Character Education Program
Smart Character Choices began at the Academy in the fall of 2002 when the Academy was awarded a large grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Safe and Drug Free Schools' office to develop, research, and refine an effective character education program.
The foundations of Smart Character Choices are the six character traits:
Three components make Smart Character Choices unique from all other character education programs in that:
- Kindness: thinking and acting in ways that show you care;
- Optimism: expecting good things today and in the future;
- Getting Along: contributing to and gaining from positive relationships;
- Responsibility: choosing to act in a way that takes care of yourself and contributes to the common good;
- Respect: acting in a way that shows that I am valuable, you are valuable, and we as a group are valuable; and
- Work Ethic: working hard and sustaining an effort leading to feeling good about a job well done.
- it embeds the character traits into the Smart Character Choices American History Curriculum rather than teaching them in isolation, such as the 'trait of the month;'
- it focuses on teaching both school-wide and classroom procedures and routines to students; and
- it includes teaching students social protocols (e.g. manners and etiquette).