budget management, audit, financial reporting, and public financial reporting. Moreover, there is also the management of financial aspects related to personnel, such as insurance payments, payroll, pension benefits. Purchases, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and travel expenses also relate to the financial expenses of the school. In accordance with Missouri State Law 160.066, RSMO, 2018, all school districts are required to regularly report and provide information about their income, expenses, and payments (Ladue School, 2021). All these data are publicly available, which everyone can get acquainted with. Another source of profit for the school is the participation of students in competitions and the work of clubs, the data on which is contained in the annual report. Hence, for 2020-2021, the profit for cheerleading from June to December amounted to almost eighteen thousand dollars, and the sale of tickets for homecoming amounted to nine thousand (Ladue School, 2021). Furthermore, one of the ways of financing is to receive grants and organize charitable programs to improve the school grounds or any other facility.
The company carefully treats the hiring of new employees. The educational institution strives to recruit and retain employees of various ethnic and racial backgrounds. This is done in order to provide the most significant number of opportunities for obtaining a unique experience and familiarizing students with different cultures and traditions.
All specialists who wish to work at an educational institution can apply online. One of the ways to find out about available vacancies is a special section on the institution’s website. It provides the necessary instructions for future candidates and salary, which depends on the level of training of a specialist. After receiving the candidates’ questionnaires, the administrators carefully review them and check their compliance with all the necessary criteria. Then, they form a pool of candidates for a specific vacancy from among those who have the appropriate qualifications and fit the description of the profession. The process of hiring a new person occurs throughout the year as vacancies appear.
The job description is usually posted online on particular websites for hiring staff and also on the school division website. The position description is explained along with qualifications, required documents, and the stipend amount for the job. For example, for a coaching job, the minimum requirements are a four-year college degree, professional teacher’s certificate, successful completion of a Sports First Aid course prior to coaching and renewed every two years and essential background check. In addition, when applying for a job, such information about the candidate as recommendations, criminal background checks including sex offender’s registry clearance prior to coaching, and answers received during interviews and online assessments are considered. This check ensures the safety of all educational organization employees, as well as all students who are of particular value in this process.
Evaluation and Discipline Process
At Ladue High School, there are many established rules that all coaches, athletes, and other staff must comply with. For example, there are disciplinary rules concerning the rules of conduct of the athletes’ coach and behavior in changing rooms. Another disciplinary rule is mandatory taping, which allows those who can fully participate in come to training on time. It also becomes mandatory reassessment, which includes daily fixation of possible physical harm inflicted on children. Moreover, it is necessary to provide possible procedures to limit the consequences of excessive physical activity, including electronic steam, ultrasound, manual therapy, and hydrotherapy. They are always held after training or when the athlete is available secondary to the activities of the team.
Red flag: One of the rules states that students cannot get into the office at any desired time and must find an athlete coach to get the necessary advice or help. This can become an issue and lead to a risk for students if the situation concerns an urgent case.
The complaint system gets directly to the source of the problem. If a parent or a guardian has a complaint, they want to express they can call the school office and get transferred to the athletic director. This employee is responsible for dealing with such issues, and sometimes he can set an appointment to meet in person with his or her parents. If there is a need or will to speak directly to the school board or headquarter about the complaint, parents or guardians can do the same thing and call the school board office.
A prerequisite for the beginning of any academic year is holding a meeting between all the leading managers, coaches, and other involved personnel. The Sports director becomes the head of the meeting, and he establishes and coordinates with the participants of the meeting the policies and procedures for organizing trips to competitions in other institutions or states, training schedule of each section. The responsibilities of this meeting also include consideration of the plan for holding parent meetings. In addition, before the start of each year, the trainers are checked for the certificate of first aid, artificial respiration, and their validity period. In addition, all coaches are tested for knowledge of the statutes and disciplinary guidelines of the educational institution.
