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Join Our Academy Family

Regardless of where you attend middle school, you’ll become a proud member of the Academy family as soon as you start orientation. Our students typically come from four feeder schools, but we also have a growing number of students from public school and even out of state.

From the team building programs at freshman orientation to the graduation retreat, the friendships among Academy students last a lifetime. Once a part of the Academy family, students are part of a network of 4000+ alumni around the world who look out for one another wherever they are.

Academy staff make effort both in the classroom and out to connect to students. Whole classes often spend Shabbat at teachers’ homes, and students stay in touch with faculty long after they graduate. Teachers serve as mentors in life, in addition to being experts in their fields.

“I’ve enjoyed meeting new people and making new friendships and creating a connection with my teachers.” – Jacob Pick ’24

Faculty-Staff Conduct Guidelines

Ida Crown Jewish Academy is entrusted by its parents to provide a safe environment for every student’s emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.

The Purpose of these Guidelines is to:

  1. Create an atmosphere of mutual respect and a safe school environment for all.
  2. Create a common language between administration and staff about what is appropriate and acceptable regarding student contact and relationships.
  3. Make staff safety a priority by creating a stated and clear framework with which to safely interact with students.

Faculty/Staff Responsibilities:

  1. I understand and accept that | am responsible for the professional care of my ICJA students.
  2. I understand that there is a clear power difference between myself and students (authority, experience, knowledge, different sets of rules) and that this is also how it is perceived by my students (although often not consciously).
  3. I understand that inappropriate touching of a student (as outlined below) can have severe emotional and psychological effects on a student that can last a lifetime. These reactions could have such a strong impact that they may require intensive professional intervention that can be disruptive to the student ‘s life and leave the staff/school open for potential lawsuit.

Guidelines for Faculty/Staff Interactions with Students

  1. Faculty/staff will report the following circumstances to administration and document them on an incident report form as soon as possible. The form should be co-signed by an administrator.

a. Faculty/Staff may not physically restrain or physically guide a child unless in the case of clear and present safety concern for the staff member or students. In these circumstances physical removal should ideally be done in the presence of another staff member and when possible with the minimal force necessary.

b. No contact in a place on a student’s body that is normally covered by a bathing suit (unless administering medication and then only with another adult present).

  • Faculty/Staff may, under no circumstances, hit a child.

Faculty/Staff may not use abusive or derogatory language (i.e. shaming, sarcastic remarks, teasing, etc.).

Faculty/Staff may choose to use a joking style of communication with students, but with caution and will assess in each situation the words, particular child, circumstances, relationships, and pros/cons.

  • Faculty/Staff will not share unnecessary personal or explicit information with students. The following question will be used as a guideline when determining whether or not to share personal information, “Have | carefully thought through the purpose and possible ramifications of the information being shared and is it necessary for the lesson | am trying to teach?”
  • Faculty/Staff will carefully consider any dual relationships with students (e.g. asking a student to babysit in my house) and consult with the principals or social worker when possible in making these dual relationship decisions.
  • Faculty will not change their clothes or being in a state of undress in front of their students.
  • Faculty/Staff will seek the assistance of the principals or social worker when they encounter a particularly challenging personal or family situation.
  • Faculty/Staff will know their professional boundaries and not attempt to step into a role as “therapist” or “parent” so as not to face liability.
  • Faculty/Staff will never forbid students to share any conversations or information with parents or administrators, nor instruct students to keep secrets from parents.
  • Faculty/Staff will not promise to keep “risky” information a secret from parents and/or administration.
  • Faculty/staff may not be secluded with a student in an area that is not accessible and visible to others.
  • Faculty/staff should strive not to show or imply favoritism amongst students, understanding that doing so alienates students and prevents effective chinuch. Moreover, it can create power differentials and boundary crossings in the classroom and open up liability to a lawsuit.
  • In all dealings with students, faculty/staff should strive to respond as opposed to react to children.

Guidelines for Faculty/Staff Contact with Students

  1. No contact in a place on a student’s body that is normally covered by a bathing suit (unless administering medication and then only with another adult present).
  2. Never have contact against a child’s will or when the student verbally or nonverbally signals discomfort (unless in the case of a safety concern).
  3. Touch, when appropriate and in accordance with Jewish law should ideally only include the students’ hands, shoulders or the upper back (always in the presence of others).
  4. Touch should also only be between same gender staff to student.
  5. Although hugging may be allowed between staff and students- the following guidelines to those physical interactions must be in place in order to ensure safety as a staff member:
  6. Always keep in mind what a parent would think if they were to see this physical interaction.
  7. Always keep your safety in mind, remembering that a student can turn around and claim anything about a physical interaction between you, sometimes innocently, and sometimes not.
  8. Ideally only when other people are present.
  9. When others are not present, ideally in a place that can be seen by others who are passing by the area.
  10. Side hugs are preferable.
  11. Front hugs should be limited in the amount of frontal contact and in duration (5-10 seconds as a guideline).
  12. Ask first before embracing.
  13. Do not allow the student to be constantly hugging you or making this become a common interaction between the two of you.

