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The Dexter Southfield Ethics program asks students to consider the question, “What does it mean to live a good life?” We understand that if our children are to live up to the rigors and responsibilities of school life – to give their "best today, and better tomorrow" – they must be also be exercising self-care, demonstrating integrity, and empathizing with others. This two-year series of one-semester courses was developed with the goal of helping every student flourish socially, emotionally, physically, and academically. 

In Part One, Class 9 students focus on understanding their own health, personal habits, and what it means to be “well” in both mind and body. In Part Two, for Class 10, the concept of wellness is extended to include relationships and responsibilities as members of a community. 

In these courses, students are asked to consider diverse perspectives by way of readings, videos and guest speakers; to participate in classroom discussion; and to pursue active wellness through weekly practical blocks for the practice of stress management techniques, such as meditation and mindful movement.  


Students meet the ethics requirement by taking one course and by serving others. In Class 9, students take Ethics 9, which meets once a week for the year. During the course of all four years of study in the upper school, students are required to complete 40 hours of community service.


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