We know there are valuable life skills outside of academic study, the arts, and athletics that will serve our students well as they transition into high school and beyond. In fact, these skills are not “outside” at all, but imbued within our daily lives. They have been studied and analyzed, and more clearly understood through centuries of civilized education, and they can come with different names.
Many call it character development, and here at All Saints it furthers Father Farmer’s vision since the day he established the school in 1961, of educating the whole child.
Several years ago we became a Character Counts school, giving definition to the six pillars of character embodied within ASDS: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship.
We became even more intentional by adding the latest character development methods to our curriculum. Middle schoolers devote time each week to what is known as the five competencies of social and emotional learning: self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. We are proud to have been selected and recognized as one of only three schools in the country that exemplifies excellence in ethics and education by the Center of Spiritual and Ethical Education.
Not only can these skills serve individuals throughout their lives, but they can also be learned, and here at All Saints we teach them early and the results show. Beyond the well-established reputation All Saints’ graduates have for high achievement in academics, arts, and athletics, the respect they give and receive here on the Central Coast, and throughout the world, is spoken of often and word finds its way back to us nearly every day.
Since the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, our Character Development specialist, Deanna Cleary, devotes time each week also teaching social and emotional skills in Early Childhood Education through fifth grade. “This curriculum will give our school community, from our youngest to our oldest members, a common language, with common standards and expectations for what healthy relationships and behavior look like.”
We are excited about this aspect of our school program and know these skills will give our All Saints students significant, early preparation to navigate a constantly changing world.