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Training School Staff in Ethics and Boundaries


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The Training School Staff in Ethics and Boundaries Toolkit is designed to be used by school leaders in the development of training or discussion with school staff on the topic of ethics and boundaries. The materials in this toolkit can be modified to fit local needs with credit to the Department of Public Instruction. There are activities within this toolkit to lead a workshop on the topic, and other activities to lead a short discussion with staff. Ethics and boundaries is an important topic which should be consistently discussed with school staff, and this toolkit provides a few ideas to begin or continue those discussions and learning.

Toolkit Content

Workshop Slide Deck 

This slide deck was originally created as a one hour workshop to provide school leaders with an understanding of the activities and content to use in local in-service training. This slide deck can be modified to suit local needs. It is a place to start to become familiar with the activities in the toolkit.

Ethical Decision-Making Model and Worksheet 

This document provides one example of an ethical decision-making model, which can help guide staff towards making more informed decisions. This model can be used in staff training paired with various scenarios for staff to consider and work through the model to discuss actions and outcomes.

Example Scenarios to Use with the Ethical Decision-Making Model 

Use an ethical decision-making model to discuss the included scenarios with a small group, or use these scenarios to write relevant scenarios for the audience and context.

Boundary Questions to Consider: Continuum of Professional Behavior Activity

Have participants stand in the middle of the room. Designate one side of the room as “unacceptable behavior” and the other side as “super professional/helpful behavior”. Read each bullet point one at a time. After each, participants will move to the side of the area of the room where they feel the behavior falls. Have discussion after each point, allowing for folks on different ends of the spectrum to describe their thinking.

Ethics and Boundaries Scenario Discussions Examples 

Have small groups of school staff consider the scenarios and the actions taken. Have boundaries been violated? Is the behavior ethical? Allow an open discussion to consider the question, “How would staff handle these situations in the best interests of the student, staff, and school?”

Cues of Blurring Boundaries - Participant Handout

This handout provides examples of signs that they may be over or under-involved with a student or family. Staff can self-reflect on their relationships with students and determine if they need to take action to get back to balance in any of their relationships based on the warning signs they find in this handout.

Considerations in Trauma Sensitive Schools - Boundaries, Confidentiality, and Disclosure - DPI Trauma Sensitive Schools Online Learning System Module

This brief, self-paced module leads staff through considerations related to boundaries and confidentiality and includes the following tools:

Exploring Personal Values Exercise

This activity allows staff to reflect on their personal values, and to prioritize the values that hold the highest meaning for them. Individuals can find more fulfillment in life when they live more of life from values instead of needs.

Confidentiality, Consent, and Student Records Webpage

DPI Webpage with links to resources on confidentiality, consent, and student records.

For questions about this information, contact Julie Incitti (608) 266-0963