At St. Edmund’s Academy, we are committed to developing students of character, who embody our Core Values with openness, empathy, and courage. Each week, we gather as a community of 1st -8th grade students, families, faculty, and administrators in a neighboring chapel to celebrate our students and to reorient ourselves around the Core Values that will guide us in the week ahead.
Our weekly Chapel service is an intentional pause in the hum of school life that serves to remind us of our school’s history and that we belong to a mission that is greater than we could accomplish on our own. During these time-honored Chapel services, hymns are sung, sacred texts are read, communal prayers are offered, and reflections are shared by students at each grade level as well as by guests from our community who represent a variety of faith traditions. Students are publically recognized for their leadership and core values as enacted throughout the week. Chapel services follow a schedule of practical themes (e.g. hospitality, empathy and wonder) that inspire the various elements of each service and that reach beyond Thursday morning into classrooms, hallways and homes, becoming part of our daily discourse.
We also recognize that some of the best and most lasting character development happens during the ordinary moments of the day, in the gap between our natural inclinations and the Core Values that we hope will increasingly shape our actions and interactions. During these moments of unplanned vulnerability, we invite our students to take risks, to make mistakes, to acknowledge wrongdoing, to initiate restoration in relationships, to stand up for one another, and to lean into discomfort. It is in this tension between who our students are and who they are becoming that we seize teachable moments to help them develop the skills and awareness necessary to live lives reflective of these values. We seek opportunities for our students to put these Core Values into continuous practice until they become second nature.