Chapter 7: General Info & Parental Notifications

In this Chapter

Homeless Child's Right to Education

Both Illinois and federal law define “homeless.” Homeless students include, but are not limited to, children or youth who are: sharing the housing of other persons due to the loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (commonly referred to as being “doubled up”); are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; are awaiting foster care placement; are staying in public or private places not ordinarily used as sleeping accommodations; are living in cars, parks, public places, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations or similar settings; or are otherwise not residing in a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.

There is no specific time limit on how long a child or youth can be considered homeless. Whether a child or youth meets the definition of homeless depends on the living situation and the individual circumstances.
Families who may be homeless should contact the District office and request to speak with the Homeless Liaison.

Homeless Liaison

Dr. Wendy Wolgan, (708) 614-4500

Equal Educational Opportunities

Equal educational and extracurricular opportunities shall be available for all students without regard to color, race, nationality, religion, sex, sexual orientation, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, gender identity, status of being homeless, order of protection status, or actual or potential marital or parental status, including pregnancy. Further, the District will not knowingly enter into agreements with any entity or any individual that discriminates against students on the basis of sex or any other protected status, except that the District remains viewpoint neutral when granting access to school facilities under School Board policy 8:20, Community Use of School Facilities. Any student may file a discrimination grievance by using Board policy 2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure.

Sex Equity

No student shall, based on sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity be denied equal access to programs, activities, services, or benefits or be limited in the exercise of any right, privilege, advantage, or denied equal access to educational and extracurricular programs and activities.Any student may file a sex equity complaint by using Board policy 2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure. A student may appeal the Board’s resolution of the complaint to the Regional Superintendent (pursuant to 105 ILCS 5/3-10) and, thereafter, to the State Superintendent of Education (pursuant to 105 ILCS 5/2- 3.8).

Non-Discrimination Manager

Dr. Wendy Wolgan, (708) 614-4500

Complaint Managers

Kelly Voliva, (708) 614-4545
Dr. Damien Aherne, (708) 614-4520

Teacher Qualifications

Parents/guardians may request information about the qualifications of their child’s teachers and paraprofessionals, including:
  • Whether the teacher has met State certification requirements.
  • Whether the teacher is teaching under an emergency permit or other provisional status by which State licensing criteria have been waived.
  • The teacher’s college major.
  • Whether the teacher has any advanced degrees and, if so, the subject of the degrees.
  • Whether any instructional aides or paraprofessionals provide services to a parent’s child and, if so, their qualifications.

Family Life & Sex Education Classes 

Students will not be required to take or participate in any class or courses in comprehensive sex education if his or her parent or guardian submits a written objection. This includes: 
  • Instruction on both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS;
  • Family life instruction;
  • Instruction on the prevention, transmission, and spread of AIDS;
  • Instruction on diseases;
  • Recognizing and avoiding sexual abuse; and/or
  • Instruction on donor programs for organ/tissue, blood donor, and transplantation. 
The parent or guardian’s decision will not be the reason for any student discipline, including suspension or expulsion. Nothing in this section prohibits instruction in sanitation, hygiene or traditional courses in biology.
Parents or guardians may examine the instructional materials to be used in any district sex education course or sexual abuse units (Erin’s Law). 

Awareness & Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, Grooming Behaviors, and Boundary Violations

Child sexual abuse, grooming behaviors, and boundary violations harm students, their parent/guardian, the District’s environment, its school communities, and the community at large, while diminishing a student’s ability to learn.

Warning signs of child sexual abuse: 
  • Physical signs:
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or other genital infections
  • Signs of trauma to the genital area, such as unexplained bleeding, bruising, or blood on the sheets, underwear, or other clothing
    Unusual weight gain or loss
Behavioral signs:
  • Excessive talk about or knowledge of sexual topics
  • Keeping secrets
  • Not talking as much as usual
  • Not wanting to be left alone with certain people or being afraid to be away from primary caregivers
  • Regressive behaviors or resuming behaviors that the child had grown out of, such as thumb sucking or bedwetting
  • Overly compliant behavior
  • Sexual behavior that is inappropriate for the child’s age
  • Spending an unusual amount of time alone
  • Trying to avoid removing clothing to change or bathe
Emotional signs:
  • Change in eating habits or unhealthy eating patterns, like loss of appetite or excessive eating
  • Signs of depression, such as persistent sadness, lack of energy, changes in sleep or appetite, withdrawing from normal activities, or feeling “down”
  • Change in mood or personality, such as increased aggression
  • Decrease in confidence or self-image
  • Anxiety, excessive worry, or fearfulness
  • Increase in unexplained health problems such as stomach aches and headaches
  • Loss or decrease in interest in school, activities, and friends
  • Nightmares or fear of being alone at night
  • Self-harming behaviors or expressing thoughts of suicide or suicidal behavior
  • Failing grades
  • Drug or alcohol use

Warning Signs of Grooming Behaviors

School and District employees are expected to maintain professional and appropriate relationships with students based upon students’ ages, grade levels, and developmental levels.

Prohibited grooming is defined as (i) any act, including but not limited to, any verbal, nonverbal, written, or electronic communication or physical activity, (ii) by an employee with direct contact with a student, (iii) that is directed toward or with a student to establish a romantic or sexual relationship with the student.

