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Where Character Counts

Sonoran Schools embraces a spirit of mutual trust and intellectual honesty that is fundamental to the process of learning. As an institution, we not only hold our students to high expectations academically and behaviorally, we, likewise, have the same expectations of every staff member. We recognize that positive behavior is learned through modeling the behaviors of others, particularly those, such as our parents, our teachers, and others in the community whom we have been taught to respect.

Our shared Honor Code represents the highest possible expression of shared values among all members of the Sonoran Schools community.

POSITIVE INTERVENTION BEHAVIORS AND SUPPORT (PBIS)

All Sonoran Schools use a Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework. Staff at each campus have worked closely together to develop the principles of PBIS that fit the goals and culture of their school.

PBIS is a research-based framework that has been proven to improve school climate, reduce problem behavior, and increase academic instructional time in schools (for additional information go to www.pbis.org).

Two primary areas of emphasis in PBIS are prevention and instruction of social behavior. PBIS is based on the idea that when students are taught clearly defined behavioral expectations and provided with predictable responses to their behavior, both positive and corrective, all students are more likely to meet those expectations.

Every Sonoran School has developed school-wide procedures to accomplish the following:

1. Define Behavior Expectations.  
2. Teach Behavior Expectations.  
3. Acknowledge Appropriate Behaviors.  
4. Responding to Problem Behavior.
Sonoran Schools library personnel

Every occurrence of problem behavior is an important opportunity to teach the appropriate, desired behavior to the student and get the student back to being engaged in academic learning as quickly as possible.

PBIS is a three-tiered program that takes three to four years to achieve full implementation. Tier 2 adds a targeted student support mechanism while Tier 3 supports target all students in need of individualized, intensive strategies to sufficiently achieve or maintain desired student outcomes and prevent future student problems. Tier 3 supports provide individualized, intensive supports matched to a range of specific student needs.

THE 11 PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE CHARACTER EDUCATION

Character.org is a national organization founded in 1993, “devoted to fostering character development in our schools and communities”. The organization’s 11 Principles Framework for Schools: A Guide to Cultivating a Character-Inspired Culture is a comprehensive framework developed by school leaders and character education researchers. During the past 20 years, more than 800 schools – after an independent and rigorous evaluation process – have been recognized by Character.org as National Schools of Character. More recently, school districts have also been certified for their success in fostering character development. (Source: character.org)

In August 2019, all Sonoran Schools took their first step towards fully implementing all eleven principles of this program, with the ultimate goal of earning national certification.

PRINCIPLE 1

Promotes core ethical values as the basis of good character

PRINCIPLE 2

Defines “character” comprehensively to include thinking, feeling, and behavior

PRINCIPLE 3

Uses a comprehensive, intentional, proactive, and effective approach to character development

PRINCIPLE 4

Creates a caring school community

PRINCIPLE 5

Provides students with opportunities for moral action

PRINCIPLE 6

Includes a meaningful and challenging academic curriculum that respects all learners, develops their character, and helps them to succeed

PRINCIPLE 7

Strives to foster student self-motivation

PRINCIPLE 8

Engages the school staff as a learning and moral community that shares responsibility for character education and attempts to adhere to the same core values that guide the education of students

PRINCIPLE 9

Fosters shared moral leadership and long-range support of the character education initiative

PRINCIPLE 10

Engages families and community members as partners in the character-building effort

PRINCIPLE 11

Evaluates the character of the school, the school staff’s functioning as character educators, and the extent to which students manifest good character

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