Smart Character Choices

At Orchard Academy, we recognize a need for schools to play a role in deliberately and consistently teaching students positive character traits.

The foundations of Smart Character Choices are the six character traits:

  1. Kindness: thinking and acting in ways that show you care
  2. Optimism: expecting good things today and in the future
  3. Getting Along: contributing to and gaining from positive relationships
  4. Responsibility: choosing to act in a way that takes care of yourself and contributes to the common good
  5. Respect: acting in a way that shows that I am valuable, you are valuable, and we as a group are valuable
  6. Work Ethic: working hard and sustaining effort, leading to a job well done

Three components make Smart Character Choices unique from other character education programs:

  1. It focuses on teaching both school-wide and classroom procedures and routines to students.
  2. It includes teaching students social protocols such as manners and etiquette.
  3. It embeds character traits into the Smart Character Choices American History Curriculum rather than teaching them in isolation.

Procedures That Lead to Routines 
Teachers spend focused time at the beginning of each school year teaching their students specific classroom procedures and school-wide procedures. This important component is essential to creating safe and orderly classrooms.

Social Protocols
Administration and faculty spend time teaching social protocols to students. In the spirit of educating the “whole child,” we believe that all students should learn basic manners and etiquette.

Smart Character Choices American History Curriculum 
At Orchard Academy, American history lessons are aligned with the Michigan Benchmarks and Standards for social studies content. The lessons are designed to engage students in discussions related to how character played a part in historical events.

In addition to the discussion of character traits during the study of American history, teachers also focus on character trait connections during the study of literature.

Included in Smart Character Choices are all the components of a highly effective research-based bully prevention program.