Congratulations to Gallatin Gateway Elementary for receiving the MSGIA FY20-Gary Griffith Excellence in Workplace Safety Award
Gallatin Gateway earned this recognition by establishing a safety culture that consistently makes safety a priority in the daily routine for district staff.
Gallatin Gateway has many tools at their disposal, and they use all of them. For starters, they utilize the MSGIA pre-employment physical program for all new hires in their kitchen and custodial areas. This safety-focused approach to HR helps ensure they have good physical matches for the respective positions. And we see evidence of the efficacy of this PEP program strategy, in concert with the other steps they take to be safe, in the fact that the last three years the district had only three minor injuries, not one of which required time away from work. Great Job Gallatin Gateway Elementary!
The district has an active safety committee and completes a yearly audit of the facility to identify hazards. The district works closely with the MSGIA risk manager to provide professional consultations regarding workplace safety assessments and improvements.
Immediately upon walking into the district, you can feel a sense of school pride, and this is often associated with newly designed or implemented safety measures and protocols. Often everyday discussions among the staff revolve around topics such as moving equipment or furniture based on safety rather than aesthetics. In short, the Gallatin Gateway staff are constantly, creatively thinking about making their building and how to make it safer for students and staff.
The district consistently uses the MSGIA-provided Safe Schools online training opportunities. Staff frequently request additional topics for new content in the online platform, which has jump-started conversations with Safe Schools for new content areas.
Most notably, their district safety culture has ingrained the understanding that “safety” is not a one-time or a one-person job. The staff helps each other and looks out for one another to make continual adjustments in the workplace to address changing physical conditions, including that most dynamic of all conditions in Montana – snow! And wouldn’t you know it, they have thoughtful procedures in place to deal with common and yet unpredictable challenges like snow and ice removal.
Every district has a champion supporting and celebrating the strong results they have achieved, and for Gallatin Gateway that champion is their business manager, Carrie Fisher. Carrie understands well that a safer district is a much more cost-effective district. Not surprisingly, she has volunteered to serve on the safety committee, where she can share these viewpoints and lessons learned with others.
Finally, the ultimate measure of success for a district is realized through the achievement of student learning outcomes. When all the staff assists with identifying and accomplishing annual goals, the district develops a culture steeped in a culture of safety that, most importantly, results in a stable learning environment for students.