On January 25, 25 administrators and staff from eight ATT schools gathered for a half-day “mini-summit” focused on abuse prevention and safety in our schools. ATT, JCFS and Upward Community have partnered creating a coalition of Chicago organizations that will continue to improve practices and education in our community about this important topic. The partners each bring resources and experience in this field including relationships with national organizations that have expertise which can be accessed by our schools.
The facilitator for this session was Shira Berkovitz, Esq., the CEO of Sacred Spaced, a national organization that has developed hiring resources, policies, and practices, called Aleinu. These are used in hundreds of Jewish institutions, schools, and shuls, and they are now available to our schools with ongoing support.
The participants had an opportunity to hear what a fully implemented system of abuse prevention looks like. They looked at some case studies and discussed several practical aspects of prevention and responses to incidents. The main point was to continue this renewed effort in all of our schools and to empower our schools through best practices and education so that they can enhance their current student and parent education and safety practices.
This effort is a continuation of ATT’s longstanding role in the “Safer Schools” initiative which is support by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. ATT and its partners will be reaching out to each school individually to follow-up on this event and to make sure that this area of school practice remains highly visible and updated.