Character Education at Pace Academy
The mission of Pace Academy is to create prepared, confident citizens of the world who honor the values and legacy of Pace Academy. As a way of living out this mission, the Lower School weaves character education into all aspects of the curriculum. Character skills are implemented as teachers establish class norms and guidelines. Students practice these skills by listening respectfully to others and working collaboratively throughout the school day. Character skills are also taught through monthly classes, class conversations surrounding conflict resolution and school-wide community engagement opportunities. Pace Academy Lower School students are Noble Knights.
Character Education Direct Instruction with Lower School Counselor
Lower School Counselor Ashley Zomalt and Lower School Director of Student Life Kacy Brubaker visit all classes to introduce character skills and “Mindful Moments,” opportunities for children and teachers for quiet reflection, self-awareness and concentration. Mindful Moments are offered every Monday morning prior to the start of the school day. Ms. Zomalt visits classes monthly to teach specific lessons on character skills; she teaches additional developmentally appropriate lessons on friendship, conflict resolution and life skills. Teachers and parents are provided resources such as websites, books and activities to help reinforce the character skills at home.
School-Wide Character Education
ASSEMBLIES: The Character Education video, How to be a Noble Knight, is shown at the beginning of the school year during the first assembly. Throughout the year, each fourth- and fifth-grade class will make one video highlighting a character skill.
T-SHIRTS: Faculty and students receive a Noble Knights’ Pillars of Character T-shirt. Students are encouraged to wear their shirts on the second day of school as their classes begin to focus on character skills; students also wear the shirts on various days throughout the school year. Teachers facilitate discussions on character, including, but not limited to: introducing the skills, setting up class guidelines/contracts, reading a book on character, etc.
Recognizing Character Skills in Noble Knights
Noble Knights: Pace students who exemplify strong character skills are considered Noble Knights. Various ways to recognize and celebrate Noble Knights are highlighted below:
School-Wide Motivation: Hallway banners, classroom signs and bulletin boards with the character skills are displayed. Students and teachers also wear their Noble Knights T-shirts throughout the year.
Leadership & Challenge: At the end of every month, fourth and fifth graders create a video highlighting a character skill. The video is shown in a short assembly at the beginning of the school day. This provides older students leadership opportunities and added responsibilities. Each class is responsible for one character skill.
Individual Recognition: Students receive a sticker that states, “Ask me about ______” when they exhibit a character skill. These stickers can be awarded by any faculty or staff member and are recognized by parents, caregivers, peers and other faculty members. A second sticker is given to the student to be placed on a collective bulletin board.
Star Day, Honors Assembly & Bridging Ceremony: At the end of the school year, students are recognized for their efforts in academics, character development and special subjects.
Community Engagement: The Pace Academy Community Engagement Program (CE Program) is designed to develop students who practice good environmental stewardship and understand the dignity and worth of all people. Students have the opportunity to live out the character skills they learn by participating in the CE Program.