What We Believe


  • Core Values
  • Core Values Report
  • Community Task Force

The Core Values of Chesterfield County Public School are


Chesterfield County Schools Task Force on Core Values Final Report

Adopted by the School Board in March 1999Core Values


"I believe the children are our future; teach them well and let them lead the way"
First two lines of song, "The Greatest Love of All"

If we believe the future belongs to our young people, then we have a responsibility to insure that we provide them the foundation necessary to build a world where they and future generations can flourish. We have a unique opportunity and an obligation in our homes, our community, our businesses and our schools to influence the kind of world this might be. Those societal institutions that "shape" our children must work hand-in-hand to instill, model and teach those universal values that undergird a civil society.

We know that many of our young people graduate from our schools with a sound academic foundation as evidenced by the high percentage of our graduates who go on to higher education. We also know that we can find Chesterfield graduates who are successful and making a positive contribution in communities across the Commonwealth of Virginia and throughout the United States. Simultaneously, we recognize that Chesterfield is not immune to the disturbing youth trends identified by Thomas Lickona in his book, Educating for Character. The ten indicators he mentions illustrate increases in:
1. Violence and vandalism
2. Stealing
3. Cheating
4. Disrespect for authority
5. Peer cruelty
6. Bigotry
7. Bad language
8. Sexual precocity and abuse
9. Self-centeredness and declining civic responsibility
10. Self-destructive behavior
Unfortunately, these indicators are reflective of the problems we face with some of our young people in Chesterfield County. The trends and indicators signal a need for the joining together of schools, parents, community, and businesses to help our young people develop the values and character that will guide their judgements and decisions in ways that will decrease these troubling trends and prepare them for responsible citizenship and productive lives.

Based on concerns by parents, business leaders, government officials, community leaders, and college heads, there is a clear and urgent need to teach values in Chesterfield County Public Schools. Evidence of this need can be seen in our society every day where once sacred values such as respect, responsibility, accountability, and honesty are ignored or violated. Therefore, it is extremely important to promote core values that epitomize character and build bridges of understanding, acceptance, and cooperation among community, schools and business. Emphasis on core values within our school system should be viewed as a vehicle to facilitate the development of the "whole person" with the goal of helping our students become well-educated, productive and contributing members of society.

The Pros and Cons of Teaching Values in Schools

We know there will be concerns about teaching values in our schools from various parts of the community including teachers, parents, students and administrators. These concerns will be around issues such as:
1. Invasion of privacy regarding individual moral principles
2. Disagreement with values taught
3. Resistance to being told which values are important
4. Additional burden added to an already full school day
5. Subjecting students to teachers' bias
6. Perception that these are the values of the Superintendent and School Board
7. Refusal to embrace the values focused on by the school division
We acknowledge the legitimacy of these concerns and believe that the school system must make a commitment to communicate and work with these groups to alleviate these concerns when and wherever possible.

It is our strong belief that the pros of teaching values in our schools far outweigh the cons. We believe we will see positive changes such as:
1. Increased safety in our schools
2. More respect for property
3. Less stress
4. More parent productivity
5. Fewer disruptive students
6. More teaching time
7. Greater student/teacher productivity
8. A more caring environment in our schools
9. Better work ethics among our students
10. More positive structure, rigor, teamwork and a common language for all
We also believe that the teaching of universal values in our schools has the potential for strengthening -- not replacing -- the teachings in the home; building bridges in the structure of the society; and helping bring to life a new generation of educated and caring people.

Recommended Core Values

The four core values recommended for focus by Chesterfield County Schools are:
1) Respect, 2) Responsibility, 3) Accountability, and 4) Honesty. These core values represent our collective reflection of what we think the Chesterfield community considers important in the foundational development of our students. We believe that young people who incorporate these values in their lives will be better prepared to achieve academically and to become productive, caring citizens who will make a positive contribution to their individual communities and to the larger society. Definitions for these core values may be found in Attachment 1.

We understand that these values are interdependent and in some way support or contribute to the development of other extremely important values such as: integrity, self-discipline, diligence, trust, commitment, courage, compassion, tolerance for others' beliefs, and loyalty. We encourage the inclusion of these values whenever and wherever appropriate.

