Being part of a community of honor is an essential part of the Middle School experience at Chesapeake Academy. Following discussion in advisory groups on the ways that honor is displayed on a daily basis in school- during tests, on the athletic field, in peer and teacher relationships, when conducting internet research, and with regard to school and personal property, students are directed by student council officers to queue up to sign the school’s Honor Code. For fifth graders, it’s an important initiation to Middle School. By signing the official Honor Code, a large document displayed prominently in the Middle School hallway, students in grades five through eight are acknowledging their understanding of the principles guiding the code as well their commitment to upholding its promise.
The Honor Code reads, “Chesapeake Academy students will uphold the truth, respect others and their property, and maintain academic integrity.” It is designed to promote honesty, respect, citizenship, and integrity within the student community. The official signing ceremony is a solemn endeavor so that students can truly reflect on what they are putting their name to. “When students step up to sign it means they understand what they are signing with respect to their school community, and that they embrace the code with their whole hearts and minds,” noted Academic Dean Julie Keesee.
Student Council members, who signs the Honor Code first, are tasked with promoting and explaining the Honor Code to their peers in Middle School throughout the year. “The Honor Code is a social contract, which we’re learning about in our Government class. It helps us trust each other,” said Student Council President Harley Haydon. Chesapeake’s Honor Code applies to all aspects of the school community- governing all academic work as well as athletic competition. “Honor is something we agree to as a school community,” Haydon added. While Lower School students are not required to sign the Honor Code, developing a strong understanding of its principles is an integral part of their school experience.