Protecting and Caring For Our Students
The safety and well-being of our students is Loyola Academy’s highest priority. The following are policies and procedures to ensure student safety and to confront any type of misconduct in a prompt, caring and professional manner.
Employee and Volunteer Standards
Employee and Volunteer Screening
Loyola Academy begins by thoroughly evaluating the backgrounds of our employees and regular volunteers, including:
- initial and annual national criminal background checks for all employees and regular volunteers
- fingerprint-based, criminal-history record checks with the Illinois State Police and the FBI for all new employees
- annual processing of all employees through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services’ State Central Register, a child abuse/neglect tracking system (CANTS), which includes all reports of suspected child abuse or neglect, as well as the outcome of the investigation of these reports
- We require orientation and ongoing training for our workforce through VIRTUS, the National Catholic Retention Group's program that thoroughly addresses the issues of boundaries between adults and students. Additionally, all Jesuit employees are accredited by Praesidium.
All employees of Loyola Academy are “mandated reporters” as outlined in the State of Illinois’ Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, 325 ILCS 5/1, et seq. If a Loyola Academy employee has reasonable cause to believe a student, known to them in his/her professional and official capacity, may be an abused or neglected child, s/he shall immediately report or cause a report to be made to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services by contacting the Child Abuse Hotline at 800-25-ABUSE.
Boundaries Education for Employees
Loyola Academy requires orientation and ongoing training for our employees and regular volunteers through VIRTUS, the National Catholic Risk Retention Group’s program that thoroughly addresses the issues of boundaries between adults and children.
Standards for Faculty and Staff Interaction with Students
Loyola Academy’s “Standards for Faculty/Staff Interaction with Students” outlines appropriate and inappropriate interaction with students under the categories of general conduct, physical contact, discipline, communications, off-campus interactions, overnight trips, relations with former students and enforcement of the standards. All Loyola Academy employees are required to sign an agreement indicating that they have read this document and are in compliance with all of its provisions.
How to Report an Allegation of Abuse or Inappropriate Behavior
For Loyola Academy Students and Parents
If you are a Loyola Academy student and feel that you have been the victim of any inappropriate behavior by an adult, who works or volunteers at Loyola Academy, you should report it to your counselor, the Assistant Principal for Student Services, or any adult at Loyola Academy or at home with whom you feel comfortable. You may also contact the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and/or the Wilmette Police Department.
If you are a student or a parent or caregiver who believes a Loyola Academy student has been the victim of any inappropriate behavior by an adult who works or volunteers at Loyola Academy, please contact the Assistant Principal for Student Services, the Dean of Students or any Loyola Academy administrator with whom you feel comfortable. You may also contact the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and/or the Wilmette Police Department.
All complaints reported to Loyola Academy are promptly investigated by the Dean of Students or Assistant Principal for Student Services in an appropriate manner, taking care to respect the privacy of those involved during the initial investigation.
Any complaint about an adult, who works or volunteers at Loyola Academy, participating in any type of physical contact of a sexual nature or physical abuse, is reported by Loyola Academy to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and to the Wilmette Police Department for investigation. Loyola Academy also notifies the Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Board’s coordination and cooperation with the investigation and to determine its response and consequences. If a complaint is deemed credible after the preliminary investigation, the adult responsible for the misconduct is put on leave.
For Loyola Academy Alumni
If you are a Loyola Academy alumnus or alumna and have been abused by an adult while at Loyola Academy, no matter how long ago the abuse may have occurred, we strongly urge you to report this to law enforcement authorities, such as the Wilmette Police Department and/or the Cook County State’s Attorney.
If the abuse involved a Jesuit, you are also urged to contact Ms. Marjorie O’Dea, the Chicago Province’s Director of the Office of Victim Advocacy, at 773.975.6363.
For Loyola Academy Employees and Volunteers
If you are a Loyola Academy teacher, counselor, coach, staff member or administrator and you have reasonable cause to believe a student, known to you in your professional and official capacity, may be an abused or neglected child, you are required to make a report or cause a report to be made to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services at the Child Abuse Hotline at 800-25-ABUSE and to the Assistant Principal for Student Services.
Anyone participating in good faith in making such a report shall be immune from civil or criminal liability. On the other hand, failure to report, when one is required to do so, can result in a misdemeanor charge.
Policies cannot in themselves always restrain an adult from abusing children. Thus, adults bear the responsibility to assist one another in avoiding the abuse. Any employee or regular volunteer who observes another employee or volunteer behaving in a manner which may pose a potential risk to a student is to report the matter in confidence to the Assistant Principal for Student Services, the Dean of Students or any Loyola Academy administrator with whom you feel comfortable.