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Character Education

Character Counts! Student Character Education Program

Character Counts!

CSDR is proud to be using the CHARACTER COUNTS! Program. CHARACTER COUNTS! strengthens students through character education. A person of character is a good person, someone to look up to and admire, who knows the difference between right and wrong and always tries to do what is right. A person with character sets a good example for everyone and makes the world a better place while living according to the “Six Pillars of Character”: TRUSTWORTHINESS, RESPECT, RESPONSBILITY, FAIRNESS, CARING and CITIZENSHIP.

"Character education is not a single course, a quick-fix program, or a slogan posted on the wall. It is an integral part of school life. The school must become a community of virtue in which responsibility, hard work, honesty, and sensitivity are modeled, taught, expected, celebrated, and continually practiced. From the classroom to the playground, from the cafeteria to the staff lounge, the formation of character must be the central concern."
Kevin Ryan, Director of Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character at Boston University


Be honest – Don't deceive, cheat or steal – Be reliable – Do what you say you'll do – Have the courage to do the right thing – Build a good reputation – Be loyal – stand by your family, friends and country


Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule – Be tolerant of differences – Use good manners, not bad language – Be considerate of the feelings of others – Don't threaten, hit or hurt anyone – Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements


Do what you are supposed to do – Persevere: keep on trying! – Always do your best – Use self-control – Be self-disciplined – Think before you act – consider the consequences – Be accountable for your choices


Play by the rules – Take turns and share – Be open-minded; listen to others – Don't take advantage of others – Don't blame others carelessly


Be kind – Be compassionate and show you care – Express gratitude – Forgive others – Help people in need


Do your share to make your school and community better – Cooperate -Get involved in community affairs – Stay informed; Vote – Be a good neighbor – Obey laws and rules – Respect authority – Protect the environment

“Positive Attitudes Will Succeed” in Academic Programs

Positive Attitudes Will Succeed (PAWS) program utilizes and emphasizes relationship building, proactive classroom management practices, and social skills instruction to reduce behaviors that interfere with learning, and to empower students with self-management skills. PAWS is based on the Boys’ Town Education Model, an example of a success-oriented program of personalized social skills instruction and has been used successfully for more than 25 years. Boys’ Town has demonstrated that schools can significantly reduce discipline problems, while directly and humanely teaching vital life skills in a positive school climate. Boys Town is one of the few programs that can be integrated into the entire school day and across the curriculum, and can be applied by parents and guardians at home.

CSDR believes children should be educated in a healthy, nurturing, and supportive environment where lifetime habits are encouraged and reinforced. The PAWS program contributes greatly to facilitating a positive learning environment where all students can obtain skills to reach their full potential.

The PAWS program includes a social skills curriculum as defined in the Well-Managed Classroom. There are 16 essential skills and many intermediate and advanced skills that encourage students to accept responsibility for their behavior while motivating them to make the best choices that they can.

“Peak” for After-School Programs and the Cottages

For Student Life, the adaptation from the Boys Town Educational Model is called Peak Program. The term “Peak” was chosen because in order for students to acquire as many social skills as possible, they will need the vision of needing to climb the mountain to fulfill the goals before reaching the top.

The philosophy behind the Peak Program is to encompass the essential components of family-style nurturing, behaviorally based instruction and training and a “systems” approach to staff development and support in a “home” setting. On the CSDR campus, we have 12 cottages serving Kindergarten to Grade 12, each addressing the social, emotional, spiritual, and academic needs of a small group of boys or girls.

CSDR Student Life uses an approach focused on teaching social skills that are necessary for daily living and helping students acquire and apply social skills when they graduate from CSDR. The staff uses a team- based approach to work with each student on a daily basis and focus on positive outcomes. When a student achieves certain social skills, this student will have climbed from the base of the mountain toward a higher level. The objective is to encourage students to continue acquiring social skills and keep climbing toward the top of the mountain. The higher the climb is, the more privileges the student will earn.

Student will earn more privileges every time one successfully masters various social skills. The Peak has three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Climbing up every level will result in receiving more privileges.

Teaching students mastery of social skills is a top priority for Student Life staff. CSDR recognizes the development of social skills as one of many critical skills for our students. The staff works closely with each student, their parents, and other staff members on campus to ensure each student will successfully acquire social skills throughout the school year.