Character Education

Effective character education is based on core ethical values rooted in democratic society, in particular, respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, justice and fairness, caring, and civic virtue and citizenship. (The Josephson Institute of Ethics Aspen Declaration)

2007 and 2008 National Schools of Character Finalist
2005 National Schools of Character Promising Practices Award

Arlington Traditional School is one of 12 schools profiled in a new book, “On Purpose:  How Great School Cultures Form Strong Character” by Samuel Casey Carter.  The book details selected American schools that focus on exceptional character development, school culture and academic achievement.  ATS is chapter 8!  Carter, a senior fellow with the Center for Educational Reform, studied the cultures of more than 3,500 schools across the country. Visit Samuel Casey Carter’s website for more information about the book and to order copies.

Schools of Character talk about Character every day!

“There is a common saying that character education is about helping young people know the good, desire the good, and do the good. By helping young people reflect on the laws of life that mean the most, we know they are more likely to live by those principles and ideals throughout their lives.” (Sanford N. McDonnell, Chairman Emeritus, McDonnell Douglas Corporation)


The Wall of Character salutes students who exhibit and model good character!

Six Pillars of Character


A person of character values all persons, lives by the Golden Rule, respects the dignity, privacy, and freedom of others, is courteous and polite to all, and is tolerant and accepting of differences.

Follow the Golden Rule; treat others with respect

  • Be tolerant of differences
  • Use good manners, not bad language
  • Be considerate of the feelings of others
  • Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone
  • Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements


A person of character meets the demands of duty, is accountable, pursues excellence, and exercises self-control.

  • Do what you are supposed to do
  • Persevere:  keep on trying!
  • Always do your best
  • Use self-control
  • Be self-disciplined
  • Think before you act – consider the consequences
  • Be accountable for your choices


A person of character is caring, compassionate, kind, loving, considerate, and charitable.

    • Be kind
    • Be compassionate and show you care
    • Express gratitude
    • Forgive others

<li”>Help people in need


A person of character is fair and just, is impartial, listens, and is open to differing viewpoints.

  • Play by the rules
  • Take turns and share
  • Be open-minded; listen to others
  • Don’t take advantage of others
  • Don’t blame others


A person of character is trustworthy, lives with integrity, is honest, reliable, and loyal.

    • Be honest
    • Don’t deceive, cheat or steal

<li”>Be reliable – do what you say you will do <li “>Have the courage to do the right thing

  • Build a good reputation
  • Be loyal – stand by your family, friends and country



A person of character is a good citizen, does his or her share, helps the community, plays by the rules, and respects authority and law.

  • Do your share to make your school and community better
  • Cooperate
  • Stay informed; vote
  • Be a good neighbor
  • Obey laws and rules
  • Respect authority
  • Protect the environment

  …A person’s true character is revealed by what he does when no one is watching.

choose to do what you know is the right thing to do.

…“Do the right thing” even when it’s hard, care for those less fortunate, and take responsibility for your behavior.