Assistants support Kroka's program activities under the supervision and guidance of coordinators and managers. Assistants will be developing basic computer skills for data entry, drafting communications, and processing registrations. Assistants support all aspects of Kroka: farm, facilities, teaching students, transportation, food, etc. Qualifications:
- willingness to help and interest in learning all aspects of Kroka
- ability to see task through to completion, asking for help when necessary
- observational skills to allow one to learn to be effective
Coordinators take responsibility for coordinating an entire season of programs or an entire area of Kroka's operations, for example: Semester Program coordinator, School Programs coordinator, Summer Programs coordinator. They work in conjunction with managers and directors to ensure staffing, equipment and logistics planning and carrying out all aspects of programs. They are responsible for staff training and development as well as program and staff evaluation.
- excellent communication skills with students, parents, and peers
- sophisticated computer technology skills
- sufficient field experience to understand and support teachers and activities
Managers take a leadership role in managing key functions of the organization on an annual or ongoing basis. They hire, train, and supervise other staff, and spend more time in “management” activities than in outdoor field work. They supervise and support program coordinators. They create new systems and strategically plan growth for the organization.
Directors are typically people who have dedicated their full livelihood towards the long-term growth of the organization
GENERAL KROKA POLICIES FOR ALL STAFF
Attitude & Work ethic
We offer a sliding scale fee, financial aid to all in need, we have great equipment and we pay people well. How can a small organization afford this? We work hard, we work until all gets done, and we get more done with fewer people. We do many jobs; cleaning, cooking, guiding, directing, helping others and fixing things. We take exceptional care of our equipment, so it lasts longer than usual. Resourcefulness plays an important role in our logistical base.
Tobacco, drugs and alcohol
Kroka Expeditions has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to drugs, tobacco and alcohol: Any consumption or use by staff or students during a Kroka program will result in immediate termination of employment or dismissal from the program. Any use of illegal substances or underage consumption of alcohol during your contracted period of employment will be grounds for immediate dismissal. See the campus handbook for guidelines about storage and consumption of alcohol for campus residents who are not assigned to a program.
Staff Health, Injury, or Illness
ALL STAFF who come into contact with students are required to update the online MEDICAL/LIABILITY RELEASE AGREEMENT on an annual basis.
All STAFF assigned to programs will have a recent (within 2 years) extended medical form reviewed by HR manager and kept on file.
If you sustain an injury while at work, you must let the office know as soon as possible. If you need medical care due to a work-related medical injury, it is preferable if you can let the office know prior to seeking treatment. Any work-related injuries require an incident report. If you sustain an injury while on an expedition program, Kroka will cover the costs of evacuation from your location to the nearest medical facility and/or back to the Kroka campus. If you are on an international program with travel insurance, Kroka will cover any costs not covered by travel insurance.
All Kroka employees are covered by a New Hampshire Workers Compensation insurance policy that will provide the following benefits in the event of a work-related injury: Weekly Indemnity Benefits, Temporary Partial Disability Benefits, Death Benefits, Payment of Related Medical Bills, Including Mileage to Doctors' Visits and Prescription Reimbursement, Permanent Impairment Award, Temporary Alternative Duty, and Vocational Rehabilitation.
If you sustain an injury away from work that may affect your ability to perform your work duties, please contact the office as soon as possible.
If you are not feeling well, or have been diagnosed with any form of communicable disease, you must notify the office as soon as possible. If you are contagious you need to stay home! Symptoms of being contagious may include: sneezing, aches, low energy, cough, sore throat, feeling cold etc. Think about others and think about the big picture when making decisions about your health. Keep your work organized so you can pass tasks on to your teammates during any acute stage of your sickness, and work from home during the recovery period. Team supervisors have authority to send staff home. Co-workers are encouraged to support one-another by noticing the onset of sickness, encouraging team mates to go home if sick and taking on their work load.
On-Campus Quarantine: If you live on-campus sharing space with others, you may need to quarantine yourself and take all precautions possible to stop the spread of infection. Please ask the facilities manager for alternative housing.
Paid vs Unpaid days due to illness or injury: If your staff benefits include health days, they will immediately be applied to any missed days of work due to illness or injury. Any subsequent days will be unpaid. An employee can request, from the executive director, additional health days beyond your typical annual allotment. If your staff benefits do not include health days, your days absent from work will be unpaid unless circumstances warrant paid sick or injury leave at the discretion of the executive director.
When you are coming to work sick you are making other people sick!
Confidentiality & Disclosure of information
Staff are required to maintain confidentiality of private information that they may have learned about students, unless there is an apparent concern for a student’s well being or the well being of others. In those cases, staff needs to bring their concern to the administration. Except in the above cases, information on medical forms and any information written or shared by parents or students must be kept confidential.
