When you choose a school for your child, you’re choosing the place he or she will spend the academic day, both in person and on the computer.
That’s why we’ve worked hard to ensure AOPS schools remain a safe place for all students. Speaking with parent groups, the church, and government organizations, we’ve created programs to keep children informed, protected, and empowered against harm. Because when students are safe, they’re ready to fulfill their academic potential.
Personal safety for our students is our highest priority, especially when it comes to protecting children from sexual misconduct and violence.
To this end, every member of AOPS faculty and staff – including teachers, priests, deacons, and even volunteers, must undergo rigorous background investigation and complete a series of Safe Environment Training courses. These measures ensure everyone working with children at AOPS can uphold the moral standards set by the Office of Child and Youth Protection.
Special instruction on personal security and safety is also given to every AOPS student at least once a year at every grade level. Parents receive advanced notification when these lessons will be taught, and are free to opt their children out from these programs at any time.
Pre-K through Eighth Grade
Students attending early childhood education programs or elementary school review a “Touching Safety” lesson twice a year – once in the fall, and once in the spring. In these classes, they learn how to identify situations in which an adult may be trying to take advantage of them. Students learn what to do and where to go for help
High School (Grades 9 – 12)
The personal safety education program in grades 9-12 focuses on healthy relationships. The curriculum, entitled, TeenTalk: Lessons to Empower Youth in a Modern World, was developed exclusively for the Archdiocese as part of our comprehensive efforts to create Church and school environments to protect our young people and keep them from harm. Lessons, which include bullying, cyber predators, healthy relationships and sexual harassment are grounded in professional best practices and the catechism. Theological themes from Sacred Scripture and the Doctrinal Elements of a Curriculum Framework have been incorporated into the curricula emphasizing that we are all created in the image and likeness of God and each and every one of us are deserving of dignity and respect.
Grade 9 Bullying
The videos and discussion in this unit will inform students about different types of bullying and provide them with tools for responding. The lesson emphasizes the concept of “bystander intervention” and describes how bystanders can play a key role in preventing or stopping bullying.
As a result of this lesson, students will:
Grade 10 Cyber Predators
The video and discussion in this unit will raise awareness about the reality of posting too much information online and how it can potentially put the student and/or those people about whom they care at risk. The lesson raises awareness about the risks of online predators and teaches students how to recognize warning signs of grooming and exploitation for their own protection.
At the conclusion of this lesson, students will:
Grade 11 Healthy Relationships
The activity and discussion in this unit will promote healthy relationships and social encounters. The lesson introduces key concepts such as respect, honesty & trust, communication, and equality in relationships, as well as possible danger signals for unhealthy situations.
At the conclusion of the lesson, students will:
Grade 12 Sexual Harassment
The activities in this unit focus on the issue of sexual harassment, as it applies to teens and their environment. The lesson defines sexual harassment and explores the differences between flirting and sexual harassment behaviors. Students are provided steps for effectively responding to sexual harassment, if it occurs.
Students who have been educated on the responsible use of technology are more likely to be safe online. So we incorporate guidelines on safe internet use, including how to avoid potentially dangerous people and websites, into all of our technological education. We also teach students how to use the Internet responsibly and ethically, to help them keep it safe for others.
AOPS encourages parents to join us in making the Internet a more secure place for every child. Below, you’ll find helpful, free resources you can use to educate yourself and your children about how to surf the web safely.