Research, experience, and plain common sense tell us that children learn more at school than just reading, writing, and math. While these academic skills are essential parts of a good education, they must be balanced with a nurturing environment in which children are given the opportunities to develop their moral character. For this reason, Gillispie School is dedicated to intentional and integrated social emotional learning as a significant part of its program.
Gillispie has established a set of Gillispie Values that provide a framework for this learning. The values of Integrity, Compassion, Attitude, Respect, and Effort, which create the acronym ICARE, have become an integral part of the school’s culture and the basis for what all Gillispie students, staff, and faculty strive towards. The students and adults on campus show they care about themselves, each other, and the world around them by exhibiting these five values in all areas of school life.
Through an integrated approach, which includes assembly presentations provided by administrators, outside experts, and students on topics such as bullying prevention or diversity; classroom discussions which range from teacher-guided lessons to student-led journal sharing; and connection-finding exercises that ask students to relate the values to events in history, literature, and their own lives, Gillispie faculty and students work together to create an environment that is conducive to learning and successful at developing young men and women who are kind, honest, empathetic, hard-working, and respectful people.