Character Ed / SEL

“They made me see that the world was beautiful if you were beautiful and that you couldn't get unless you gave. And you had to give without wanting to get.” 

          ―T.H. White, The Once and Future King

Teaching students skills to navigate a constantly changing world

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 are 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 exemplify excellence in ethical and education by the Center of Spiritual and Ethical Education.
 
Not only can these skills serve individuals throughout their lives, they can 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 All Saints' students significant, early preparation to navigate a constantly changing world.

List of 2 items.

  • Middle School Character Education Curriculum

    Social and Emotional Learning
    Building our students’ social and emotional skills is at the heart of our character education program. Throughout their middle school experience, our students become more self-aware and develop the skills to manage their emotions. The students also develop ways of expressing their feelings honestly and begin a productive dialogue with their peers about resolving a difference. This also encourages conflict resolution rather than hurt feelings, misunderstandings or feeling bullied or left out.

    Advisory 
    This program is made up of eight to ten students and a teacher facilitator, and it is the goal to create a safe place where these students can discuss issues or concerns they have. Each session begins with a group lesson, which is aligned with the character education curriculum, followed by related questions and discussion around the topic. Each student is given an opportunity to contribute their ideas, and the other group members respectfully listen. The small group environment creates a safe place for these students to share ideas and to have meaningful discussions. 


    The Character Education curriculum in sixth grade is designed around the five competencies of social and emotional learning: self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making.
    Through various class activities students also develop ways of expressing their feelings honestly and begin a productive dialogue with their peers about resolving a difference. This emphasis on positive relationships, based on honest communication and respect, is at the core of the character education curriculum. 

    In seventh grade, the students are familiar with the five competencies of social and emotional learning, and we continue to expand on the importance of understanding our emotions and how to manage them in productive ways. During this year we also focus on the influence our culture has on our life experience and on our perceptions. A unit on media literacy highlights the ways in which products are marketed and sold to adolescents. This in-depth study of the media and it’s powerful influence prepares our students for their role in the economy and also increases their level of social awareness. 

    The focus of character education in eighth grade is on relationship skills and responsible decision making. As they begin to think about transitioning into high school, they become acutely aware of the different challenges and opportunities with which they will be presented as they leave the safety of a familiar school environment and prepare to head to start a new school life. We spend much of our class time discussing scenarios and different possible outcomes, depending on the choices being made. The goal for our All Saints’ graduates is to have them enter high school feeling confident in their abilities to recognize their feelings, to manage those feelings effectively, to be aware of what is happening around them, and to possess the ability to make good decisions, even in challenging situations. 
  • Lower School Character Education Curriculum

    Based on the belief that community building occurs through relationships, the Big & Little Brother-Sister Program is a beloved tradition at the school. Each year older students are partnered with younger students, giving older students the opportunity to experience role modeling and leadership skills, and younger students the pleasure of having a special big brother or sister to look up to. Activities together encourage empathy, concern, and appreciation for others.

    First grade’s class rule, “I will treat others with kindness and respect” is highlighted all year. The Six Pillars’ character trait of the month is worked on each week through discussions and applications of the behaviors, examples from literature and role playing.
     
    In second grade “Community Builder” and “Problem Solver” are words often repeated. Friday homeroom assemblies are used to read, practice, discuss, and role model the Character Counts ideas. The development of character, values, and a sense of respect and responsibility are emphasized throughout each day and through the year.

    Third grade highlights the Golden Rule and the 3R Pledge: “I will respect myself by making good choices, I will respect my classmates by treating them kindly, and I will take responsibility for my actions.” 
     
    Fourth grade embraces Persons of Character as an annual theme and character development lessons include role playing, lessons from literature, and biographies of famous people who exemplify these traits. Through these lessons, students achieve an increased level of moral development, respect, and responsibilities. Class outreach projects involve reaching out to others outside of our community as well.
     
    In fifth grade, development of character, values, and a sense of respect and responsibility are a part of each day. On the first day of school, the children create a classroom "Constitution" (guidelines which the students create and then agree to live by.) Learning to communicate so each person is heard is emphasized when conflicts arise. Formal lessons involving specific character traits take place once a week. To further encourage the pillars of kindness, respect and responsibility, fifth graders spend time with their little brother and sisters in ECU.
     

List of 1 members.

All Saints Day School

8060 Carmel Valley Road
Carmel, CA 93923
831-624-9171
Contact Us Directions
All Saints Day School, in Carmel, CA, is the only independent, private school on the Monterey Peninsula
that focuses solely on educating students in Preschool through Grade 8, and has been doing so,
with a reputation for excellence, since 1961.

NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATORY POLICY AS TO STUDENTS
All Saints Day School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.