Success at The École is seeing children become not just great students, but good people.
Our Character Education program fosters the development of ethical and responsible behavior. It teaches students about the values that people should live by—empathy, compassion, honesty, integrity, responsibility, and accountability—in order to be upstanding citizens of the world.
Infusing character into everyday academics
At The École, we believe that in order to be effective, Character Education must involve everyone—our school staff, students, and parents—and must be part of every school day. Over the years, our teachers and staff have worked together to ensure Character is as integrated into the Maternelle, Elementary, and Middle School curriculum as it is in our community culture.
Our Maternelle team works daily on the skills required for “Living Together”, seeking to develop the traits of respect, courtesy, compassion, empathy, collaboration, and cooperation from a young age. The children learn how to respect themselves and get to know each other, in order to better interact with peers and adults, make friends, play and work together, and to avoid or resolve conflicts verbally.
Our Guidance Counselor Team attends each of our Elementary classrooms once a month to teach lessons on Character Education. Students learn about the core values of upstanding citizens, such as empathy and compassion, honesty, responsibility, integrity, and accountability. Students in grades 2 through 5 then take turns being their classroom’s “Peaceful Peer”.
For our 6th, 7th, and 8th grades students, our Guidance Counselor Team has developed a more formal Character program. Each month a class is held on a specific character trait, defining and discussing the trait with students and engaging them activities in which they can put it into practice. Throughout the month, middle school teachers then find unique ways to incorporate the trait into their planned curriculum, while posters around the school remind students to integrate the trait in their daily interactions. Middle School students also have the opportunity to volunteer to be a “Friendly Falcon” for the school year, or earn—or recommend another student for—a “Caught Being Kind” award.
The Student Council is made up of the class representatives from our Elementary and Middle Schools. At the beginning of the school year, each class elects two representatives and one alternate. At least twice a year, the Student Council meets with our Head of School to express concerns, ask questions, and make suggestions—giving students an opportunity to influence school policies in ways they feel will benefit the community. Recent topics have included the lunch menu, dress-down days, Spirit Week, and projects that allow different grades to work together.
Peaceful Peers Mediation Initiative
The Peaceful Peers Mediation Initiative is designed to encourage “problem-solving by students, for students”. 2nd through 8th-grade students who wish to become Peaceful Peers receive conflict resolution training so that they can facilitate mediation sessions for their classmates. Peer mediation enhances all students’ communication skills and empathy for others, enables them to independently and collaboratively solve common problems, and improves classroom and school harmony.
Friendly Falcons Mentoring Program
The Friendly Falcons Peer Mentoring Program provides an opportunity to teach responsibility, citizenship, and leadership to our Middle Schoolers. Friendly Falcons act as School Ambassadors, facilitating everyday conversations at lunch and recess and hosting service activities and social events throughout the year that support, nurture, and guide younger students, strengthen relationships between grade levels, and foster an overall sense of school community. Many middle school students who have fulfilled this role have gained greater confidence in themselves, have shown closer connections with their peers, and have developed stronger organizational and social skills.
Caught Being Kind Awards
Each month, The École’s Middle School recognizes members of its community for their authentic acts of compassion and consideration in specific situations. Teachers and students can recommend individuals for Caught Being Kind Awards, providing a public moment of celebration for their good works that promote their continuity.