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Character Education

Parker believes that teaching young people to “do the right thing” is an essential function of what we do as a school. The challenge with high-school-age students is to appeal to their moral sense.

When necessary, rules help to encourage the moral habits that we seek. But in general the most effective approach is an appeal to conscience. For most young people, those successfully inculcated with moral values, it is enough to ask them to do the right thing. In the Upper School, the following programs support this effort.

  1. Ninth Grade Ethics Curriculum
    Every ninth grade student participates in an ethics component through the Social Studies Department. The curriculum is taken from The School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) at The University of San Diego.

    It includes the following: “To promote the moral character of the young by focusing on six foundational virtues: Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Empathy, Courage, Perseverance and to foster among the young and those who work with them the development of five key life skills necessary for a good/productive personal and social life.” These are the following: 

    • Self respect/confidence/restraint/self advocacy
    • Problem solving and decision making
    • Positive attitudes, motivation and critical thinking
    • Positive relationships and peaceful resolution of conflict
    • Citizenship and service

  2. Health and Fitness Program
    Students focus on character traits such as honesty, humility, integrity, compassion, loyalty, empathy, and sensitivity to others. In addition, students identify what other people might be feeling in different situations. Students also write their personal mission statements in which they are encouraged to identify the things that are most important in their lives. Finally, students are given different techniques to help them develop deeper and more meaningful relationships.

  3. Four A’s of Lancer Excellence
    Upper School students are recognized weekly through the Four “A’s” award program. This program begins with the start of the second quarter of each academic year. This award recognizes superior effort and achievement in the areas of Academics, Arts, Athletics and Attitude. Faculty and staff nominate the students.

  4. Character Development Essay Contest
    All Upper School
    students are encouraged to participate in this competition through our English Department. This program is through the SOLES program at USD.

  5. Spirit of Sport Award
    Every Head Coach of a varsity sport nominates one player for the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) “Spirit of Sport” Award. The school nominates one female and one male athlete each season and those students’ names and the recommendations from their coaches are submitted to the CIF for consideration.

  6. Film Series on Ethics
    Beginning in 2006-07, The Upper School began “Family Night at the Movies.” The theme of this series is “Living a Moral Life.” Students are encouraged to bring their families, watch the movie and then participate in a roundtable discussion following each film.

  7. Role of Team Captains
    Head Coaches routinely meet with their captains. Leadership strategies involving character are a central theme.

  8. Ethics in Sports form
    All students who participate in an extra-curricular sport are required by the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) to read and sign an “Ethics in Sports” form along with their parent(s). A copy of this form can be downloaded by clicking on the Ethics in Sports Athlete/Parent icon on this CIF Forms page.

  9. ASB Character Education
    This student government class uses the Wooden on Leadership text and 15 fundamental leadership qualities, which build the Pyramid of Success, in order to reach competitive greatness in all that we do. These concepts are applied to improving performance, overcoming self-imposed limitations, and developing a personal leadership style. The key concepts of these lessons revolve around topics teaching the students the "right" way to go about attaining their goals and dealing with people on a daily basis.

  10. Assemblies
    Weekly “all-school” assemblies where the focus frequently includes the theme of character education.

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Mission Hills Campus
Lower School
4201 Randolph St.
San Diego, CA 92103
619.298.9110
  Linda Vista Campus
Middle/Upper School
6501 Linda Vista Rd.
San Diego, CA 92111
858.569.7900


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