We believe that compassionate individual attention and high expectations are the core of the successful education of each child. Academic success and character development go hand in hand at North Side. We place great importance on the social nature of the learning process. Information and skills attainment is paramount, as is the ability to live confidently, respectfully, and responsibly in the world.
We believe that the academic potential of a student is best discovered and developed in a close personal relationship between student and teacher. Small class sizes (15-18 students per classroom) make these relationships possible. These connections create a strong foundation for a school culture that is structured, nurturing, and driven by individualized goals.
North Side’s attention to social and emotional enrichment extends beyond the school to our families and the larger community. The active involvement of our families and community in the education of our students permeates our culture. Nonprofit groups, educational specialists, and health specialists come onto our campus regularly. These professionals work with our faculty to open our students’ eyes to an expanded view of their role in the world.
Before instruction can be effective, scholars must be ready to engage in the learning process. This requires students to develop essential attitudes and behaviors. Our JUSTICE character education framework keeps us primed for optimal learning. JUSTICE unites us with common standards for how we treat ourselves and each other. JUSTICE is built into every aspect of our daily school life. Through JUSTICE, our scholars stay focused on learning how to “be the best Knight that I can be!”
Just – Be truthful even if you fear the consequences. Be fair. Wait for your turn. If you see others being unfair, step up respectfully to speak and act truthfully. Take action out of a sense of righteousness and truth even when it is difficult or easier to take a less virtuous path. Honor and speak the truth despite all temptations to do otherwise.
Unapologetic – Confidently move forward, speak, and respectfully state your opinion. Feel good about standing up for what is right. Encourage others to stand up for what is right. While always seeking to grow and be better, love yourself, and treat yourself with respect.
Self-Disciplined – Make the right decisions even when those decisions are difficult and (especially when) no one is looking. Postpone immediate gratification for more significant delayed gain. Stop yourself from taking actions that may have negative and unwanted consequences. Take ownership over your actions. Be ready and able to part with goods and benefits for the sake of those around you, your community, and your world.
Tenacious – Work hard. Know that you are great and seek greatness in everything you do. Set excellence as your bar. Be uncomfortable with mediocrity. Act as if you were born to do something great. Never ever give up, especially when faced with challenge and difficulty.
Inquisitive – Be eager to understand and question everything. Reflect on and reconsider past thoughts, events, and actions. Seek out information from multiple sources. Try new things. Always know that there is more to learn and seek out these opportunities. Step outside your comfort zone, sometimes physically, sometimes mentally, but never morally. Dare to dream, dare to be different, and dare to be remarkable even when you are misunderstood or judged harshly.
Courteous & Considerate – Honor all life. Take care of life, help it grow, learn about problems facing others, and seek to fix them. Demonstrate through words and actions that you care. Relinquish self-interest for the interest of others. Be charitable in your judgments of others. Be helpful and seek to empower others. Give what you can, when you can, and be happy about it. Show gratitude to others when you are given something. Be responsible for how you make others feel and consider those feelings before taking action.
Enthusiasm – Smile! Show up and participate even if you don’t feel like it. Show off your work. Celebrate your accomplishments and the achievements of others. Speak up loudly and proudly. Be optimistic and acknowledge that there are always solutions and work to uncover them. Balance doubt with hope. Even when quietly distressed, forever believe that great things are possible.
These gatherings explore our JUSTICE traits. What does it mean to show stellar character as a North Side Knight? The entire student body gathers and participates in interactive learning, video presentations, and other experiences to learn and celebrate JUSTICE, our character education program. Teachers and students often take the lead demonstrating how they show tenacity, self-discipline, and other essential character traits.
At the end of the month, North Side launches the day with a pep rally to celebrate the students who earned an award for strongly exhibiting the month’s featured character trait. This rally also unites us in the celebration of birthdays and great choices we see each other making across campuses.