Communication within the community
We strive for direct and honest communication. We think it is unethical to discuss things about others that we would not say to them directly. Gossiping is unacceptable in our organization.
All staff are required to carry their own personal medical insurance OR sign a release stating that you assume responsibility for any medical and emergency expenses during your work at Kroka.
Intimate relationships between staff members
Staff working at Kroka may naturally develop close friendships or even romantic relationships with one another, however the enjoyment and outward expression of these relationships cannot interfere with teaching effectiveness and the overall social and emotional well-being of the community. To that end, staff will foster relationships that are inclusive and will respond to feedback about how their social life affects the group. Under no circumstances will staff enter into romantic or exclusive relationships with students. Any staff member under 18 years of age will follow all the student relationship protocols outlined in the code of conduct.
Intimate relationships between staff and students
Under no circumstances is it acceptable for staff to act on any feelings of intimate attraction towards students, or respond to any expressions of intimate affection from students – before a program, during a program, or during subsequent continued employment at Kroka.
Kroka Expeditions is committed to a staff and student community that is free from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment in the workplace is against the law and will not be tolerated. Please see complete sexual harassment policy.
Healthy Relationships at Kroka
Our staff community is socially and emotionally healthy:
- New staff members are carefully screened by calling multiple references, conducting a criminal background checks and obtaining a driving record.
- We do not allow casual visitors or friends to be unaccompanied on our campus
- Every person sleeping overnight on our campus must be (1) a registered student under supervision of a staff member, (2) a contracted employee, guest teacher, or volunteer, or (3) a visitor or guest who is closely supervised by a staff member
- We create time and space for personal sharing and emotional connection between staff
- We practice our interpersonal communication skills with annual workshops
- A senior year-round staff member serves as the human resources coordinator
Our student programs are based on safe appropriate and professional relationships between staff and students, and between the students themselves:
- All programs with adolescent students include a “code of conduct” at the beginning of the program to clarify our clear boundaries and create a safe and appropriate group culture.
- All programs are visited and observed by senior staff in order to assess the safety and the healthy social and pedagogical atmosphere.
We seek ongoing feedback from parents, both in person and via written or electronic forms: Feedback is sought within two weeks of the completion of each program, as well as via a 3-month follow-up check-in for our semester program families.
Conflicts of Interest with Other Organizations
(Your professional responsibility towards Kroka's unique relationships and curriculum)
As an employee of Kroka Expeditions, you will share in our unique body of knowledge and skills that so many people have worked hard for many years to develop and refine.
This includes: - knowledge of local wilderness areas that are suited for adventure expeditions - locations of safe and appropriate campsites for groups - unique methods of integrating academic, social, and adventure curriculum
In addition, you will be developing professional working relationships that include agreements made by Kroka with schools, teachers, landowners, and peer organizations in the outdoor education field.
This unique knowledge and these relationships are Kroka’s most important assets, and we are pleased and honored to share them with you.
At the same time, while we wish for you to make a lifetime commitment to Kroka, we know that at some point, circumstances may require you to move on to new places in your life. After you leave Kroka, we hope you will be able to capitalize on what you have learned here and continue working in the outdoor education field. We are reasonable, generous, and trusting, and ultimately we want for the students of today’s world to spend as much time outdoors as possible.
Out of respect for our continued efforts we ask that you make the following commitment to us:
At any point during or prior to a period of contracted employment at Kroka, if I am offered employment or consulting work with any other outdoor education or wilderness-based organization, I will consult in advance with Kroka’s Executive director to discuss any possible conflict of interest. For at least three years after working at Kroka, if I am offered contracted employment or consulting work with any organization that has been a client or affiliate of Kroka during the past three years, I will contact Kroka’s Executive Director in advance to explore any possible conflict of interest. If I am a leader or member of any group trip or expedition that plans to use any wilderness campsites that are used by Kroka programs or any area where Kroka has an established land use agreement, I will consult with Kroka ahead of time in order to prevent misunderstandings or conflicts and to ensure the best stewardship of that area.
Use of Kroka Equipment
Any loss or damage to Kroka vehicles, equipment, or supplies must be immediately reported in person to a course director and/or facilities manager. This conversation should reach an understanding about responsibility and next steps for repairing the damage. Staff (or students) who hold responsibility for loss or damage will be expected to share in the effort ( time and/or expense ) of repairing that damage.
Use of Kroka Vehicles
Kroka trucks, vans and minivans are not available for personal use. (Some special exceptions may be made for senior staff and foreign staff but mileage must be reimbursed at the current mileage reimbursement rate).
