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A Coeducational, College Preparatory School for Ages 3 Through Grade 12

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ESD Community Empowered to Uphold Our Values by Signing the Annual Code of Conduct

A Prayer for the ESD Code of Conduct

"God our Father, we thank you for creating us in your image, for calling us to high standards of character, and for placing us in a community that encourages us to embody Honor, Respect, and Integrity. Grant us grace to take seriously our commitment to the ESD Code of Conduct, and become people who do not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do. When we make mistakes and fall short of our noble goals, heal us and help us to learn and grow, that we may become the people you made us to be. This we ask in your Love. Amen."

As a school, ESD expects community members to exhibit the qualities of honor, respect, and integrity, both in and out of the classroom. The Code of Conduct is signed by all students, faculty, and staff each year as a demonstration of their commitment to holding each other accountable for living by these principles. This year's signings were held on September 9.

"The Code of Conduct is a vital community covenant that holds us all accountable to a higher standard than the culture in which we live," said Head of Upper School Henry Heil. "The act of physically signing and publicly displaying the signatures is a tangible signal that the ESD community is united in its unwavering commitment to character formation at all ages and grade levels. It is one of the most important events of the year and a tradition that demonstrates our continued passion for our founding tenets."

Freshman Class Dean Heather Cernoch shared, "As all ninth graders are new to the upper school, whether they attended ESD during middle school or came to us from another school, it's important they begin with a clear understanding of ESD's expectations around honor, respect, and integrity as well as how to navigate intellectual responsibility inside and outside the school setting. I wanted to be purposeful in working with Mary Jo Lyons to develop a curricular objective in advisory, one that explores not only what it means to lie, steal, or cheat -- temptations ninth graders confront on a daily basis -- but also one that establishes an understanding of the honor code. The students in the Honor Council were instrumental in developing and facilitating these activities and discussions with ninth-grade students. When kids teach kids, everyone benefits."

Academic pledges and honor codes have roots back to the 1700s at the collegiate level. ESD’s annual tradition of signing an honor code dates back to 1989. The idea came from the student-led Upper School Honor Council. They proposed all students would publicly sign the Honor Code upon entry into high school. 

Assistant Head of Middle School, Allison Darnell shared, "Signing our names is an outward demonstration of our commitment to live out each principle."

This year, the Code of Conduct will be displayed in the Stephen B. Swann Athletic and Wellness Center.