Technology Boundaries with Students

  1. Staff will limit electronic and written communication to email and text only. Other social media forms of communication are not allowed (including Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.).
  2. Staff will not be “friends” with their students on Facebook or any other form of social media.
  3. Staff will not text message with a student after 10 p.m.
  4. Staff will only text or email a student information or content that they would be comfortable having the parent see at any time.

State Laws and School Protocol Pertaining to Child Abuse

I am aware of the following:

  • Definition of “mandated reporter”.
  • Clarification that a report is based on suspicion of abuse, not proven abuse.
  • Ida Crown Jewish Academy has a reporting protocol in place that necessitates calling DCFS when mandated and that every concern of abuse will be documented.
  • Employee reporting required under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act and under Title IX of the federal Education Amendments of 1972.

Additional Staff Responsibilities

  1. Ask for support when dealing with escalating stress or difficult situations.
  2. Alert the principals or social worker about dangerous or at-risk situations between students and other staff members.
  3. Work together with the principals or social worker on problematic student situations and strive to give consistent messaging to the parents on behalf of the school.
  4. Work together with the principals or social worker by keeping them informed of any concerning student behavior, any concerning parental behavior, or any incidents (verbal or physical) outside of the ordinary that have occurred between staff and student(s).

Illinois Educator Code of Ethics:


The Illinois educator is committed to creating, promoting, and implementing a learning environment that is accessible to each student, enables students to achieve the highest academic potential, and maximizes their ability to succeed in academic and employment settings as a responsible member of society. Illinois educators:

• Embody the Standards for the School Service Personnel Certificate (23 Ill. Adm. Code 23), the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards (23 Ill. Adm. Code 24), and Standards for Administrative Certification (23 Ill. Adm. Code 29), as applicable to the educator, in the learning environment;

• Respect the inherent dignity and worth of each student by assuring that the learning environment is characterized by respect and equal opportunity for each student, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, religion, language or socioeconomic status;

•Maintain a professional relationship with students at all times;

•Provide a curriculum based on high expectations for each student that addresses individual differences through the design, implementation, and adaptation of effective instruction; and

•Foster in each student the development of attributes that will enhance skills and knowledge necessary to be a contributing member of society.


The Illinois Educator is committed to establishing high professional standards for their practice and striving to meet these standards through their performance. Illinois Educators:

•Assume responsibility and accountability for their performance and continually strive to demonstrate proficiency and currency in both content knowledge and professional practice;

•Develop and implement personal and professional goals with attention to professional standards through a process of self assessment and professional development;

•Represent their professional credentials and qualifications accurately; and

•Demonstrate a high level of professional judgment.


The Illinois Educator is committed to collaborating with school and district colleagues and other professionals in the interest of student learning. Illinois Educators:

•Collaborate with colleagues in the local school and district to meet local and state educational standards;

•Work together to create a respectful, professional and supportive school climate that allows all educators to maintain their individual professional integrity;

•Seek out and engage in activities that contribute to the ongoing development of the profession;

•Promote participation in educational decision making processes;

•Encourage promising candidates to enter the education profession; and

•Support the preparation, induction, mentoring and professional development of educators.


The Illinois Educator will collaborate, build trust, and respect confidentiality with parents, families, and communities to create effective instruction and learning environments for each student. Illinois Educators:

• Aspire to understand and respect the values and traditions of the diversity represented in the community and in their learning environments;

• Encourage and advocate for fair and equal educational opportunities for each student;

• Develop and maintain professional relationships with parents, families, and communities;

• Promote collaboration and support student learning through regular and meaningful communication with parents, families, and communities; and

• Cooperate with community agencies that provide resources and services to enhance the learning environment.


The Illinois Educator is committed to supporting the Administrative and School Codes, state and federal laws and regulations, and the Illinois State Board of Education’s standards for highly qualified educators. Illinois Educators:

• Provide accurate communication to the Illinois State Board of Education concerning all certification matters;

• Maintain appropriate certification for employment; and

• Comply with state and federal codes, laws, and regulations.

Sexual Misconduct: 

In this Section, “sexual misconduct” means any act, including, but not limited to, any verbal, nonverbal, written, or electronic communication or physical activity, by an employee or agent of the school district, charter school, or nonpublic school with direct contact with a student that is directed toward or with a student to establish a romantic or sexual relationship with the student. Such an act includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:

        (1) A sexual or romantic invitation.

        (2) Dating or soliciting a date.

        (3) Engaging in sexualized or romantic dialog.

        (4) Making sexually suggestive comments that are directed toward or with a student.

        (5) Self-disclosure or physical exposure of a sexual, romantic, or erotic nature.

        (6) A sexual, indecent, romantic, or erotic contact with the student.

Sexual Abuse Response and Prevention Resource Guide:

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