William O. Schaefer Elementary School

Character Education

In accordance with the South Orangetown Central School District goals, character education at WOS is designed to promote a respectful and engaged learning environment for our students and staff. Our mission is to develop empowered, caring, flexible and resilient children who are self-aware and able to adjust behaviors and actions to improve their situation and the situations of others. It is our responsibility to contribute to the school community, to support one another, and to make this a great place to learn!

The character education program is comprised of four main components, with some additional, related pieces. They are:

  • Themes for each month with related character building and literacy activities and assemblies
  • Curriculum that supports social emotional development, specifically the ability to recognize, understand, label, express and regulate emotions (RULER approach from Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence)
  • Clarity and explicit teaching of expected (and unexpected) behaviors for different scenarios (PBIS approach)
  • Responsive Classroom approach that uses a Morning Meeting structure to connect the three components already listed, and to respond to the social and emotional needs of each child in the classroom

Additional supportive components of Character Education at WOS

  • The teaching and practice of Mindfulness, when appropriate
  • Purposeful teaching and use of the Buddy Bench on the playground
  • Making cross-curricular connections in an authentic way to link the academic to the social emotional learning

At William O. Schaefer, we live these practices and beliefs on a daily basis!


       Communities Support One Another

Resources are posted at the beginning of each month for that month’s theme and remain on this page through the end of the school year.


Communities Spring into Action


Communities Build a Better World


Communities Celebrate Traditions


Communities Support Everyone


Communities Inspire each Other


Communities Persevere


Communities Come Together to Make Change

Communities Support each Other’s Differences


Communities Work Together to Understand Each Other


Communities Honor all People


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