Throughout its history, Shipley has been a strong proponent of character education. Through its carefully mapped curriculum, attention to diversity, strong community service programs, and especially through close partnerships between parents, teachers, and students, Shipley engages and develops the moral and academic potential of its students in all three divisions of the school—Lower, Middle, and Upper.
Shipley’s commitment to developing a consistent school-wide Character Education Program led to the arrival of Dr. Usha Balamore in the position of Assistant Head of Lower School and Director of Character Education. Dr. Balamore’s research into the factors that influence moral decision-making in adolescents convinced her of the importance of establishing a strong foundation of values in the elementary school years. Fourteen years of character development work in kindergarten led her to co-author a book, Teaching Goodness: Engaging the Moral and Academic Promise of Young Children.
Dr. Balamore works closely with established leaders in the field of Character Education, Dr. Thomas Lickona of the Center for the 4th and 5th Rs at Cortland University and Dr. Matt Davidson and Dr. Rich Parisi of the Institute for Excellence and Ethics.With strong support from the school administration, Dr. Balamore has brought to Shipley the Smart & Good Schools approach to developing the character and culture needed for success in school, work, and beyond, as developed by Lickona and Davidson. This approach, effectively in use in Lower School and now expanding into the Middle School, will result in a comprehensive, unified Character Education Program at Shipley that integrates all of its time-honored traditions and values.