Ethics and Values

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We develop our students' ethical and moral framework, always seeking to develop compassionate habits of heart and mind. The intention toward this is found every day, in every classroom, from lists of behavioral expectations in Lower School to the graduation speeches delivered by our 8th graders. The Seven Pillars of Character, social-emotional literacy, and Roots and Wings presentations provide a framework to help students work through conflicts, examine their own behavior, and develop their values. We hold this work to be as important as that of our academic program.

Seven Pillars of Character

  • Honesty
  • Respect
  • Caring
  • Fairness
  • Citizenship
  • Courage
  • Responsibility

Upper Division Honor Code

The honor code was developed by 7th and 8th grade students together with faculty during Upper Division orientation in 2003. Since that time, at the start of each school year, UD students sign the following statement: "In their academic performance and in their relationships with peers and adults, students are expected to develop and exhibit honorable behavior through showing respect, acting courteously, being helpful, participating fully, and demonstrating honesty with themselves and others." 

While developing the code, students also discussed strategies for achieving honorable behavior. They agreed upon a set that are now known as the 20 Habits of Mindfulness:

  1. Practice self-reliance.
  2. Listen to your conscience.
  3. Find common ground.
  4. Build trust and comfort.
  5. Take risks.
  6. Own your mistakes.
  7. Be courageous.
  8. Be sensitive to others.
  9. Make eye contact.
  10. Use body language.
  11. Be inclusive.
  12. Use a multicultural lens.
  13. Be dependable.
  14. Tell the truth.
  15. Use discretion.
  16. Use good judgment.
  17. Resist social pressure.
  18. Avoid taking advantage.
  19. Avoid using violence.
  20. Avoid trouble.