Updated: Apr 1, 2020
Since the November 2018 release of the US Department of Education’s proposed update to Title IX the education sphere has been on edge. We’ve outlined 7 steps that you can take now to make this impending policy transition as smooth as possible.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos | The White House Flickr
1. Gather Your People
An update to Title IX means will, in turn, require an update to your school policies surrounding sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sex and gender discrimination. While this effort may be headed by the Title IX Coordinator, it is not a one-person job. Figure out who needs to be a part of these conversations and lay out the possibilities for them as early as possible. Best practices will include a seat at the table for school administrators as well as other affected parties. The more time you give yourself to discuss what these changes will look like for your school, the less scrambling you’ll have to do when the updates are released.
2. Draft a Communications Plan
How will you inform affected parties of updates to policy? Your plan should consider an email campaign, updates to relevant web pages, new printed resources and education materials. Students, staff, contractors, and parents are all likely to be on the need-to-know list but there may be others.
3. Examine Recent State Laws
In lieu of Federal updates to Title IX many state legislatures have taken it upon themselves to enact laws to preserve the rights of their students. Check to see if your state has passed legislation that could require an update to your school policies and when they go into effect. Map out how your prevention and response efforts will look when you overlay Federal and State mandates.
4. Conduct a Climate Survey
At TIX Edu we often say that compliance is just the floor. As you move up from compliance you move towards best practices. Collecting data through a school climate survey can help you find the gaps in your current policy and better understand the realities of your students and staff. If you are already going through the effort of updating your policies this is a great opportunity to do it right.
5. Execute a Policy Audit
Take what you’ve found and use it as a lense for reviewing your school’s current Title IX and sexual harassment polices. Identify how new mandates will fit in as well as opportunities for optimizing underdeveloped areas. For institutions of higher education, consider staffing, building space, and budgets that you may need in order to execute Title IX hearings.
6. Plan for Training
State and Federal mandates will both require retraining staff. This will vary depending on your state but Title IX Coordinators, Investigators, Administrators, Faculty, Staff, Campus Safety, Students, and Advocates are likely to be on this list, there may be others.
7. Wait in Confidence
Wait in confidence knowing you have prepared to the best of your abilities. Keep your network well informed and ready to respond when the updates are released.
TIX Education Specialists can be of assistance to you through any of the steps outlined above. Request a quote on our website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss personalized training and consultation options.