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Safe Environment

VIRTUS Adult Awareness Training

The VIRTUS “Protecting God’s Children” training program teaches adults how to protect children by making participants aware of the signs of child abuse, the methods by which offenders commit abuse, the reporting procedures for suspected abuse and the steps we take to build and maintain safe environments. Teachers and Volunteers are required to complete this training. Parents and other interested adults are also invited to attend this training.

All clergy, all religious, and all employees of the Syracuse Diocese, as well as any volunteer who comes into direct contact with children, are required to attend this training as well as complete a criminal background check. Recertification and an updated criminal background check are required every 5 years.

In addition, parents/teachers should report any suspected child abuse to the Faith Formation Coordinator.

Further information can be located on the Diocese of Syracuse website. (www.syrdio.org)

Circles of Care

The “Circles of Care” curriculum addresses age appropriate personal safety issues for children and youth. The name of the program is rooted in the universal symbol for wholeness, the circle. The circle signifies completeness, infinity and the sphere within which communication and dialogue happen best.

The age-appropriate lessons of “Circles of Care” are intended to strengthen and compliment the care that is already part of the Faith Formation ministry. Students will be introduced to foundational principles of living our faith, especially personal safety, making good decisions, developing wholesome relationships and self-esteem.

One class period each year is designated to teaching “Circles of Care”. Parents will be notified in advance.

Further information can be located on the Diocese of Syracuse website. www.syrdio.org

Campus Safety

Our Faith Formation Campus Safety procedures are meant to prevent the unlikely, but still possible in today’s world, actions that would threaten a child’s physical safety.

  • Only the front doors will be used for entering and exiting the building.
  • On Sunday morning, parents in K-5 will bring their child to the classroom and check in with the catechist. Parents should either leave the building or relax in the cafeteria. No adult should be in the classroom wing hall without specific permission from the Faith FormationCoordinator. An adult hall monitor will be present to ensure that the classroom hall wing is secured.
  • At the end of class parents should return to the classroom and check their child out of class. No child will be released to anyone except a parent or authorized representative of the parent.
  • On Sunday evenings, parents are allowed to drop their child at the front door of Notre Dame. The student will go directly to the classroom. After class, the young adult will leave the classroom and go directly to the front door to go home. If a parent does not wish their child to have independent dismissal, the parent should talk to the Faith Formation Coordinator to make suitable arrangements.
  • After all students have entered the building, the front doors will be secured and a hall monitor will be present to allow entrance to the building.
  • In case of an emergency, parents may sign their children out of the class. An adult will be at the entrance of the building and at the entrance of the classroom wing to assist you.
  • In case of an emergency evacuation, all students will be relocated to a designated space behind Notre Dame. When it is safe to do so, students will return to Notre Dame or be brought to Our Lady of the Rosary Church. The Faith Formation staff will follow the directions of law enforcement and fire officials. Do not take your child from the campus until after you have signed your child out of the class.
  • All members of the Catechetical Team will wear Identification Badges.