Our Values

New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act (The Dignity Act) seeks to provide the State’s public elementary and secondary school students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function.

 

The Dignity Act was signed into law on September 13, 2010 and took effect on July 1, 2012. Amendments to the act are effective as of July 1, 2013.

The original legislation amended State Education Law by creating a new Article 2 – Dignity for All Students.  The Dignity Act also amended Section 801-a of New York State Education Law regarding instruction in civility, citizenship, and character education by expanding the concepts of tolerance, respect for others and dignity to include: an awareness and sensitivity in the relations of people, including but not limited to, different races, weights, national origins, ethnic groups, religions, religious practices, mental or physical abilities, sexual orientations, gender identity, and sexes. The Dignity Act further amended Section 2801 of the Education Law by requiring Boards of Education to include language addressing The Dignity Act in their codes of conduct.

Additionally, under the Dignity Act, schools will be responsible for collecting and reporting data regarding material incidents of discrimination and harassment.

Special Education

In order to comply with NYS regulations, the Academy does accept special education students and offers resource room services as well as related services that include: speech and language therapy, counseling, occupational therapy and physical therapy. Students who have been evaluated and have an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) from a local district are eligible to receive such services.

Character Education

To help combat the violence and inappropriate behavior that often plagues schools, The Academy implements a character education program. Research demonstrates that schools participating in character education programs see dramatic improvement in both student behavior and academic performance. We have selected the Core Virtues Program, a non-sectarian approach to character education that is linked to E.D. Hirch’s Core Knowledge program. The first version of this program was field-tested at Crossroads Academy, a Core Knowledge school in Lyme, New Hampshire. This literacy-based program involves approximately fifteen minutes per day of reading and discussion. Through this program, The Academy cultivates our students’ characters through the refinement of such virtues as respect, trustworthiness, responsibility, fairness, caring, citizenship, diligence, stewardship, creativity and patience.

We use this structure during our Opening Exercises where we feature a different virtue each month that is shared by the entire school community.