The Lower School faculty at Westchester Country Day School believe that young children are very capable of beginning to understand the meaning and value of honor. A kindergarten or first grade child needs to begin to understand the importance of doing one’s own work and of being honest in every communication.
Young children are also learning to respect the rights and property of others. As the child progresses, he/she can become accountable for demonstrating his/her own knowledge. By fourth and fifth grades, children should be held accountable for a system of honor that will lead smoothly into the Middle School Honor Code. Children at these levels need to be taught appropriate skills for research and documentation of resources and for accepting only minimal and appropriate help from parents or friends.
The teacher assists the child in understanding what level of outside assistance is appropriate. Children feel good about themselves when behavioral expectations are clearly communicated and when they respond in a moral and honorable manner. The major focus of Lower School will be on teaching and on expecting and reinforcing proper behavior; thus, the handling of any Honor Code infraction will be more focused on the instructive than the punitive.