From the moment they step foot on the Pine Cobble School campus, students learn that character matters – and that demonstrating good character is a priority, as important as literacy and mathematical concepts.
Nine character pillars – responsibility, awareness, gratitude, compassion, respect, honesty, initiative, courage, and perseverance – are integrated into the curricula at every grade level. These pillars give all students a common vocabulary as they make choices, both in the classroom and out.
Our pillars mean different things to different ages. For younger students, self-control might mean learning to share. For an older student, self-control is about taking that extra half-hour to rewrite an English paper simply because it could be better. It’s about refraining from gossip, stepping out of one’s comfort zone, and striving to be a part of something that matters. Often, character education is about failing; about learning how to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again — with integrity, grit, and a positive spirit.
These aren’t platitudes; they are guiding principles. And they work. Every single day, we witness our older students being models for younger students. We see students treat each other with kindness. We see new students – including many who felt out of place in other educational settings – come to understand their own values, strength, and worth. And we see our alumni become leaders – not just as scholars and professionals, but as compassionate and caring human beings.