Pools provide effective coverage and risk management for “typical” public entity risks as well as new and emerging risk areas. Providing space to compare experiences between and among pools is one of the most important roles AGRiP serves, allowing members to share important lessons and best practices that make us all better.
Sharing perspective about the changing nature of school risks is just one example. Historically, services provided by school districts have been fairly focused: delivering in-person education, overseeing extracurricular activities, and (occasionally) providing space for other community events. School facilities and services have always included risks — sometimes big ones.
As a result of (or at least accelerated by) the pandemic, many schools have expanded their educational missions to include remote instruction. This expansion is expected to continue in some form well beyond COVID-19, and it comes with new risks that school districts and pools have to address. Educational equity, online harassment risks and increased opportunity for disruptive cyber events are just a few of the evolving issues being explored by schools and their pooling partners.
Many school districts have also expanded other services to their communities — everything from mobile WiFi to social services to health care. Throughout the pandemic, schools with closed buildings still distributed hundreds of millions of lunches to children. Schools provided daycare for frontline workers who couldn’t stay home during the pandemic’s height. And, as the COVID-19 immunization effort continues, some schools are serving as distribution points for vaccines.
Expanding educational offerings and community services provided by schools will likely continue. The American Rescue Plan includes a significant increase in funds available to transform typical schools into “full-service community schools,” and the Department of Education is advocating for more such transformations around the country. One advocacy group wants 25,000 community schools in the U.S. by 2025.
Each new service added comes with its own set of risks that schools aren’t necessarily used to managing. Pools are being called upon to underwrite for new exposures and help school districts effectively manage associated risks.
One of the easiest ways to gather information from other pools already dealing with similar social services, community centers, public health risks and so forth is through our Cybrary (login required). Use this pooling-specific search tool to find resources from other member pools, associations and leagues, QEI Patrons and other trusted sources. Even if you don’t discover the answer through Cybrary resources, there’s a good chance you’ll identify another pool or two working on the same issue as you.
For instance, as it relates to emerging school risks:
You can use the Cybrary to search for information about any kind of risk (whether typical or new), coverage considerations, risk management advice and training materials offered by pools, pool governance practices, and more. The Cybrary is a very focused search engine that produces results most useful to our community and filters out all the noise you might find doing a wider search of the Internet.
Use the Cybrary any time you have a question about how other pools might manage for a situation you now face. For a tutorial on how to use the Cybrary, watch our new instructional video with Director of Programs Steve Keller.
Ann Gergen is AGRiP’s executive director and a former pool administrator. She has worked closely with and for pools, public entities, reinsurers and related service providers throughout her career.
Published Aug. 20, 2021.