POLICY MANUAL

Character Education - Policy P6-25.1

A. Generally
Each student shall receive instruction in character education in accordance with the regulations set forth by Virginia School Law and the State Board of Education.

B. Goals
The goals of the character education program are to improve the learning environment, promote student achievement, reduce disciplinary problems, and develop civic-minded students of high character.

C. Traits
The traits adopted by the Lynchburg City School Board are kindness (with courtesy and politeness), respect (of authority and others), honesty (with integrity), work ethic (with diligence and perseverance), responsibility (with citizenship), and self-discipline (with self-control and patience).

The character education program shall:

  1. avoid indoctrination in any particular religious or political belief.
  2. be implemented at the elementary and secondary levels.
  3. complement the Standards of Learning, be interwoven into existing curricula and taught primarily by example, illustration, and participation.

Legal Reference:

Code of Va., §22.1-208.01 Character education required -- "A. Each school board shall establish, within its existing programs, a character education program in its schools. The purpose of the character education program shall be to instill in students civic virtues and personal character traits so as to improve the learning environment, promote student achievement, reduce disciplinary problems, and develop civic-minded students of high character. The components of each program shall be developed in cooperation with the students, their parents, and the community at large. The basic character traits taught may include (i) trustworthiness, including honesty, integrity, reliability, and loyalty; (ii) respect, including the precepts of the Golden Rule, tolerance, and courtesy; (iii) responsibility, including hard work, economic self-reliance, accountability, diligence, perseverance, and self-control; (iv) fairness, including justice, consequences of bad behavior, principles of nondiscrimination, and freedom from prejudice; (v) caring, including kindness, empathy, compassion, consideration, generosity, and charity; and (vi) citizenship, including patriotism, the Pledge of Allegiance, respect for the American flag, concern for the common good, respect for authority and the law, and community-mindedness.

Classroom instruction may be used to supplement a character education program; however, each program shall be interwoven into the school procedures and environment and structured to instruct primarily through example, illustration, and participation, in such a way as to complement the Standards of Learning.

This provision is intended to educate students regarding those core civic values and virtues which are efficacious to civilized society and are common to the diverse social, cultural, and religious groups of the Commonwealth. Nothing herein shall be construed as requiring or authorizing the indoctrination in any particular religious or political belief.

B. The Board of Education shall establish criteria for character education programs, consistent with the provisions of this section. To assist school divisions in implementing character education programs and practices that are designed to promote the development of personal qualities as set forth in this section and the Standards of Quality and that will improve family and community involvement in the public schools, the Board of Education shall also establish, within the Department of Education, the Commonwealth Character Initiative. The Board shall provide resources and technical assistance to school divisions regarding successful character education programs and shall (i) identify and analyze effective character education programs and practices and (ii) collect and disseminate among school divisions information regarding such programs and practices and potential funding and support sources. The Board may also provide resources supporting professional development for administrators and teachers in the delivery of any character education programs.

C. The Board of Education shall award, with such funds as are appropriated for this purpose, grants to school boards for the implementation of innovative character education programs."

Adopted by School Board: June 20, 2000

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