Founded in 2016, Grace Holistic Center for Education (GHCFE) is a non-public school registered with the State of Illinois and the Illinois State Board of Education.
GHCFE’s mission is to further the illumination of the human spirit. This endeavor is pursued by interweaving mind, body, spirit, and academics as an interconnected, interdependent system.
One of the ways we achieve this objective is by cultivating active parent involvement, along with expanding global citizenship through service.
We have mixed age classrooms and small class sizes. Students begin their day with daily yoga and meditation, have weekly mindfulness groups with a social worker and spend as much time outdoors as possible.
Why Grace Holistic?
We are changing the way students experience school.
At Grace Holistic Center for Education, students receive so much more than an ordinary education. We pride ourselves on creating a unique, exciting environment that embraces all types of learners and promotes growth in the mind, body, spirit and academics. Students and families are also welcomed into a dynamic and supportive community.
Whether students need an interactive, hands-on, learning method that deviates from the traditional classroom format or the freedom to pursue their true selves, innovative schools like GHCFE create a safe place for all types of students.
GHCFE not only focuses on academics but provides students with essential life skills, holistic health, homemade lunches, mindfulness, and self-awareness.
Here at Grace Holistic Center for Education, we want students to feel comfortable in our classrooms while learning the reality of our world. This means subjects such as social studies are taught with an eye for the honest teaching of history. Our Language Arts curriculum seeks to expose students to authors of color while also giving them exposure to what would be considered classic literature. Even when we are reading a book such as The Great Gatsby, we do so with an honest eye toward history in this country, recognizing, for example, that the Harlem Renaissance was a part of the history of the time that is ignored in the “Great American Novel.” We take time in class to recognize and discuss this.
Our staff members have attended classes to increase our social justice awareness, including one teacher who graduated from the Will County Multicultural Awareness Academy last year and her capstone project was on race in police violence.
Our curriculum in general is on two or three year cycles (depending on the class) and seeks to give students exposure to content they would not find in public school, including mindfulness, philosophy and world religions, just to name a few. Our selections of reading materials are chosen with grade and reading levels in mind and a desire to expose students to cultures not like their own as well as authors of color.
Revised on 1/23/2023
We do not accept or allow any form of bullying at Grace. We want to provide a warm, welcoming, and safe environment for all students, teachers, and staff to learn and have fun. Any form of bullying can be reported to teachers, staff, and social work interns. Reporting to the main office can be done through the school’s email or phone.
Grace Holistic Center for Education
Bullying, intimidation, and harassment diminish a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate. Preventing students from engaging in these disruptive behaviors and providing allstudents equal access to a safe, non-hostile learning environment are important school goals. Bullying on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, national origin, military status, unfavorable discharge status from the military service, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender-related identity or expression, ancestry, age, religion, physical or mental disability, order of protection status, status of being homeless, or actual or potential marital or parental status (including pregnancy), association with a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived characteristics, or any other distinguishing characteristic is prohibited in each of the following situations:
1. During any school-sponsored education program or activity
2. While in school, on school property, on school buses or other school vehicles, or at school-sponsored or school-sanctioned events or activities
3. Through the transmission of information from a school computer, a school computer network, or other similar electronic school equipment
4. Through the transmission of information from a computer that is accessed at a nonschool-
related location, activity, function, or program or from the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased, or used by the school or school if the bullying causes a substantial disruption to the educational process or orderly operation of a school—This applies only in cases in which a school administrator or teacher receives a report that bullying through this means has occurred and it does not require the school to monitor any nonschool-related activity, function, or program.
Definitions from Section 27-23.7 of the School Code (105 ILCS 5/27-23.7)
Bullying includes cyberbullying and means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:
1. Placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property
2. Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health 3. Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ academic performance
4. Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school
*Cyberbullying means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, including without limitation any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic system, photo-electronic system, or photo-optical system including, without limitation, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages, or facsimile communications. Cyberbullying includes the creation of a webpage or weblog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages if the creation or impersonation creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying. Cyberbullying also includes the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons if the distribution or posting creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying.
*Restorative measures means a continuum of school-based alternatives to exclusionary discipline, such as suspensions and expulsions that: (1) are adapted to the particular needs of the school and community, (2) contribute to maintaining school safety, (3) protect the integrity of a positive and productive learning climate, (4) teach students the personal and interpersonal skills they will need to be successful in school and society, (5) serve to build and restore relationships among students, families, schools, and communities, and (6) reduce the likelihood of future disruption by balancing accountability with an understanding of students’ behavioral health needs in order to keep students in school.
*School personnel means persons employed by, on contract with, or who volunteer in the school, including without limitation school administrators, teachers, school social workers, office staff, and aides
Bullying Prevention and Response Plan
The Administration shall develop and maintain a bullying prevention and response plan that advances the school’s goal of providing all students with a safe learning environment free of bullying and harassment. This plan must be consistent with the following requirements:
1. The school uses the definition of bullying as provided in this policy.
2. Bullying is contrary to state law and the policy of this school. However, nothing in the school’s bullying prevention and response plan is intended to infringe upon any right to exercise free expression or the free exercise of religion or religiously based views protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or under Section 3 of Article I of the Illinois Constitution.
3. Students are encouraged to immediately report bullying. A report may be made orally or in writing to a any staff member with whom the student is comfortable speaking. Anyone, including staff members and parents/guardians, who has information about actual or threatened bullying is encouraged to report it to the executive director. The school administration and all staff members are available for help with a bully or to make a report about bullying. Anonymous reports are also accepted.
