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Character Education

Our Beliefs

  • Character development is essential to attaining long term success in life.
  • Character cannot be learned alone; it must be instilled by men & women who already have it.
  • Character development can be significantly enhanced by using a well built structured curriculum.


2 girlsCharacter is essential. Individuals that posses character are far more likely to achieve long term success in life. At Merritt Academy, we have embraced our responsibility to teach character to the next generation. While many schools rely on teachers to create and model their own lessons in character, we use a comprehensive curriculum that provides structure, consistency and high quality lesson plans. In the same way an academic curriculum is used to teach academics, our character curriculum provides a developmentally challenging plan to grow strong, quality character in our students. We invite you to learn more about our approach to character education, and to join us in training children who can make a positive impact on our world.

Character & Etiquette

Our program covers many subject areas related to character. Children in each age level study developmentally appropriate and challenging topics in the subject areas below.

  • Servant Leadership
  • Ethics
  • Decision Making
  • Stewardship
  • Determination
  • Teamwork
  • Service

Within each of the subject areas above, teachers cover a variety of topics that help children build character including:

  • How and why we shake hands
  • Introducing a friend to another person or group
  • Correct ways to set a table
  • Showing respect to other people
  • Understanding when and when not to share

The school as a whole focuses on two values each month. Children participate in projects, group discussions, story times & dramatic play to help reinforce the truth of these values.

       January: Caring and Patience
July: Citizenship and Loyalty
       February: Love and Honesty
August: Cooperation and Initiative
       March: Kindness and Forgiveness
September: Respect and Attentiveness
       April: Courage and Tolerance
October: Sharing and Self-control
       May: Helpfulness and Perseverance
November: Thankfulness and Responsibility
       June: Politeness and Neatness
December: Joyfulness and Wisdom

Second Step Program

Second Step, a part of Merritt Academy's character education program, is a curriculum published by the Committee for Children. It is a whole-school approach to character education and includes:

  • Skills for Learning
  • Empathy
  • Emotion Management
  • Problem Solving

These skills are taught by the school counselor, reinforced and role-modeled by classroom teachers, assistants and other staff, and are practiced by students as part of classroom instruction. The goal is to teach children to treat each other with respect, kindness, and tolerance, to develop self-regulation skills, and to be able to problem-solve without escalation to violence. This curriculum nicely supports the Merritt Academy Code of Courtesy and the character traits which are taught each month on a rotating basis.

National Recognition

  • Merritt Academy is the proud recipient of the 1999 National School of Character Award, a prestigious honor awarded to a handful of schools across the country for their outstanding character education programs.
  • The award is sponsored by the Character Education Partnership (CEP), a national nonprofit coalition based in Washington, D.C.

Hope is very special

Caring is important too

Lots of people are creative

Lots are loving too

All these values are important

In doing the best you can do

Be appreciative of what you have

This will make you a better you!


Merritt Academy
5th Grade Student

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