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Students focusing on respect

In this installment of my notes I would like to give folks some background on our character development program here at Crosslake Community School.

Our website, which is, offers a tiny insight into some of our beliefs about character development.

The kids portion of our web address actually references an acronym that stands for Kindness, Integrity, Discipline and Service. Within our mission statement, we challenge ourselves to be environmentally aware and community-conscious, while also establishing high standards of academic excellence for our students.

KIDS speaks to an often unseen component of the work we do with our students and the expectations we place on them beyond the chalkboard. As educators and a school community, it is important for us not only to educate our students to academic standards, we also bear the responsibility of partnering with our parents to turn out young people who are aware of the needs of others and how to impact their world in a positive way.

This month, with the start of a new calendar year, our focus for our students is respect. By definition, respect is to have esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability.

In order for our students or, for that matter, the adults who work with them, to be successful in life, a level of respect for those we interact with on a daily basis is essential.

We have heard that respect is something that must be earned and not simply granted. However, our goal is to instill in our students the ideal that we must first respect others, seek to understand their point of view on issues of concern and only then strive to be understood.

On the flip side, we also want our students to understand that respect is a two-way street. Our hope is that our students will learn the importance of treating others with a high level of respect while at the same time making decisions and interacting with them in a way that will invite a high level of respect coming back to them from those they come in contact with.

Kindness, integrity, discipline, service and respect for others. Good lessons for us all.

On a completely separate note: Please put on your calendars our annual Cabin Fever event, which coincides with Crosslake’s WinterFest activities. We will be hosting games, food and music for our youngest community members from 3:30-5:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31.