4. Consistent with federal and state laws and rules governing student privacy rights, the Executive Director shall promptly inform parents/guardians of all students involved in an alleged incident of bullying and discuss, as appropriate, the availability of social work services, counseling, school psychological services, other interventions, and restorative measures.
5. The Executive Director shall promptly investigate and address reports of bullying by, among other things:
a. Making all reasonable efforts to complete the investigation within 10 school days after the date the report of the incident of bullying was received and taking into consideration additional relevant information received during the course of the investigation about the reported incident of bullying
b. Involving appropriate school support personnel and other staff persons with knowledge, experience, and training on bullying prevention, as deemed appropriate, in the investigation process
c. Notifying the school staff of the report of the incident of bullying as soon as possible after the report is received
d. Consistent with federal and state laws and rules governing student privacy rights, providing parents/guardians of the students who are parties to the investigation information about the investigation and an opportunity to meet with the principal or school administrator or his or her designee to discuss the investigation, the findings of the investigation, and the actions taken to address the reported incident of bullying
6. The administration shall investigate whether a reported act of bullying is within the permissible scope of the school’s jurisdiction and shall require that the school provide the victim with information regarding services that are available within the school and community, such as counseling, support services, and other programs.
7. The administration shall use interventions to address bullying, which may include, but are not limited to, school social work services, restorative measures, social-emotional skill building, counseling, school psychological services, and community-based services.
8. A reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of bullying is prohibited. A student’s act of reprisal or retaliation will be treated as bullying for purposes of determining any consequences or other appropriate remedial actions.
9. A student will not be punished for reporting bullying or supplying information, even if the school’s investigation concludes that no bullying occurred. However, knowingly making a false accusation or providing knowingly false information will be treated as bullying for purposes of determining any consequences or other appropriate remedial actions.
10. The school’s bullying prevention and response plan must be based on the engagement of a range of school stakeholders, including students and parents/guardians.
11. The administration shall post this policy on the school’s website, include it in the parent-student handbook, and where applicable, post it where other policies, rules, and standards of conduct are currently posted. The policy must also be distributed annually to parents/guardians, students, and school personnel, including new employees when hired.
12. The administration shall assist the Board of Education with its evaluation and assessment of this policy’s outcomes and effectiveness. This process shall include, without limitation:
a. The frequency of victimization
b. Student, staff, and family observations of safety at a school c. Identification of areas of a school where bullying occurs
d. The types of bullying used
e. Bystander intervention or participation
13. The evaluation process may use relevant data and information that the school already collects for other purposes. The administration must post the information developed as a result of the policy evaluation on the school’s website, or if a website is not available, the information must be provided to school administrators, Board of Education members, school personnel, parents/guardians, and students.
14. The school’s bullying prevention plan must be consistent with other Board of Education policies.
Sexual Harassment Prohibited
Sexual harassment of students is prohibited. Any person, including a school employee or student, engages in sexual harassment whenever he or she makes sexual advances, requests sexual favors, and/or engages in other verbal or physical conduct, including sexual violence, of a sexual or sex- based nature, imposed on the basis of sex, that:
1. Denies or limits the provision of educational aid, benefits, services, or treatment; or that makes such conduct a condition of a student’s academic status
2. Has the purpose or effect of:
• Substantially interfering with a student’s educational environment
• Creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment
• Depriving a student of educational aid, benefits, services, or treatment
• Making submission to or rejection of such conduct the basis for academic decisions affecting a student
*The terms “intimidating,” “hostile,”and “offensive” include conduct that has the effect of humiliation, embarrassment, and discomfort. Examples of sexual harassment include touching, crude jokes or pictures, discussions of sexual experiences, teasing related to sexual characteristics, and spreading rumors related to a person’s alleged sexual activities. The term sexual violence includes a number of different acts. Examples of sexual violence include, but are not limited to, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion.
Making a Complaint; Enforcement Students are encouraged to report claims or incidences of bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, or any other prohibited conduct to a staff member. A student may choose to report to a person of the student’s same sex. Complaints will be kept confidential to the extent possible given the need to investigate. Students who make good faith complaints will not be disciplined. An allegation that a student was a victim of any prohibited conduct perpetrated by another student shall be referred to the executive director for appropriate action. The administration shall insert into this policy the names and contact info for the schools current Nondiscrimination Coordinators. At least one of these individuals will be female, and at least one will be male.
Non discrimination Contacts:
Tairi Grace Steev Custer Rena Wright
Mindfulness Program Director
Any school employee who is determined after an investigation to have engaged in conduct prohibited by this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge. Any school student who is determined after an investigation to have engaged in conduct prohibited by this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, including but not limited to suspension and expulsion consistent with the behavior policy. Any person making a knowingly false accusation regarding prohibited conduct will likewise be subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge, with regard to employees, or suspension and expulsion, with regard to students.
At GHCFE we value KINDNESS above all else. It is of the highest importance that all students and staff feel safe and respected at all times. As such, words or actions that are deliberately mean, hurtful, or violent are NOT TOLERATED. When someone uses that kind of negative language they will be given ONE verbal warning. After that verbal warning or immediately following violent actions (there are no warnings for violent actions), students will be sent to the office for a 30-minute mindful suspension during lunch. A second incident will result in a 60 minute mindful suspension during lunch/recess. A third incident will result in a half-day mindful suspension and a half-day home suspension.
When these negative incidents occur, we will ask “Is this in violation of our KINDNESS contract?” If after clarification anyone involved feels that the contract has been breached, the above steps will be taken.