Preparing Boys for Life

Lower School

An important part of a boy’s education is giving him redirection when his actions do not align with the School’s values and/or his own values. Because we want our boys to grow into caring young men of the community, we take an intentional approach to building Leadership and Character.

In addition to our robust Decision Education and Service Learning curriculum, both of which begin in pre-kindergarten, we aim to provide opportunities for boys to discover and develop the skills, language, and processes necessary to apply their leadership talents in meaningful ways.

The START leadership initiative integrates research-based learning, resources, and activities designed to foster students’ ability to discover their innate "Wiring" and "Interests" to meet social, emotional, and academic "Needs" in their school community (W.I.N.). Fundamentals of the program are rooted in the School’s core values of respect, honesty, and courage.

The program, powered by START Leadership, includes two components:

  • Parent Leadership Labs that provide continuity between classroom lessons and family values
  • Student Decision Education and Leadership course, in which boys study the Good Decision Chain and conduct a service project to enhance the Lower School community

START at School

In the classroom and in advisory, Haverford teachers use the integrated START leadership curriculum, resources, and activities to guide students’ discovery and learning through formal and informal initiatives, creating student-driven leadership projects. By providing tools to take the lead in working to meet the needs they see as important in their community, teachers support students' development of concrete, scalable, and transferable leadership abilities. Students learn to recognize their own talents, as well as those of their classmates, and the value of working collaboratively to apply them to make a positive and productive impact.

START at Home

The START Leadership Parent Lab Series aligns parents’ leadership development efforts at home with the students' leadership curriculum. Interactive lab work, aligned with homework, is focused on how best to cultivate a balanced approach to raising young leaders who can do well, be well, and lead well in their own lives.

The W.I.N. model helps to create a community of like-minded parents who work individually and collaboratively to create a strengths-based culture of connection, where kids can discover how they’re innately "Wired," what they find most "Interesting," and how they can apply both to meet "Needs" they discover at home, in school, and in their communities (W.I.N.).

The START Leadership Labs take the broad concept of leadership and provide a how-to manual for families: how to discuss, model, and engage around leadership at home. While I think most parents would agree that leadership is a quality they want their children to demonstrate, it's actually somewhat difficult to define and illustrate this abstract quality. This unique program removes the guesswork and gives parents tools to have meaningful, developmentally appropriate conversations, and to take steps that enhance and broaden the work being done at school. Lower School Parent