Character Development

Making a Difference
A hallmark of Tuxedo Park School is our dedication to educating the whole child. Along with our rigorous academic expectations, we emphasize the development of a child’s character.  As stated in our mission statement, "Tuxedo Park School nurtures its core values: Be Kind, Be Fair, Be Responsible." Every day - in and out of the classroom - our entire faculty and staff models, teaches, and reinforces these values with our students in both planned and organic ways.
For the 2017-2018 school year, we have adopted a theme of “Creating Global Citizens.” In support of this yearlong theme, our faculty will consistently and thoughtfully introduce concepts and discussions around monthly topics.  


September: Citizenship

Participation, belonging, and community service


October: Honesty    

Truthfulness, sincerity, honor, and fairness

November: Thankfulness  

Showing gratitude and appreciation for all you have been given

December: Humility 

Treating others as if they are as important as you are

January: Justice

Helping everyone to get what they need and deserve

February: Acceptance

Practicing appreciation and acceptance of difference

March: Loyalty

Standing by someone or something you care about

April: Stewardship     

Taking care of your life and your world

May: Empathy  

Understanding, compassion, charity, and concern 

June: Responsibility    

Dependability, reliability, honoring commitments

Character Development

Primary School
Character development is an interwoven part of every Primary School student’s day. Students in each grade engage in developmentally appropriate routines upon their arrival to school in which they store materials and assignments, greet teachers and friends, and complete a meaningful task. Children then enjoy a morning meeting during which every member of a classroom community is greeted by name and participates in greeting others. Morning meetings also include time for authentic sharing and meaningful group experiences to begin the day on a connected and positive note.

Discussions and activities regarding character and choices are both explicit and implicit in each grade’s curriculum. Topics include themes such as responsibility, respect, cooperation, community, friendship, sportsmanship, conflict resolution, empathy, expressing gratitude, appreciating diversity, and manners. Teachers are responsive to individual student needs and group dynamics in examining these and other themes during morning meetings, assemblies, and other times during the school day. Students explore these topics through stories, poems, role playing, video, songs, and through dialogue with their teachers. The Primary School faculty work as a team with students from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 3 to develop division-level guidelines and rules that encourage the Tuxedo Park School core values of fairness, kindness, and responsibility.

Middle School
In Grades 4 and 5, students are assigned to a homeroom and one homeroom teacher oversees the group of 10-16 students. In Grade 6, students are in smaller groups of 6-9 students with one advisor. These groupings allow the younger students to connect with their homeroom teacher and work with their classmates.  Grade 6 works with an advisor, to smooth the transition to Upper School which will take place the following year.  Advisors work closely with students to monitor and encourage them both academically and socially.  Throughout the year, for 15 minutes at the start of each day and one 45 minute class period each week, students work with their homeroom or advisory and across grade levels on projects related to character education and life skills. We use the school motto of “Be Kind Be Fair Be Responsible” as a framework for our character education program.  Activities and discussions cover goal setting, peer relationships, negotiating conflict, discovery of the self and learning styles, and being able to work positively and effectively within a group.  Middle School students serve as role models with their buddy classes in the Primary School where they often work on community service projects which explore and act upon global issues. The curriculum is fluid and allows for changes at a moment’s notice to react and address students’ needs both individually and as a group. 

Upper School
In the Upper School, connections between students, faculty, and parents are reinforced through the Advisory Program. Building upon the foundations laid in the Grade 6 advisory program, students and their parents work with an assigned faculty advisor throughout the course of each year in the Upper School. The Upper School Advisory Program operates under the following tenets:

  • Each student's intellectual, social, and emotional growth will be supported by a faculty advocate.
  • Students' advisors are responsible for monitoring their welfare and growth throughout the course of the year in all areas.
  • Advisors act as the primary contact at Tuxedo Park School for the parents of their advisees.
  • Advisors will communicate with parents regarding their child's progress at regular intervals during the school year to ensure consistent understanding and support. 

Students meet with their advisors for 15 minutes each morning in the Upper School. These meetings allow student to be greeted by the same familiar, consistent face each day, and allows advisors to "check-in" with their charges to see how ready they are to meet the challenges of the day. At the end of each day, students return to the advisory "touchstone" by reconnecting with their advisor, reflecting briefly on the day, and shaking hands. In addition to these daily exercises, the advisory groups meet weekly during a 45 minute period. While the meetings can often be fun and informal, advisories follow a curriculum designed to begin goal setting in the early stages of the year, address the innumerable and diverse challenges of adolescence throughout the course of the year, and draw closure at the end of the year with reflection.

Diversity Mission Statement
Tuxedo Park School is a diverse community of educators and learners. We are an inclusive school that offers a rich multicultural curriculum, specifically addressing the social identifiers of ability, age, ethnicity, body image, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, race, and religion. Through our curriculum and cultural programs, we are committed to building an educational environment in which every student feels safe. We encourage students to examine human similarities and differences and approach the world with an open mind. We strive to cultivate responsible citizens, who will understand and value their role in the diverse world beyond our school community.
Leadership and Character Development Through Athletics
Tuxedo Park School values effort and excellence both in and out of the classroom. Students take the field each fall, winter, and spring to participate on competitive interscholastic athletic teams where they learn important skills such as teamwork, self-discipline, responsibility, and sportsmanship. Students from Grade 7 through 9 work together as a team, support one another, and help each other succeed.

Visit our Athletics page to learn more about leadership and character development on the field.
Family Dining
Family Dining is one of many important ways throughout the school day that faculty and children come together as a community. Lunch is held each day in the School History Room and Dining Room. It is a setting wherein faculty model, and students learn and practice, our core values of Be Kind, Be Fair, Be Responsible. By eating at tables of 6-8 students with a faculty member, students continue to develop into citizens who possess both quality intellect and excellent character. Read our Family Dining Philosophy to learn more about this essential tradition at Tuxedo Park School.
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