Documentation and State and Federal Employment Laws
Ladue High School has five primary documents that are sent via email to employees for review and memorization. They provide a clear description of the educational institution’s policies regarding practices and competitions. They coincide with MSHSAA standards, Mercy Sports Medicine standards, and therefore Ladue Horton Watkins High School standards. These documents include concussion policy and procedure, emergency action plans for each venue, lightning policy, heat policy and hydration recommendations (Cotton, 2003). Familiarization of coaches for athletes with these documents can significantly reduce the risk of a threat to students.
Conduct of Activities: Warnings and Participation Forms
The heads of the educational institution claim that participation in high school events is a valuable educational experience and should not be considered a reward for academic success. The Administrative Assistant often deals with participation and prevention issues. If necessary, higher-level managers are involved in this process. Parents have the right to understand the obligations and expectations accompanying sports programs’ participation. Participation consists in the right to represent the school in interscholastic events. It is noted that this is a privilege that can be obtained by meeting the standards set by the member schools of this Association and any additional standards set by the member school for its students.
The Director of Activities handles all issues related to the occurrence of mismatch situations. To prevent them and minimize the consequences, a specialized conversation is conducted. At such meetings, the safety of athletes and the correct selection of players during training are discussed. No additional information about nonconformity situations was found.
Red flag: The educational institution should provide greater access to this information so that it is understandable and easily obtainable by all willing users. Moreover, it is crucial to ensure the safety of all athletes and make sure that the coaches are aware of this problem.
The Activity Coordinator deals with issues related to the transportation of student-athletes with the help of an administrative assistant. These specialists set all the arrival and departure times with the help of athletes’ vehicles for competitions and away games. Players are only allowed to leave with their parents or guardians after the events. Before that, you need to fill out the registration form. Moreover, it is necessary to make a list of students prematurely and mention emergency contacts for all coaches and players in case of health-threatening situations. At the beginning of each competition season, students’ knowledge of the rules of behavior outside the school and the confirmation and adherence to the code of conduct are checked.
Red flag: There is no copy of sheets filled with the necessary information to make sure players are leaving with correct parents or guardians and in case if the trainer loses the paper.
Ladue High School emphasizes that the issue of hazing is a fundamental violation of human dignity. It is prohibited, as it is considered incompatible with the academic task of an educational institution. Examples of this behavior include inducement to commit prohibited actions, coercion or demand for unnecessary physical activity, or some form of physical violence. School leaders emphasize that every employee, including coaches, is directly responsible for reporting actual or alleged bullying-related activities. They are also accountable when determining cases of hazing determine whether the allegations justify the accusation of this destructive act. If an individual, group, club, organization, or team is charged, disciplinary procedures will be applied.
In addition to disciplinary sanctions, punishments such as deprivation of the opportunity to participate in sports clubs and competitions during part or the entire season are applied. Depending on the circumstances, a participant may be allowed to practice without the right to participate in competitions and athletic activities of the school. Such permission will be granted solely at the discretion of the district and will be determined after a meeting with the Activities Department.
All the established rules for both coaches and students and their parents are explained at a meeting at the beginning of the season. At the same meeting, athletes and their guardians sign the necessary agreements and forms. Players constantly adhere to high standards both during sports competitions and within the walls of the school and outside it. This is due to the fact that everyone is instilled with the awareness that he is a proud representative of Ladue High School. If any rule is violated, it will lead to a meeting with the director and the person responsible for sports activities. Depending on the circumstances, punishment may follow, which is also examined at the meeting and, if necessary, with the participation of parents.
Red flag: There is a possibility that some situations of violation of the charter or rules are submitted for consideration without the necessary evidence. Some players may be called to meetings for false statements, and they will have to go through the process of finding out the truth. This circumstance can have a very negative impact on the student’s fitness and sports activities and their psychological state.
General Supervisory Practices: Management of Behavior
The coach’s responsibility is to ensure compliance with the code of conduct in the educational institution. These professionals are responsible for monitoring the behavior of their players on the field, during training and games, and during competitions at other schools. If the player’s behavior gets out of control, this is brought to the attention of the Director of Activities. Parents should be aware of the rules in advance due to the required signature at the parent meeting.
