At Harding Academy, we want students to think about who they are, who they want to be, and how their actions affect others. We want them to have the skills they need to meet challenges, push through difficult tasks, recognize the power of kindness, and lead their lives with integrity. We embrace this challenge as a part of our charge in educating Harding students and encouraging them to be the best that they can be.
The Community Code is introduced when students arrive in pre-kindergarten and is the foundation for our common language. Teachers speak consistently and directly to students about the Community Code through eighth grade.
At each grade level, we foster a positive learning environment in intentional, age-specific ways. For example, we talk with kindergarteners about how (and why) to apologize. We provide fourth-graders with a “problem box” in which they can confidentially suggest discussion topics. And we hold annual retreats for each middle-school grade to set a tone of trust, inclusion, and leadership for the year.
Our guidance counselor moves throughout the school reinforcing these principles by working with the faculty, meeting with individuals, groups and classrooms, highlighting the power of kindness, the importance of listening and reaching out, and emphasizing the values that our community code encourages.
In fact, in all of the other areas of school life—art, music, computer, physical education, theater, athletics, etc.—we ensure these lessons are incorporated so that students receive a consistent message.