Okla. Schools Use Risk Management Tool to Improve Athletic Department Compliance

In order to ensure compliance with the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association’s (OSSAA) policies and rules, Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) has implemented the threat assessment, incident management and prevention services (TIPS) Web-based platform from Awareity. TIPS allows all TPS coaches and athletic department personnel to have on-demand access to required compliance tests, athletic/student handbooks, consent forms, and more.

With TIPS, the TPS Athletic Director Gil Cloud and staff can ensure all coaches have read and understand their individual roles and responsibilities for determining student scholastic eligibility, residence eligibility, student conduct, participation, recruiting, physical exams, etc. TIPS requires all coaches to login to a secure platform, review the OSSAA compliance manual, complete a test exam and then electronically sign off on their responsibilities. TIPS can also be used throughout the year to update coaches on new policies, requirements, training, guidelines, risks, etc.

“In previous years, we have had to manually distribute coaches guides, grade compliance tests and keep track of information on spreadsheets,” says TPS Assistant Athletics Director for Compliance Mick Wilson. “TIPS has allowed us to automate this task, saving time and resources and providing the legal due diligence necessary in today’s world.”

TPS has been using the Incident Reporting/Risk Management tools in Awareity’s TIPS platform since 2011. TIPS empowers all students, teachers, staff and others in the Tulsa community to confidentially and anonymously report bullying or other potentially harmful student safety concerns, including the anonymous reporting of weapons, drug/alcohol use, gangs, harassment or intimidation, vandalism, physical/sexual assaults, threats of violence, suicide risk, abuse and others. The platform ensures all incident reports and interventions are tracked and team members collaborate through the platform to share ongoing findings and investigation steps and help connect all the dots needed to ensure a safe and responsive approach.

“With the recent scandal at Penn State, we have seen that many times coaches and staff don’t know how to handle difficult situations appropriately due to a lack of understanding of policies and procedures and a lack of tools to report suspicious incidents anonymously,” says Rick Shaw, CEO and President of Awareity. “We are hoping TIPS can help schools and colleges eliminate these dangerous gaps, improve awareness and prevent preventable incidents from occurring in the future.”

Because TIPS automates what was once a labor-intensive and expensive manual process of documentation, schools can be more efficient in their response efforts, more collaborative in interventions, and more accountable to students and families.

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