Red flag: In the case when the parent’s behavior does not correspond to the established ones, the person responsible for their compliance must resolve the problem, which may cause problems for Ladue High School.
Rules and Regulations for Supervisors
All sports personnel are familiar and aware of the rules of conduct in certain situations that may cause risk. All problems with visitors and parents are brought to the attention of the Director of Activities and his assistant. If problems arise, the responsibility for intervention lies with the coach who is on the spot. Moreover, everyone is aware of the code of conduct and signs the papers before the start of the season.
Protection of All
Ladue High School notes that all students attending the educational institution participating in sports clubs and competitions are provided with assistance from an athletic trainer. The actions that will be performed in case of an emergency are prescribed in a particular emergency action plan. Not only coaches but also observers, assistants, all employees, and managers of the organization are required to comply with this protocol.
Plan of Succession
In the absence of the head coach, all powers are transferred to his assistant. This transfer of authority is fixed by special agreements and is regulated by the heads of activities. Moreover, it is essential to note that it is impossible to allow a situation where both previously mentioned specialists are absent.
Red flag: There is no written rules on what to do in the absence of a coach and assistant and what is supposed to happen in the plan of succession.
Facilities: Facility Description
The educational institution provides a specialized master plan of the facilities that are included in it. This is done for the convenience of moving around the school buildings and being aware of the action plan in case of an emergency. Moreover, Ladue High School ensures continuous improvement of its steel facility and is engaged in forecasting the life cycles of buildings and systems through sound financial planning. The educational institution has a main sports hall, an outdoor stadium, a swimming pool, an athletic training facility, a football field, a school district, and a softball and soccer field. All fields are shared between sports, if needed, and have individualized parking locations and emergency action plans.
Pictures of Facility
Pictures of the facilities can be found in appendix B.
All the necessary equipment for training clubs and sports competitions and its use passes through the coach, who is responsible for its use and the safety of students. Sports shared equipment if each team needs the same things; for example, baseball and softball share pop-up nets. Teams are allowed to buy their equipment with fundraised money or donations, but in this case, they are also responsible for the items themselves. All equipment through the school or team bought must be tested before use.
Red flag: Given the fact that several teams use sports equipment at once, a somewhat controversial situation may occur. Hence, one coach may not pay due attention to the weariness of the subject, shifting this responsibility to another. Thus, the equipment can be damaged during training and, in the worst case, harm students and put them at risk.
The layout of each facility can be found in the emergency action plan in appendix C.
Security is also closely monitored at Ladue Horton Watkins High School. All facilities are closed during non-working and business hours, and the trainer always confirms access. The use of fields and gyms is not permitted unless athletic personnel is present. It is the responsibility of the staff to lock up the facility after use, making sure everything is left in its place. Even though all the premises are closed during school hours, some staff responsible for this action constantly checks to ensure that no one performs unauthorized entry into them. If an issue arises, they immediately handle it or report it straight to the athletic director.
Red flag: Despite a reasonably good security system, the number of guards is small enough to constantly monitor the premises, which can lead to critical risk situations being missed.
It is the responsibility of the activities director to ensure that all health hazards are in place. There are environmental protection plans for each facility together with emergency plans of severe injuries. The sports director bears the responsibility for chemical, mechanical and biological hazards. Red flag: Trainers are trained only about environmental and physical hazards.
All head coaches have a key to access the field, gym’s, storage closets and locker rooms. The activities director has a key that accesses all the necessary school facilities and carries responsibility for them. Moreover, many assistant coaches do not have a key to any facility. Every athletic personnel has a school board-given badge to access the school building.
Red flag: In the case of an emergency, an assistant coach would not be able to access any spot that was not already unlocked.
ADA and OSHA
Information on these items concerning these aspects of security is present in the documents of Ladue High School. However, it is essential to note that an educational institution can pay more attention to this aspect since it relies more on the knowledge already available from employees.
