At Valence College Prep, we strive for our scholars and our team to do the right thing in the choices we make every day, and we reflect on those choices using our values. Our RIGHT values are our common language for teaching character and holding our scholars and our team accountable to acting ethically and working to be our best each day. At the end of each period, each of our classes assesses whether they exemplified each value for 100% of the class, creating multiple conversations every day about how we can grow our character each day to be our best selves.

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Respect is acting with regard for the feelings of others. We respect our larger community, the peers and adults in our building and school community, and ourselves. We respect one another by speaking with kindness, by listening with intent to understand, and by accepting those who are different from us. We respect our personal and shared belongings by treating them with care. Scholars respect adults in the building as leaders of their academic environment by following directions and meeting the expectations of our spaces, and staff respect one another and the intellect and value of our scholars and their families.

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Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching. We act with integrity by being honest and owning our mistakes as opportunities to grow. We assess our actions and reflect on how we can become better. Scholars demonstrate this in their academic work and social interactions, and adults demonstrate this in their interactions with scholars, colleagues, and coaches. Staff demonstrate this in their dedication to the needs of scholars, their honesty and openness with colleagues, and their humility to admit when they are wrong or do not know what to do.

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Gratitude is the willingness and act of showing thanks for the kindness or generosity of others. We express thanks for the academic help of peers, teachers, parents, or mentors. We thank the bus driver who gets us to school safely, the custodian who gives us a clean learning space, and the City and State of New York that provide our free public education. We thank our parents who provide for us, the school staff who work hard in service of education, and our siblings and friends who care about us. Staff thank scholars when they go the extra mile for their own learning or when they volunteer to help when it is not expected.

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Hard work is acting with urgency toward our goals. We have limited time in every day and use it to work toward what we care for most – an education that puts us on a path to graduate from college and the freedom it will enable in our lives. Scholars demonstrate this value in their attitude toward their academic work and extracurricular endeavors. Staff demonstrate it in their approach to their work, in-classroom and out-of-classroom diligence, and connections with families.

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Teamwork is the willingness and choice to collaborate with others. We ask and answer questions of one another to learn. We share our ideas and provide feedback on our peers’ ideas. We pause to help one another to ensure that everyone in our community succeeds. Scholars demonstrate this daily in their classes and extracurricular spaces. Staff demonstrate it in their coverages for one another, live feedback, co-teaching, grade level collaboration, and professional development.