This blog post is part of a series of #WellnessWednesday tips. This week, Lower and Middle School Counselor Adam Diaz shares how students can stay motivated during the pandemic.
Landon School prepares talented boys for productive lives as accomplished, responsible and caring men whose actions are guided by the principles of perseverance, teamwork, honor and fair play. That is our mission, and character education is a critical part of the journey to fulfill that mission.
Code of Character
At the beginning of each school year, every student, teacher, administrator and staff member signs a printed copy of our Code of Character. Why do we do this in an era when it’s just as simple to fill out an online form?
At Landon, character education is the most important teaching we do. When each member of our community signs the Code, we remind ourselves that the principles of respect and honesty should guide every action and interaction at our school. Our Code of Character brings together these principles in our school’s Civility and Honor Codes.
Our Civility Code is straightforward and encourages respect: “I will treat all people with respect, civility and dignity. I will also respect my school, my surroundings and myself.” This means that at Landon each person is valued, cultural diversity is celebrated, and individual differences are affirmed and accepted.
Our Honor Code is equally simple and celebrates honesty: “I will not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate those who do.” This extends beyond academic work to all facets of Landon life.
If a student abides by the Code of Character, he is a true Landon man. Read why the Class of '20 chose "Honor the Den" as its motto for their senior year.
ETHICS, SERVICE AND LEADERSHIP PROGRAM
If you are a Middle or Upper Schooler, you attend ethics assemblies at least once in our eight-day cycle where you draw lessons from the experiences of your peers and your teachers. Last year, our boys in those two divisions heard 110 ethics speeches in all. You also meet regularly with your faculty advisor, either one-on-one or in a group setting to discuss ethical issues that you may personally wrestle with or others that have a wider impact on the school, our community, and our world.
Members of the Upper School Student Council and senior prefects (on-campus ethics leaders) spend time in the Lower and Middle School as tutors and buddies to be role models for our younger Bears. If you are chosen to be a member of the Council or a prefect, you also sit as a judge to your peers when there is an infraction against our Honor Code or Civility Code.
Some other key facets of this program include:
- A required Grade 9 foundations course on ethics, service, leadership, and life skills among other topics.
- A required Grade 10 leadership course
- A required Grade 12 capstone project before graduation
- An annual leadership summit for Landon and Holton-Arms students in Grades 11-12
- Other co-curricular programming with Holton-Arms School on the issues of consent, communication, and respect.
- School-wide programming on issues related to masculinity with A Call to Men.
Because character is at its most powerful when it positively affects others, you lead or attend service projects that reach far beyond our campus. Although community service is voluntary at Landon, you are encouraged to actively participate.
For example, in the Lower School boys collect items for Thanksgiving baskets for those in need. Middle School students are buddies for Special Olympics athletes, serve meals to the homeless with Thrive DC, as well as sort clothing and other goods for families in need at A Wider Circle. Upper School students visit the Special Education Center at River Terrace to work with special needs students, raise money for pediatric cancer research by shaving their heads, and raise awareness about juvenile diabetes by bringing students together for an education program. All of our athletics programs commit to supporting at least one service organization during the season.
Diversity, Equity, and inclusion
Respecting others means respecting and celebrating differences, and Landon School fully embraces the ideals of diversity. As we say in our diversity mission statement: "Within our culture and curriculum, and throughout our broad community, Landon is committed to offering a comprehensive program built on supportive and welcoming traits of inclusivity. Landon endeavors to develop in students the skills and attitudes needed to interact productively with others by acknowledging and understanding differences, speaking and acting with integrity and compassion, and committing to an intellectually respectful worldview."
The Multicultural Student Alliance (MSA), a student-run school club open to everyone, promotes cross-cultural understanding and positive relationships in support of student success and an inclusive campus community.
An essential part of character is treating the world around us with the same respect we afford ourselves, other people and our school. At Landon, your teacher-coach-mentors will encourage you to become environmentally-minded leaders and responsible stewards of the natural environment and Earth’s resources. As we say in our environmental values statement, "The school is committed to promoting environmentally responsible behavior both within and beyond the campus by reducing waste, conserving resources, decreasing pollutants, and maximizing recycling. To allow students to become resourceful and creative leaders in our changing world, the school is dedicated to advancing ecological awareness and literacy as well as environmental activity both in the classroom and through extracurricular activities."
In keeping with this philosophy, students compost in the dining hall, sow plants on campus, and help clean up parks and hiking trails in our area. Green studies are part of the Grade 6 ethics curriculum and of the foundations course for every Form III (Grade 9) student, with further options in accelerated environmental sciences, introduction to earth and environmental studies, meteorology, and oceanography.
"This high school senior at Landon School took his passion for riding bikes one step farther and starting fixing bikes in his neighborhood." ABC7 reported.
Middle School science students explored campus collecting leaves, sticks, and other materials to observe under microscopes. Lower School art students worked on an identity project in collaboration with their social studies class about the family and cultural history of their names. In Upper School Latin class, students were reading the story of Cupid & Psyche, written by Apuleius. They are simultaneously translating it from Latin to English as well as discussing the differences from the ancient world compared to today.