Playground Supervision

Playground safety is a major priority at the Center. The playground is physically as safe as we can make it, but staff members and students must continue to be vigilant during playground time. Strong staff supervision is crucial for playground safety. This means that:

  • At least one student or staff member should be stationed at each piece of major equipment to serve as a spotter or facilitator. There should also be one person stationed in or behind the house structure. THIS IS ESSENTIAL. Please be sure that each teaching team agrees on a system for supervising children on the equipment during playground time. Student classroom aides and Practicum students should be advised of the system, and all adults should follow it. Please be sure to guide students to more beneficial placements on the playground.
  • Students should not be left in charge on the playground. At least one staff member should be out on the playground at all times, and an adequate staff-child ratio must be maintained at all times.
  • Staff members handling playground accidents should follow standard First Aid procedures and the Universal Health Precautions outlined in this handbook. If you are the only staff member on the playground during an accident, please go to the Preschool door or the Early Preschool door and ask for assistance. Please do not leave a student in charge of the playground or to take care of the accident.
  • Keep in mind that children have different levels of tolerance for hot or cold weather and watch all children carefully. In hot weather, monitor the children carefully and make sure they drink plenty of liquids. This is important for preventing heat-related illnesses. Watch for hot, red, dry skin. In cold weather, staff should be alert to signs of cold-weather injuries such as “frost nip.”
  • Try to limit discussion on the playground with other staff members or with parents. While some conversation is necessary, if you feel you need to engage in a longer discussion, get someone else to take your place at your station. Parents who seek spur-of-the-moment conferences on the playground should be encouraged to set up a separate meeting time.
  • Please do not sit on tabletops or stand on tableseats, and do not allow the children to sit or stand on tables.
  • While on the playground, you are expected to be standing at a piece of equipment or moving around with the children. You should not be sitting down unless engaged in conversation with a child or group of children, or unless sitting is a better way to supervise (as at the sandbox). If you are engaged with one child or a small group, please be sure to be scanning other areas of the playground.
  • If you notice a hazard on the playground, such as broken glass, or if the children are playing in a potentially dangerous way, redirect the children and explain the hazard. Report any safety hazards to the head teacher immediately.
  • If you notice a hazard on the playground, such as broken glass, or if the children are playing in a potentially dangerous way, redirect the children and explain the hazard. Report any safety hazards to the head teacher immediately.
  • All of the equipment, including tricycles, scooters, swings, and slides is designed for children. Please do not use the equipment yourself, as it may break under your weight. You could also be denying a child the use of the equipment while you are on it yourself.

Note: Classroom doors to the playground should NOT be left open during the day, whether children are in the classroom or on the playground. While children are on the playground, please make sure classroom doors to the hallway are also closed. Children should not be sent into the building for toileting or other purposes without an adult going with them.

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