Character Development

James Irwin Charter High School Character Development Program

Faculty and Staff as Role Models All candidates are carefully screened during the interview process with the goal of only selecting those who seek to demonstrate the highest caliber of character in their professional and personal lives. This daily role modeling to our students provides the pattern for them to imitate in their own lives so they can be as successful as possible. House System The JICHS House System supports students by developing a stronger sense of community, belonging, identity, and accountability within our larger student body of over 400 students. The House System develops student responsibility for on and off campus projects and student life events across the student body, rather than relying on a small group of students involved with student government. Each of the 10 Houses has approximately 35 students heterogeneously mixed by grade, gender, GPA and behavior to form a microcosm of student life at JICHS. Jags Uncaged! Annual All-School Retreat Every year in August, JICHS holds an overnight, all-school retreat at an off-campus location. Underclassmen stay for two days and one night while seniors stay for three days and two nights. Faculty and staff provide supervision and guidance. While at Jags Uncaged!, students are grouped by House and rotate through a variety of activities to experience team-building, personal challenges, and tons of fun all designed to develop character and build strong relationships within the JICHS community.

Student Retreat 2019

Required Character & Ethics Course

JICHS requires all students to take one semester of Character & Ethics which lays the foundation for moral reasoning and decision-making. Students study The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey and The Character Revolution by Rolfe Carawan. The latter examines Benjamin Franklin’s list of 13 virtues. In addition, students receive training on techniques which support them being successful in building healthy, positive relationships.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens:

1. Be Proactive – Take responsibility for your life.

2. Begin with the End in Mind – Define your mission and goals in life.

3. Put First Things First – Prioritize, and do the most important things first.

4. Think Win-Win – Have an everyone-can-win attitude.

5. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood – Listen to people sincerely.

6. Synergize – Work together to achieve more.

7. Sharpen the Saw – Renew yourself regularly.

Benjamin Franklin’s List of 13 Virtues:

1. Temperance – Discipline, self-control or restraint in our actions and appetites.

2. Silence – Words hold the power of life and death so speak only what benefits you or others.

3. Order – Let all things have their place and time so that your priorities stay in focus.

4. Resolution – Follow through with your commitments, even when it is inconvenient.

5. Frugality – It does not matter how much money you make, but how well you manage it.

6. Industry – Making every minute count and being self-motivated to do your best in all things.

7. Sincerity – Being genuine and telling the truth to yourself and others.

8. Justice – Doing what is fair and right in every situation. Fair is not equal, but getting what you truly need.

9. Moderation – Finding a balance by avoiding extremes in your thoughts and feelings. 

10. Cleanliness – External cleanliness reflects an internal attitude that values beauty and serenity.

11. Tranquility – Being at peace within ourselves and with others.

12. Chastity – Save your heart, mind and body for that which is pure.

13. Humility – Humility is power under control.

Five Character Pillars

James Irwin Charter High School students are encouraged to follow the Five Character Pillars as guidelines for success in life: Honesty, Integrity, Respect, Responsibility and Excellence. These pillars serves as the foundation for our character development program. Students may earn positive referrals based on the Five Character Pillars as recognition for outstanding behavior.

Dress Code

To encourage modesty, self-respect, and respect for others, all JICHS students must adhere to a strict dress code so that attention can be properly focused on academics and enjoying the high school experience.

Homework

The requirement to complete homework promptly with integrity and excellence prepares students to be responsible with their learning. James Irwin Charter High School students are assigned approximately 20 minutes of homework for each class as necessary practice for concepts learned in class. Courses which require a higher commitment level, like honors, AP, and CE, will have additional homework expectations.

Judicial Committee

Any student whose behavior is substandard may receive a citation to appear at the Judicial Committee. The Judicial Committee acts as a type of court system comprised of a few faculty members and several students selected for their outstanding behavior. The role of the Judicial Committee is to determine whether or not an infraction was committed by the student; and, if so what is the appropriate consequence. Once decided, the student is encouraged and challenged by the Judicial Committee to think about how more positive choices can yield much more productive and wiser results.

Positive Classroom Management

Every year, our faculty has over 100 hours of professional development. Part of this crucial training is learning strategies and techniques to encourage productive student behavior in ways that are positive and respectful. Modeling to students a positive attitude and respect for others forms the basis of our success as a school community.

Focus on Personal Responsibility

In an effort to produce outstanding young men and women, JICHS encourages all students to take personal responsibility for their behavior and learning. Students are taught that each individual holds the power for their future and that our own personal choices can create, ignore or destroy opportunity.

Campus-wide Video Cameras

JICHS utilizes a school-wide video camera and recording system to encourage excellent behavior and hold students accountable for their conduct and choices while on campus.

Limited Cell Phone & Personal Electronics

JICHS only allows students to use cell phones and personal electronic devices before school, during passing periods, lunch and afterschool. We believe that students can best relate to others face to face and focus on studying without the distractions of these devices. Some exceptions are made for class assignments on a limited basis.

Athletic Team Program

JICHS offers a robust athletic program to encourage interpersonal skills and teamwork. Students can participate in baseball, basketball, bowling, cheerleading, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, volleyball, track and field, and wrestling.

Extra-curricular Activities and Clubs

To learn additional skills in relating well with one another and challenging one’s own potential, JICHS students may participate in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities and student interest clubs like music concerts, charity fundraisers, Field Day, community service opportunities, dances, anime, robotics, chess, art, novel, speech and debate, Diploma of Distinction, drama, Knowledge Bowl, Spirit Weeks, and student leadership and service with our National Honor Society chapter and school Senate.