Monday, September 22, 2008

Parents' Night Comments on Honor

Below are my comments for Middle School Parents' Night:

My name is David Skeen. This is my second year as Dean of Students at Calvert, and I am really excited about the prospects for the 2008-2009 school year.

Ethic development is an integral part of any middle school student’s education and Calvert continues to dedicate significant time and resources to the creation and refinement of a program for moral development. As a school, Calvert has taken major steps towards this goal in three areas: Calvert’s Canon, the schedule, and the Dean’s Office.

Calvert’s Canon:

Mission: our mission statement breaks down three main goals: that our students will master academic skills, love learning, and have developed a strong moral character.
Philosophy: the closing paragraph of our school philosophy speaks exclusively to the moral development of the student.
Faculty & Administrative Perspective: during numerous faculty reflection meetings a Portrait of the Calvert Graduate was developed and one-third of the attributes discussed were character based.


Outreach: we have set aside time in our schedule for community outreach.
Advisory: has monthly themes for character development.
Assemblies: Monday assemblies include a reading on ethics.

Dean’s Office:

Teachable Moments and Black & Gold Point System
Student Activities and Ethics Curriculum Integration
Honor Code: Selfless Servants, Moral Courage, and Commitment

The Honor Code is the latest step towards an identifiable set of ideas that shape our students’ understanding of Honor at Calvert and in the world at large. Many of you may have noticed the additions to the hallways in the middle school. Running across the beams of each grade level quad are the three main ideas of our Honor Code: Selfless Servants, Moral Courage, and Commitment.

We want our students to see these phrases (all three can be seen at once when one stands in the center of the lobbies) and take it as a challenge -- a challenge to live up to and exceed the expectations of the Honor Code each and every day. The presence of the phrases is a physical reminder that Honor is everywhere – you don’t leave it at the classroom door, you take it with you wherever you go.

As a school we have begun a continuing conversation about what these three phrases mean to us - as a community, as constituencies, and as individuals. We want you to be a part of the conversation as well. Over the last few weeks, your child’s advisor discussed the Honor Code with the students. Their next step is to sit down and discuss the Honor Code with you. Please take this time to take part in the school wide conversation on the Honor Code. You can check out the Honor Code at my blog: and log your comments about it’s role at Calvert.

Thank you for coming tonight and I hope to be hearing from all of you on my blog soon.

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