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 – Freshman Year
First year high school students watch a short educational video and share a guided discussion about why victims of sexual violence sometimes don’t seek the assistance they need. Students are given legal, religious, and personal perspective on the importance of speaking up against abuse. This lesson is built on these important guiding principles:
High School – Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Year
Each year, students complete one part of a three part video lesson series, “Called to Protect Our Youth.” These courses are designed to help students understand their three types of personal boundaries (physical, emotional, behavioral), and how to protect them. Students are also taught how to recognize abuse – and how important it is to disclose it 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.