Each year at Out-of-Door, there is a central theme adopted by each division that is incorporated into curriculum and advisory throughout the school year. This year, our Core Values take center stage as all grade levels incorporate Respect, Integrity, Service, Excellence, and Responsibility (RISER).
Across both campuses we are committed to living ODA’s five Core Values of Respect, Integrity, Service, Excellence, and Responsibility (RISER) on a daily basis. In addition to grade level and division specific programming emphasizing the importance of character education, a “RISER of the Week” will be selected in each division for modeling one of more of our core values. Faculty and staff will nominate students for actions that demonstrate Out-of-Door’s commitment to building character. Students "being caught doing something OUTstanding” will be featured in the Banyan Weekly.
Students at the Lower School will “Unleash” their Core Values, and incorporate a fun canine theme into the focus. Faculty, along with students, will work on incorporating the five core values into their actions every day. This will include showing Respect during morning meetings, conducting themselves with Integrity in our daily interactions, and participating in Service events in our local community.
The Middle School Back to School Assembly featured the five core values, reminding students of their importance in the ODA community. These ideas will be reinforced through advisory activities and the club programs throughout the year. Projects in history and English will have the core values embedded, and the book selections for English classes have been made through the lens of the RISER program. The Middle School RISER of the Week award will handed out at the weekly assembly with nominations submitted by teachers observing the unstructured moments in the school day, including lunch and break times.
At the Upper School, each grade level has chosen to adopt one core value: seniors have Responsibility, juniors chose Excellence, sophomores are focusing on Service, and freshmen have Respect. In addition, the Upper School faculty will also participate, concentrating on Integrity, with a focus on standards of practice and professionalism.
Each of our first RISERs of the 2018-19 school year were nominated for standing out in different ways. At the Lower School, McKenna Cassidy ‘27 exemplified Service during the first week of school when she volunteered to raise and lower our flags each day while teaching the new third graders about the tradition. McKenna showed great patience and leadership as she worked with the group of students who were taking on this new daily responsibility.
Reece Phillips ‘23, the Middle School RISER recipient went out of his way on repeated occasions to welcome and include new students to ODA. We all know how difficult it can be to enter classrooms or go to lunch tables at school when everyone is a stranger, yet our RISER found a way at Leadership Camp, in the lunch room, and in small groups in classes to extend a warm welcome. This was noticed and we are grateful for his kindness, responsibility, and respect.
Upper School RISER Robert Peterson ‘19 spent most of his first week of school giving back. He participated in both the new student and new parent orientations and volunteered to be part of a senior panel that attend the 8th grade Leadership Camp at Day Springs, serving as a mentor as he helped the 8th graders understand the importance of student leadership during pivotal years of education. During the first week of the new US lunch clean-up protocol, Ms. Betz’s advisory, led by Robert, set a great example of proactive and positive reinforcement of the new system. Lastly, during our Spirit Assembly that caps off the first week, Robert courageously jumped up in front of the entire student body and led the cheer team and the students in the “don’t mess” cheer which is a staple of Thunder Nation.
In each Banyan Weekly this year you will read about students from each division who have stood out and exemplified ODA’s core values. These moments may happen in the classroom, on the playing field, during an event, or out in the community. We offer our congratulations to the first three RISERs of the year and look forward to sharing the accomplishments of the others that are to come.