Examples of grooming behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following behaviors:
  • Sexual or romantic invitations to a student
  • Dating or soliciting a date from a student
  • Engaging in sexualized or romantic dialog with a student
  • Making sexually suggestive comments that are directed toward or with a student
  • Self-disclosure or physical exposure of a sexual, romantic, or erotic nature
  • Sexual, indecent, romantic, or erotic contact with a student
  • Failing to respect boundaries or listening when a student says “no”
  • Engaging in touching that a student or student’s parents/guardians have indicated as unwanted
  • Trying to be a student’s friend rather than filling an adult role in the student’s life
  • Failing to maintain age-appropriate relationships with students
  • Talking with students about personal problems or relationships
  • Spending time alone with a student outside of their role in the student’s life or making up excuses to be alone with a student
  • Expressing unusual interest in a student’s sexual development, such as commenting on sexual characteristics or sexualizing normal behaviors
  • Giving a student gifts without occasion or reason
  • Spending a lot of time with a student
  • Restricting a student’s access to other adults

Warning Signs of Boundary Violations

School and District employees breach employee-student boundaries when they misuse their position of power over a student in a way that compromises the student’s health, safety, or general welfare.

Examples of boundary violations include:
  • Favoring a certain student by inviting the student to “hang out” or by granting special privileges
  • Engaging in peer-like behavior with a student
  • Discussing personal issues with a student
  • Meeting with a student off-campus without parent/guardian knowledge and/or permission
  • Dating, requesting, or participating in a private meeting with a student (in person or virtually) outside of a professional role
  • Transporting a student in a school or private vehicle without administrative authorization
  • Giving gifts, money, or treats to an individual student
  • Sending a student on personal errands
  • Intervening in a serious student problem instead of referring the student to an appropriately trained professional
  • Sexual or romantic invitations toward or from a student
  • Taking and using photos/videos of students for non-educational purposes
  • Initiating or extending contact with a student beyond the school day in a one-on-one or non-group setting
  • Inviting a student to an employee’s home
  • Adding a student on personal social networking sites as contacts when unrelated to a legitimate educational purpose
  • Privately messaging a student
  • Maintaining intense eye contact with a student
  • Making comments about a student’s physical attributes, including excessively flattering comments
  • Engaging in sexualized or romantic dialog
  • Making sexually suggestive comments directed toward or with a student
  • Disclosing confidential information
  • Self-disclosure of a sexual, romantic, or erotic nature
  • Full frontal hugs
  • Invading personal space
Students who believe they are a victim of child sexual abuse, grooming behaviors, or boundary violations, or parents who believe that their child is a victim, should immediately contact the Building Principal, a school counselor, or another trusted adult employee of the District. 

Additional Resources

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800.656.HOPE (4673)
National Sexual Abuse Chatline:
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Hotline: at 1.800.25.ABUSE (2873)

Faith’s Law

Employee Conduct Standards

School districts are required to include in their student handbook the District’s Employee Code of Professional Conduct. These standards, in part, define appropriate conduct between school employees and students. A copy of these standards can be found on the District’s website or requested from the Superintendent’s office.

The Illinois State Board of Education has published a Sexual Abuse Response and Prevention Resource Guide. The District 146 Community Resource Page also lists local resources for families, staff, and community members.

Mandated Reporters

All school personnel, including teachers and administrators, are required by law to immediately report any and all suspected cases of child abuse or neglect to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Sex Offender Requirements

State law prohibits a convicted child sex offender from being present on school property when children under the age of 18 are present, except for in the following circumstances as they relate to the individual’s child(ren):
  1. To attend a conference at the school with school personnel to discuss the progress of their child.
  2. To participate in a conference in which evaluation and placement decisions may be made with respect to their child’s special education services.
  3. To attend conferences to discuss issues concerning their child such as retention or promotion.
In all other cases, convicted child sex offenders are prohibited from being present on school property unless they obtain written permission from the Superintendent or School Board.
Anytime a convicted child sex offender is present on school property – including the three reasons above - he/she is responsible for notifying the principal's office upon arrival on school property and upon departure from school property.  It is the responsibility of the convicted child sex offender to remain under the direct supervision of a school official at all times he/she is in the presence or vicinity of children.
A violation of this law is a Class 4 felony.

Sex Offender & Violent Offender Notification

State law requires schools to notify parents/guardians during school registration or parent-teacher conferences that information about sex offenders and violent offenders against youth is available to the public on the Illinois Department of State Police (ISP) website.

The ISP website contains the following:
Illinois Sex Offender Registry
Illinois Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registry
Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Sex Offenders

School Visitation Rights

The School Visitation Rights Act permits employed parents/guardians, who are unable to meet with educators because of work conflict, the right to time off work under certain conditions to attend necessary school functions such as parent-teacher conferences.

Military Service

District 146 follows all legal requirements regarding parents/guardians in the military service.

Pesticide Application Notification

Notice of an application of pesticide will be posted online, at school entrances, and at the Administration Center. Notification will be given before application of the pesticide. Prior notice is not required if there is imminent threat to health or property.
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