La Cima's school culture is rooted in four C.A.R.E. principles:
Together, we are stronger!
I am responsible for you and for me.
I make peace with my words and my actions.
I learn from my actions and I never give up!
Every member of the La Cima community is expected to demonstrate our principles each day. They are essential to fulfilling our mission and achieving our mission as a school and as an integral part of the Brooklyn community.
In recognition of our character education program, La Cima was named both a New York State and National School of Character in 2015 as an exemplary school for using character education as an important tool to support the holistic development of our scholars and to ensure a strong culture and climate at our school. La Cima holds this designation for five years.
La Cima’s character education program is rooted in the four C.A.R.E. principles: community, accountability, reconciliation and effective effort. By teaching our scholars these principles, we ensure that we have a safe and caring environment in which every student can learn and grow and that we have a thriving and evolving character education program that supports the academic life of the school.
C.A.R.E. principles are reinforced in several contexts; daily in classroom C.A.R.E. circles led by teachers and scholars, in weekly grade-wide community meeting and in monthly all-school community meetings. Each month, a new principle and value are introduced and scholars are asked to demonstrate exemplary behavior representing the principle and value of the month.
Mindfulness practice and restorative justice
At La Cima, we believe in a balanced approach to supporting scholar behavior. We use mindfulness practices like yoga to proactively teach our scholars how to stay centered during times of emotional stress. Kindergarten through fifth grade learn different poses and the value of using the breath to ground themselves in the moment.
Restorative justice is a means of accountability in which all stakeholders involved in a conflict must engage in a process of amending the harm that was done. The person who did the harm must learn and must be held accountable. The person harmed must also feel heard. The focus of discipline moves from punishment to learning; from the individual to the community. The community holds the individual accountable for learning from their actions.