Building Character & Community at TCS

By D’uana White, TCS School Counselor


The Children’s School’s “Building Character and Community” (BCC) character education curriculum is our “secret sauce” and just one of the reasons why TCS graduates are grounded, generous and compassionate and known throughout the Atlanta high school community as innovative, collaborative problem-solvers who are adept at standing up for their beliefs.

We believe as a school and a community that we are responsible for the social, intellectual, emotional, and academic growth of each child. We work in partnership as a strongly interrelated community of faculty, administration, students, and parents to provide our children with strong character traits they will need to be successful, responsible, and compassionate citizens in a complex world. 

Practicing BCC teaches every member of the TCS community how to honor others as their authentic self while teaching us to care about and consistently practice our eight core traits. As a result of our BCC curriculum, students feel comfortable taking risks, making and learning from mistakes, and challenging themselves to make a positive impact on our ever-changing world. 

BCC Trait of the Month

We highlight and feature eight traits throughout the school year. We begin with respect, followed by responsibility, and leading toward empathy, assertiveness, and self-control because one leads to the next and each remains connected to all the previous traits.


September – Respect 

October – Responsibility 

November – Empathy  

December – Assertiveness 

January – Self-Control 

February – Cooperation 


April – Flexibility 

Our BCC curriculum is rooted in decades of research and is used by our faculty and staff to plan, implement, assess and sustain our school commitment to our core values of caring and respecting ourselves, others, our space and materials, and our planet, and was created so that TCS teachers, administration and staff could continue to support our students moral, performance, intellectual and civic character development. 

Character Development

This year, we’re calling these four crucial character development elements our “BCC Building Blocks.”

Scout Character 

Scout character is the character strengths of honesty and integrity, caring and compassion, gratitude and the courage to take initiative.

All students practicing their “scout character” demonstrate the habits and virtues of honesty and integrity; the compassion to never underestimate the power of a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, or the smallest act of caring for others who may need their help and support; are grateful to the people (and places) who nourish their talents and spirit; and use their leadership and “courage muscle” to stand up for what is fair and right. 

Performance Character

Performance character is the character strengths of self-discipline, responsibility, goal setting and grit.

Students demonstrating the performance character habits and virtues always give their best effort because there are no shortcuts to any place worth going; are seen by others as trustworthy, dependable and reliable; and become their “best possible self” by showing the passion and perseverance toward a noble goal that will require them to get outside their comfort zone.

Intellectual Character

Intellectual character is the character strengths of curiosity, carefulness, intellectual autonomy and humility, open-mindedness and critical thinking. 

Students demonstrating intellectual character are critical thinkers who ask great questions and are curious about learning new things; strive for accuracy and avoid being sloppy or careless; think independently and learn from their mistakes; make reasoned judgments after objectively analyzing pertinent facts and information; and are creative and practice “outside the box” thinking. 

Civic Character 

Civic character is the character strengths of fairness, respect, volunteering and contributing to the common good.

Students demonstrating civic character virtues and habits know the difference between what is fair or unfair; respect the rule of law; treat all people with respect, courtesy and dignity (especially individuals from different cultures, religions or ethnicities); regularly volunteer and serve others; and contribute their time and talents to the common good for intrinsic reasons (their own sense of purpose, care and concern for others, etc.). 

Incorporating BCC into everything we do at TCS  ensures our students will flourish in school, in relationships, in the workplace, and as citizens. Respect. Responsibility. Self-Control. Integrity. Flexibility. Empathy. Assertiveness. Cooperation. These character traits, among others, express our common humanity and transcend religious, cultural, or ethnic differences.