Circle of Courage (What We Believe About Our Youth)

  • Orenda schools are based on the "Circle of Courage" (TM) philosophy. The Circle of Courage is an integrated, holistic approach to child development and learning intended to promote a sense of belonging, independence, mastery and generosity*. The Circle of Courage serves as a moral character development guide for our faculty and our students and helps set the tone for the students to become successful academically.

    At the core is our commitment to provide a school culture where all our students feel welcomed and know they are a vital part of the school community (Belonging).

    At Orenda schools, our goal is to provide a stimulating academic experience where students can grow, develop and have ownership over their learning. Our schools are a place where students can have the freedom to learn in their own style, at their own pace and through their own interests (Independence).

    We believe that each student has unique talents and gifts that must be discovered before the student can begin to feel competent. Increased competency enhances self-esteem and provides the motivation for further achievement (Mastery).

    We also believe every student has a tremendous capacity for good will. We teach the importance of being generous and unselfish and expect our students to serve the school and the community through participation in our various service clubs (Generosity).

    *The Circle of Courage is a model of positive youth development first described in the book, "Reclaiming Youth at Risk," co-authored by Larry Brendtro, Martin Brokenleg and Steve Van Bockern.

    The Circle of Courage artistic rendering above was painted by Lakota artist George Blue Bird. The four directions portray universal human needs for belonging, mastery, independence and generosity. These are the foundations for psychological resilience and positive youth development.