Character Education

At Boulder Country Day School, we realize that character development is as important as academic achievements. In order to support our students in building character, being positive members of the community, and becoming critical thinkers and proficient problem solvers, our students participate in various character specific classes as they progress through their journey at BCD.


Character development begins at home with a child's parents and is extended at school with a child's teachers and BCD's supportive community. Beginning in preschool, we live our school's motto: respect yourself, respect others and take responsibility for your actions. This motto is the foundation for the Boulder Country Day education experience. Our teachers model pro-social interactions, problem solving, and leadership and students learn through daily life experiences how to navigate the social world. We believe that character education and developing strong leadership skills is just as important as the ABCs and 123s. Whether a person is five-years-old and knocking over other children's block towers or 50 years-old and upsetting coworkers at the copy machine, it is kind of the same thing. The social skills that a child develops at young age will help to carry him throughout his lifetime.

Kindergarten - First Grade

Students in grades Kindergarten and first grades continue practicing and build on skills they have learned in preschool and at home. Our school motto, respect yourself, respect others, and take responsibility for your actions is the foundation and focus used to help students navigate social issues. Teachers model and students practice exhibiting caring behavior and mutual respect toward each other. Activities such as role playing, classroom discussions, brainstorming to solve issues, positive reinforcement and affirmations all guide students toward positive relationships. In the classroom and on the playground, students practice and gain skills that will serve them in any social situation throughout life. We believe that these social skills are a vital part of each student's education and development.

Second - Fifth Grade

Kid Power is a class that we introduce in second grade and continue through the fifth grade. This program encompasses a customized curriculum covering current social issues that the students work to problem solve together with the use of role play, thought provoking activities, and guided discussion led by BCD's school counselor. These learned skills are reinforced throughout the week in the classrooms by the classroom teachers. Some examples of these topics include: effective communication, navigating friendship issues, peer pressure, feeling included, and empathy. In addition, fifth grade students also participate in activities designed to support their transition to middle school. The goal of Kid Power is to give our elementary age students the tools and foundation to relate to others and build self-esteem creating a culture of empathy, empowerment, and cooperation.

Middle School

As students move into the Middle School, character development curriculum is integrated into student advisory periods. In addition to covering life skills, each grade has an emphasis that incorporates the characteristics of the International Baccalaureate (IB) learner and BCD's school motto: Respect Yourself, Respect Others, and Take Responsibility for Your Actions.

The sixth grade curriculum is focused on "self." The students are guided through exercises and discussions that require them to contemplate where they come from, what they believe in, what their goals are, and what to look for in friends and environments that will support them in building a strong sense of self-respect and self-esteem. They also participate in a project that explores the different roles they play in their lives, illustrating how social norms and expectations vary between them. The theme of the sixth grade year is to increase our students' self-awareness and get them thinking about their goals for the future.

As students move into seventh grade, the focus of advisory shifts more in the direction of how we function in relationships with others. Some of these activities and discussions look at understanding perceptual differences and how they affect our responses. Others covered topics include: what factors influence our perceptions, empathy, non-verbal communication and cues, how to respond to frustration, and formulating problem solving strategies. The goal of our seventh grade curriculum is to provide each student a solid foundation of their self-identity and enable him/her to effectively and respectfully work with others.

Our eighth grade curriculum builds on the two previous years of self-exploration and working with others and brings these concepts to a deeper and more global level. Some examples of the topics covered are: stereotypes, cultural differences and how these impact perception, and differences in cultural norms and how they can be misinterpreted. Students also explore their own global position through activities and discussions covering various topics, and examine the impact that they as individuals have (and hope to have) on the world. Additionally, students participate in discussions and activities that stimulate critical thinking. We incorporate fun activities that guide students through the process of investigating media and research so that students learn how to discover their own truths as independent thinkers.

In the spring, the eighth grade students turn their focus to the transition to high school as we help to prepare them for both the logistical and social changes that they will encounter in the next stage of their educational career.

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  • I am strong. I am BCD.

    - BCD Preschool student

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Boulder Country Day School    4820 Nautilus Court North • Boulder, Colorado 80301 • Phone - 303.527.4931 • After-hours x229 •
Boulder Country Day School, where academic distinction meets education with character. BCD is a top-rated, accredited private school in Boulder, Colorado where every child has the opportunity to discover his or her own unique excellence. Distinguished by small class sizes, outstanding faculty, rigorous curriculum and a focus on community, our preschool, elementary and IB middle school teachers strive to create a well-rounded educational environment that balances traditional subjects with the arts, world languages, athletics and project-based learning.