What do you mean by character education?
Character education is the term chosen to describe the district’s intentional efforts to promote positive behavior and character development. High standards of conduct are closely related to high levels of academic achievement. Character development is an integral part of the mission of the district.
Isn't character education the parents' job?
Yes. Parents are their children’s primary teachers, especially with respect to behavior and character. The district recognizes the role of parents, and seeks to support families’ efforts to develop positive character traits, while teaching the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
Which character traits will be taught?
The focus of our character education efforts will be on developing positive behaviors which reflect widely accepted community values including but not limited to: honesty, respect, responsibility, compassion, self-discipline, perseverance and giving to others.
How will character education be taught?
Character development is already integrated in our educational program in a variety of ways. Character building occurs through high academic standards for all students, teaching strategies such as cooperative learning, school and community projects, assemblies and ceremonies which celebrate students’ contributions, participation in service activities, and the study of literature. The district’s goal in this character education undertaking is both to strengthen what we are already doing and focus attention on our efforts. Individual school building goals for character education will be established by each building’s Shared Decision Making Team.
Will additional programs be added?
No and yes. The district has decided not to adopt a particular character education curriculum or packaged program. Our goal is not to add to the curriculum that teachers and students are expected to cover each year. Character development will instead be integrated quite naturally — in the current curriculum, extra-curricular activities, and social interactions that occur among all members of the school community. At the same time, particular experiences or activities may be added to the program as deemed valuable and educationally appropriate.
What kind of professional development opportunities will there be?
Teachers and other staff members will have character education professional development opportunities through regular building and district offerings. There will also be learning opportunities planned for interested parents and community members, focused on how to improve character education at home and in partnership with the schools. A variety of resources related to character education will be available to staff and parents in each school building.
Who will participate in character education?
Everyone. The school community consists of Board members, administrators, teaching and support staff, students, and volunteers in the schools. Every member of the school community will be expected to model and enforce high standards of behavior. Teachers will be expected to seize teaching opportunities as they naturally arise in the curriculum and school activities. Working together as partners, parents, schools and community groups will strengthen each other’s efforts.