Recommended Action Steps

We recommend the following action steps to move this important initiative to the next phase:
€Communicate with parents about the core values and character education initiative

Work with PTAs to incorporate the core values in their activities

Establish a marketing and media plan related to the need for incorporating the core values. Consider radio, Comcast, television networks, newspapers, billboards, etc.

Train all personnel on the core values to ensure they embrace and uphold them

Allow teachers to go through a process similar to the work of the task force and allow them to identify a fifth core value

Publish and distribute core values throughout the school system

Provide feedback to parents, teachers and students on progress with the core values

Incorporate the core values into the school division's Accountability Model to ensure a method of measuring progress.

Attachment 1

Definitions of Core Values

Be kind, caring, tolerant, appreciative and accepting of individual differences; be courteous and polite; judge all people on their merits; respect the rights of individuals to make decisions about their own lives; show self respect; treat others as you would want to be treated; have regard for the property of others as well as for the environment.

The quality of being dependable, reliable, trustworthy, and accountable for one's actions; understand that you alone make choices for your actions; keep trying; don't quit or give up easily; be diligent and give your best in all your endeavors.

Accept responsibility for the consequences of your choices; think before you act and consider how others will be affected by your actions; don't make excuses, blame others for your mistakes or take credit for others' achievements; set a good example for others at all times; exercise self discipline.

Tell the truth, be sincere; refrain from lying, cheating or stealing; resist social pressures to do things you think are wrong; don't betray a trust or withhold important information in relationships of trust.

Display the core values in many places such as school buses, school hallways, on bookmarks, in grocery stores, 7-Eleven stores, etc.
We realize these are just a few of the myriad of steps you might take. However, we want to share our thoughts with you because we believe the next steps in the process are critical to the overall success of this important initiative.

Recommended Measures and Benchmarks for Results

Measures and benchmarks for results of the school division's efforts on teaching and incorporating these core values may be focused on individual schools, the system as a whole and as a part of the approved Framework for Quality Management System for Chesterfield County Public Schools. One or more of the four core values may be established as key elements of the five priorities in the Quality Management System. These priorities,
1. Safe schools,
2. Academic achievement,
3. Technology,
4. Parent/Community involvement,
5. Accountability
and the standards that accompany them offer a structured framework for measuring results linked to the core values.

It is important to evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation of the core values on a continuous basis and to take advantage of data that are maintained by schools and central office departments that reflect improvements in areas closely linked to these values. Students, teachers, administrators, and the community as a whole need to be aware of positive results of our efforts on this initiative.

Chesterfield Schools Community Task Force on Core Values

Dr. James C. Anderson

President, Christian Medical and Dental Society
Rev. Cecil J. Chambers Branch's Baptist Church
Alice R. Clark President, Rennie's Advertising Ideas
Cynthia A. Creasey Chesterfield Parent
Lois L. Cumashot President, Virginia Congress of Parents & Teachers
Judge Bonnie C. Davis Chesterfield Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court
Maj. Candace M. Griswold U.S. Army, Ft. Lee
Dr. Jeffrey S. Hanzel President, School Health Advisory
Lu H. Henderson Retired Chesterfield County Teacher
Nancy S. Hudson Chesterfield County Committee on Futures
Frances B. Humphrey Columbia Hospitals
Dr. Mae C. Johnson Distinguished Professor Emeritus,
Virginia State University
Karen Keegan Executive Director, Manchester Family YMCA
Rev. Tae-Hyung Ko Korean Central Presbyterian Church
Michael S. Lord President, Remedy Staffing
Rev. J. Wayne Mancari Cornerstone Assembly of God
Lt. Col. Dennis G. McDonald Chesterfield Police Department
*Thomas A. Miller President, County Council of PTA
Dr. Eddie N. Moore, Jr. President, Virginia State University
Dr. Freddie W. Nicholas, Sr. President Emeritus, John Tyler Community College
Douglas H. Pick President, Chesterfield Education Foundation
Dr. Leivy Smolar Congregation Or Ami
Rear Admiral Daniel H. Stone Commander, Defense Supply Center Richmond

*Chair, Task Force on Core Values