Red flag: Information on these topics is relatively tiny in the documents, so it cannot be found if necessary or in a risk situation.
Throughout the school, there are specialized identification signs for better orientation both in everyday life and in case of danger. For example, these are designations of parking lots for schools and parking lots for sports grounds or evacuation plans. In the gym, signs are hung indicating the home section, the visiting section, and the section for students. On the fences of softball and baseball fields, warning signs are placed about flying balls that can fly over the fence.
Red flag: The school should place signs with rules of conduct everywhere, ensuring compliance with the rules of safety and discipline.
Crisis Management and Emergency Action Plans: Personal Injuries of Participants, Spectators, Staff, Visitors
All sports personnel have the necessary training and know-how to organize an action plan in emergency situations in sports. Sports medicine teachers, teachers, school administration, service personnel, and event management personnel will regularly review this action plan. The development and implementation of an emergency plan help ensure that all school members receive the best possible assistance in an emergency.
There is a unique blue bag with emergency equipment for personnel for emergencies. It includes first aid items automated external defibrillator, oxygen, EpiPen, and pulse oximeter. All these items are suitable for providing urgent assistance before the arrival of specialized services.
Access to a working telephone or other communications device, whether fixed or mobile, will be assured. The communications systems will be checked prior to each practice or competition to ensure proper working order. Cellular phones may be used when available. Landlines should be available at all venues for use. EMS may be activated by calling 911 from any landline or cellular phone. The ATC on site will have a cellular phone. When the ATC is not on site, the head coach should ensure a phone is readily available.
If the team has an athletic trainer with them, then pertinent emergency information needs to be shared with that person. When traveling with a team, the athletic trainer should make it a point to speak with the host school’s athletic trainer or head coach to determine the type of emergency medical services that will be available at the host site. Depending on the situation and perceived level of risk, the athletic trainer may decide to bring additional medical equipment, such as an automated external defibrillator, to the host site. If on-call, the athletic trainer needs to obtain the emergency services phone number, whether 911 or another phone number. Before each practice and event, the condition of the field and equipment needs to be assessed for safety. Before each practice or event, the on-site administrator or the head coach needs to ensure the access gates for emergency medical services are unlocked and not blocked by any vehicles or equipment.
The main weather risk considered in the Lady High School documents is lightning. It is specified as one of the most dangerous phenomena during the peak period of summer. At this time of year, sports such as boating, soccer, swimming, and golf are prohibited or restricted. Other weather risks are highlighted by thunder. All sports personnel are obliged to comply with safety rules in case of a threat of this problem and not to take students out into the open.
Red flag: No particular earthquake information was found in the Ladue Horton Watkins High School documents. It was only noted that the staff has all the knowledge on how to act in such emergency situations.
Ladue Horton Watkins has several emergency action plans for each of its campuses which can be found in appendixes D, and F. Ladue West Campus is located on Ladue Rd. in between Spoede Rd. and Graeser Rd. The main parking lot entrance has access to the tennis courts, soccer, baseball, and softball fields. It also leads to the gymnasium, multi-room, and athletic training room.
Insurance Coverage: Basic medical
Employees are provided with primary medical care provided by the school department. Information about student sports insurance and the benefits they can receive is not provided. However, each athlete signs an agreement to confirm that he or she is insured against accidents. Also, this insurance should include protection against accidental bodily injury during participation in approved school competitions.
Red flag: the information about liability practices and protection of employees was not clearly stated. It is held at the school board and available only if a situation occurs. Information regarding workers’ compensation, motor vehicle, events, and property is also not found in the handbook.
Cotton, D.J. (2003). Law for recreation and sport managers (6th Edition). Kendall Hunt Publishing.
Ladue Horton Watkins High. (n.d.). U.S. News. Web.
Ladue School. (2021). Revenue 2021-2022-student activity [PDF Document]. Web.
Ladue School. (n.d.). Athletics handbook [PDF Document]. Web.