Use of Personal Vehicles
With the exception of student train/airport trips, all use of personal vehicles must be pre-approved by a director and staff has to submit a Mileage Reimbursement Form signed by their program director. If you are planning on using another staff member’s private vehicle, you must make arrangements directly with that person.
Kroka sometimes relies upon the generous use of staff personal vehicles to help cover short-term transportation needs. When personal vehicles are used for Kroka business (shuttle vehicles, groceries run, etc), staff may be eligible for mileage reimbursement to cover cost of gas and vehicle wear and tear. As of 1/1/2024, the mileage reimbursement rate will be $0.35 per mile.
When Kroka requests use of a personal vehicle for a standard round-trip student transportation errand [Manchester Airport, Concord Bus Station, or Bellows Falls Train Station], Kroka will automatically provide reimbursement at the standard rate. There is no need to request reimbursement.
All teachers will receive support from administration, or other colleagues. Every program should have a designated course director. Meetings with the course director will occur as follows:
- At the onset of program planning.
- As needed in the process of planning; at least once prior to the program start date.
- Debrief at the end of the program.
General Format of supervision:
- Overview of teaching themes, methods, expedition planning
- Self evaluation
- Peer evaluation
- Discussion of interactions between teachers and between teachers and students
- Individual student reports and entering data for future enrollment, ie. semester
- Safety review
- Request for support, resources, etc.
In addition to professional supervision, each staff member receives mentoring from senior staff member. At the end of each season, there is an exit interview where each staff member receives a verbal and written evaluation and has an opportunity to evaluate their Kroka experience.
In case of a dispute within the organization parties will first attempt to resolve it themselves. In the case of a conflict between two individuals, a third party, usually a member of the Year-round Staff, will act as a mediator. If mediation within the Kroka staff is unsuccessful, a member of the Board of Trustees will be called upon to mediate.
If the dispute is not resolved via a Board member, he or she will set up a mediation session with a professional mediator. If the dispute is not resolved through mediation, the Executive Director will decide the next appropriate step to take. In cases when decisions cannot be delayed until the conflict resolution process is complete, the Executive Director will make a decision, which will stay in affect until the conflict resolution process is complete.
All Senior and Lead teachers as well as returning teacher assistants must have current WFR and Life Guard certification. Staff shall obtain WFR certifications through Wilderness Medical Associates. Staff are responsible for the cost of their medical training. Expired certificates may result in annulment of your contract.
Senior lead teachers are expected to develop their curriculum prior to the season’s start. Compensation may be available for specific preparation tasks, such as preparing craft materials. You should arrange compensation with your program director PRIOR to beginning your preparation work.
The following should be included in curriculum development: - Main lessons - Games and fun - Handwork Project(s) - Group Reading - Singing - Artwork - Special cooking projects - Community service - End of program presentation and ceremony
Scouting and New Program Development
Program teachers are encouraged to develop new programs and scout new routes and amazing places to bring students!
When you are scouting for a new program or new itinerary, the organization can support you in the following ways:
- Supply you with food and pay for your gas (see food and mileage reimbursement policies…)
- Provide a Kroka vehicle, when available
- Pay for maps and guide books
Scouting trips must be planned in advance in consultation with a course director or program director, with a written agreement authorizing any reimbursable costs that you may incur.
Scouting trips to existing local (NH/VT/MA) Kroka program areas are not typically eligible for mileage reimbursement.
• Teachers will take digital photos for each program they teach (one staff member from each team must take responsibility for this) This is really important for marketing. • A group photograph needs to be taken for each program. • At the conclusion of each program, teachers will submit their camera or SD memory card to the program coordinator who will manage their photographs. If the card contains an excessive number of photographs (more than 200), program teachers will be asked to review their images and select only the best photographs (typically 50 from a one-week program or 100 from a two-week program).
Travel Food Allowance
If Kroka is sending an individual for business travel (i.e. conferences, teaching assignments, scouting, outreach) Kroka will provide food for snacks and meals, or reimburse for food-related expenses following these guidelines:
For LOCAL TRAVEL DURING THE PROGRAM SEASON, staff are expected to pack food from Kroka bulk food room and farm supplies. Our expectation is that staff will act frugally and cook rather than purchasing whenever possible.
For LONG-DISTANCE or OFF-SEASON travel, staff will purchase food using their own funds and submit receipts for reimbursement up to a maximum of $20 per day.
Severe Weather Cancellation / Travel Crisis
In the event that staff members are unable to travel to work due to: severe weather (snowstorm) or transportation difficulties (closed roads, car breakdown, car accident), staff may use one of their health days and remain at home. If you are equipped for remote work (laptop, telephone, high speed internet) - and - if the storm is severe enough that schools are closed in your hometown, then you may be able to work remotely for that day.