Character Education

Two important principles we follow at Bradford School are:

  1. We are kind and helpful to everyone, even people who are not our friends.
  2. We want every student to feel safe and welcome at school.

One element of our work toward positive school culture is our character education program and our discipline policy. We believe that appropriate behavior is promoted through positive reinforcement. To promote a positive school climate for students, staff, and parents at Bradford, we actively teach and encourage the principles outlined in the Bradford CARES acronym:

C: Cooperation

A: Acceptance

R: Respect and Responsibility

E: Empathy

S: Self-Control

Part of the joy of working with youngsters is to catch them being good. We intend to do just that while teaching the advantages of good citizenship to all of our students. Each time we discipline children, it is another opportunity to capture a "teachable moment" wherein we can remind the children of ways to manage conflicts without violence or being hurtful. With that as our goal, our discipline system focuses on a few clear and consistent rules for student behavior, Bradford has four basic rules:

  1. Students will show respect to other students and staff members.
  2. Students will help others learn.
  3. Students will keep themselves and others safe.
  4. Students will respect our school building and surroundings by keeping it clean.

Bradford School has also developed an innovative Peacebuilder program. Each week, two students from every classroom are selected at random to be the Peacebuilders for their class. They are then tasked with a special role for the week, which involves the following:

  1. Including others who look like they need a friend at recess.
  2. Eating lunch next to someone who is sitting alone in the lunchroom.
  3. Suggesting ways to solve a problem between classmates.
  4. Complimenting others for being kind and helpful.

We also use the N.J. State Bar Foundation's Anti-Bullying Program at Bradford. The Foundation's elementary anti-bullying curriculum guide specifically tailors each lesson to the appropriate grade level.

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