Our Core Virtues


At Harmon Elementary School, we believe that building character is important. We believe that our school will help students become prepared for life. We emphasize academics and being well informed. In addition, we expect students to develop the capacity to live responsibly and to judge wisely in life and conduct.

We emphasize seven virtue qualities: honesty, respect, responsibility, compassion, self-discipline, perseverance, and giving. As we talk about, define and practice these virtues at school, we also know our Harmon families can use the vocabulary and virtues at home.

Families can also give their student(s) Gold Slips at home for demonstrating the virtues. Students may bring their slip to school and they will be posted in the cafeteria and then returned to the student. In addition, students' names will be read on the morning announcements. (Gold slips may be requested from the office.)

Defining the Virtues

HONESTY - “Telling the truth.” An example: "If someone drops a dollar and you pick it up and give it back to them.” -Deve Jack

Never claiming credit for someone else's work and being willing to acknowledge wrong doing. Students and staff share their ideas openly, in a climate of trust.

RESPECT - “Don’t break things and be nice to people and their stuff.” -Ben Sexton

Each person responds sensitively to the ideas and needs of others without dismissing or degrading them. Differences among people are celebrated, and all members of the community are able to accept both praise and criticism from others.

RESPONSIBILITY - "Be in charge of your actions. Be nice." An example: "If a book falls in the library while you are walking by, you pick it up and say 'Sorry.' Don't wait for someone else to pick it up instead." -Noah Aponte

Each person has a sense of duty to fulfill willingly the tasks he or she has accepted or has been assigned. All work is conscientiously performed. Members of the community agree that they must be held accountable for their behavior.

COMPASSION - “Being nice and caring.” -Julianna Popp

Each person is considerate and caring. There is a recognition that everyone, from time to time, feels hurt, confused, or sad. Instead of ignoring such conditions, people reach out to one another.

SELF-DISCIPLINE - “Doing what you know you should do.” An example: “If a friend asks you to go outside and play after school, you say, ‘Not now, I have to do my homework first.” -Tristin Siemer

Each person agrees to live within limits, not only the ones mutually agreed upon but, above all, those established personally.

Self-discipline is exercised in relationships with others, especially in the way people speak to one another.

PERSEVERANCE - “Don’t get mad; re-do something over and over until it’s right. Keep trying.” -Omar Hasan

Each person is diligent, with the inner strength and determination to pursue well-defined goals. It does matter that a task is completed once begun, and everyone acknowledges that to persevere not only teaches discipline, but brings rewards as well.

GIVING - “Sharing.” An example: “You let someone use your books or play with your toys just because it feels good to share.” -Jordan Kusan

Each person discovers that one of life's greatest satisfactions comes from kindness to others. Members of the community look for opportunities to contribute positively to others, without expectation of reward.

**Thank you to students in Mrs. Gottshall's 2007-2008 second grade class for helping define the virtues in child-friendly language.**

Based on the Basic School research of Ernest L. Boyer