The safety of District 54 students and staff is our top priority. You send your children to us every day with the expectation that we not only teach them, but keep them safe. This is a trust that the District 54 staff does not take lightly.
Our focus as a school district is prevention. Each year the entire District 54 staff is trained on our crisis prevention and response plan, which was developed in coordination with our local police and fire departments. We review these plans annually with all of the fire and police departments that serve our district. We also invite these first responders into our buildings to participate in the lockdown and fire drills we conduct with students and staff. These plans and drills provide our students and staff with the knowledge of what to do in emergency situations.
We also focus on prevention by forming relationships with our students so that we are prepared to provide support when they need it, and so that they feel comfortable reporting to us when they hear or see unsafe or concerning behaviors. Please reinforce this with your children at home by letting them know that they can also come to you whenever they feel unsafe and remind them that they should report any suspicions and concerns about school safety.
All District 54 schools practice PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports). Staff members consistently teach, model and reinforce appropriate behaviors for students. PBIS teaches students to be responsible for their own behaviors. Typical expectations include Be Safe, Be Respectful and Be Responsible.
Included within the PBIS framework is the Bully Prevention Program, a research-based, proactive program that provides specific instruction to prevent bullying behavior. However, sometimes bullying or other negative behaviors still occur. Students who feel bullied should promptly inform their teacher or another District 54 employee. They can also click on the link above to access the anonymous Online Bullying and Safety Reporting tool.
Whether making a report in person, over the phone or online, please include as much detailed information as possible because doing so will greatly assist administrators in investigating and addressing the concern. Please keep in mind that online reports received outside of school hours may not be reviewed and acted upon until school is back in session. With that said, if your concerns require immediate attention, please contact local law enforcement.
Once an alleged bullying incident is reported, the district will determine whether the reported act is within the permissible scope of its jurisdiction and will promptly inform parents/guardians of all students involved in the alleged incident and will discuss, as appropriate, the availability of social work services, counseling, school psychological services, other interventions and restorative measures. The district will provide parents/guardians of the students who are parties to the investigation with information about the investigation and an opportunity to meet with the principal, or designee, to discuss the investigation, the finding of the investigation, and the actions taken to address the incident.
The Board of Education has adopted several policies aimed at protecting children and their right to learn in a safe environment, including the three policies linked below.