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Risk Management Supports a Smooth Return to School

While teachers are setting up their lesson plans and decorating their classrooms, there are a lot of people working behind the scenes to ensure that the return to school after summer break goes smoothly for students as well as school and SDCOE employees.

One of those teams is the Risk Management department, which has a huge impact on keeping people and property safe as the school year starts.

“We try to take care of the staff so that they can take care of the students,” said Steven Salvati, executive director of Risk Management.

Summer is one of the busiest times for the 24-member team, each working in different ways.

“We’re definitely in the background, but there’s a lot for us that happens,” said Robin Parker, program assistant with the deferred compensation program. “Essentially what we’re doing is protecting assets.”

Some of this work includes inspecting school playgrounds, organizing contracts for pre-placement physicals for new employees, supporting Employee Assistance Service for Education, conducting required testing for bus drivers, training employees, holding retirement workshops, managing on-the-job injuries, and creating year-end financial statements for member districts and schools.

"I really enjoy my work in Risk Management,” said Felicia Amenta, senior manager of Workers’ Compensation. “It is very rewarding to provide services that ensure the safety and well-being of our member school district staff and students."

Many of these efforts benefit SDCOE employees, including training through the Risk Management Joint Powers Authority (JPA) Learning Library, Workers’ Compensation support, supplemental retirement options, as well as medical and other benefits.

Most of the team’s work is split between two independent agencies: the Risk Management JPA and the Fringe Benefits Consortium. Both have their own board of directors and elections.

The JPA supports 66 local educational agencies in San Diego and Imperial counties, and the Fringe Benefits Consortium has 116 members in six California counties.

Knowing the impact that the team has on students and employees across the county is very satisfying, Salvati said.

“It is very gratifying to know that we have an impact and that we’re able to help our districts run smoothly and ultimately help them in their mission of educating students,” Salvati added.


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