School board recognizes character

The Simcoe County District School Board celebrated solid citizenry in its midst by honouring 100 students, employees and volunteers who demonstrate positive character traits.
The board’s annual Commit to Character program culminated in the recognition of the 100 last Thursday; they were nominated by friends, associates and colleagues. (Click here to see the names of the 100).
“Each and every day, staff, students and volunteers of the (board) demonstrate positive character attributes in public elementary and secondary schools, learning centres, education centre offices, maintenance buildings and other … facilities,” says a board press release.
The board recognized 100 of its “students, employees and community volunteers who have been recommended by their peers and colleagues for outstanding demonstrations of our … Commit to Character attributes: integrity, responsibility, cooperation, empathy, optimism, respect, honesty, caring, inclusiveness, and courage.”
The recognition program is part of the board’s character-education efforts to foster the development of character in its students. The initiative promotes qualities “that transcend racial, religious, socio-economic and cultural lines. It is a whole school effort to create a community that promotes the highest standards of student discipline and citizenship,” according to the board’s program backgrounder.
The program operates on the principle that character seen is character learned, and calls on all members of the school community to seize on “teachable moments” to reinforce positive character traits. “Character education will facilitate the development of a positive school culture in an explicit and intentional manner.”
The program stems from 1999 Ministry of Education guidelines promoting student self-discipline, personal responsibility, and the ability to get along with others; in 2003, the Ontario Liberal government, in its Excellence for All policy, established targets that “commits to helping schools develop good citizens through character education.”
As well as academic skills, schools are mandated to have programs that foster the growth of well-rounded citizens.
During the 2004-2005 school year, students from 10 elementary schools wrote songs based on each attribute. The lyrics can be found here.

In other school board news:

• Adult summer-school registration available
• Business and facilities standing committee meets tonight (May 11)
Holly Meadows Elementary School presents ‘The Jungle Book’ tomorrow (May 12) at 11:30 a.m and 7 p.m.
Trillium Woods Elementary School presents ‘Willy Wonka Jr.: The Musical’ tomorrow (May 12), 6:30 p.m. at the school

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