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Duties of the Lab Specialist

The following is taken from a Board of Education circular dated February 1970.

The duties of the Laboratory Specialist/Technician are listed below:

I. In Relation to the Departmental Program of Instruction and Administration,

  1. Prepare, assemble, set up and distribute apparatus, equipment, audio-visual aids, materials and reagents for the performance of:
    a. Teacher-demonstrations in science classes, and
    b. Individual and group experiments in the science laboratories.
  2. Organize, direct and supervise a science squad to assist him in carrying out his duties.

II. In the Maintenance and Operation of the Preparation Room, Stockroom, Storerooms and Laboratories.

  1. Systematize the storage of supplies and chemicals in the science storerooms, preparation rooms and laboratories so that they are ready to use.
  2. Be available to the instructor when needed to keep equipment in operational condition, to replenish reagents.
  3. Maintain apparatus, equipment, audio-visual aids, supplies, chemicals and live material in usable condition and make minor repairs.
  4. Construct or assemble pieces of apparatus as needed for the performance of demonstrations and experiments.
  5. Systematize the storage of equipment and audio-visual aids in the stockrooms, storerooms, preparation rooms and laboratories and keep them in good repair and ready for use.
  6. Apprise the chairman or supervisor of needed major repairs to science equipment.
  7. Take adequate precautions to safeguard all science supplies and equipment against breakage, spoilage and theft.
  8. Supervise stockrooms and preparation rooms when squad members or students working on projects are present.

III. In the Administration of the Science Program.

  1. Keep a current inventory of all science supplies and a "want-list" so that the needs of the department are known and requisition equipment of supplies from the "S" and "G" Lists as prescribed by the Divisional Offices.
  2. Receive and check the receipt of all science supplies as they arrive in the science department and complete and return the necessary receipt forms to the supply clerk.
  3. Maintain stencils and mimeographed material for the use of the department at the request of the chairman.
  4. Help prepare official departmental science supply reports at the request of the chairman or supervisor.
  5. Tabulate science supply data under the direction of the chairman or supervisor.

IV. In the Knowledge, Performance and Instruction in Safety Procedures and Practices.

  1. Be thoroughly acquainted with and guided by the science safety bulletins including the hazards involved in the storage of scientific equipment and chemicals and the approved safety standards and the methods for storage and use of all supplies.
  2. Take approved safety precautions in the transportation of all equipment and supplies to and from the science classrooms and laboratories.
  3. Inform the students on science squads of laboratory hazards and the safety precautions that are necessary.

V. Activities Outside the Scope of the Laboratory Specialist/Technician Functions.

  1. They are not to be assigned to take classes from which teachers and chairmen are absent except in extreme emergencies.
  2. They may not be asked to take building assignments. This includes examination and reorganization weeks.
  3. They may not correct Regents papers but may be required to assist with appropriate work related to Regents and Final Examinations.
  4. They should not be asked to take charge of an audio-visual aids program which is conducted on a school-wide basis.
  5. They are not to be assigned to official classes or homerooms.
  6. They shall not be assigned to duties within the department normally performed by other school personnel, except in an emergency.

VI. The Laboratory Specialist's/Technician's day is 6 1/2 hours per school day, exclusive of lunch, and for such additional time not exceeding 30 minutes as the principal may require.
(Board of Education By-Laws, Article XII Section 91 Par. 4 (h)).

VII. The Agreement between the Board of Education and the Laboratory Specialist/Technician Chapter, UFT, Article IV B, states: "Each Laboratory Specialist/Technician shall have a total of 30 minutes relief time each day. Such time may be scheduled for one or more relief periods during the day, as approved by the appropriate school official, except that if taken at the beginning or end of the working day, the employee must remain in attendance at the school."