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Horace Mann

The Mission Statement of Horace Mann School

Horace Mann School prepares a diverse community of students to lead great and giving lives. We strive to maintain a safe, secure, and caring environment in which mutual respect, mature behavior, and the life of the mind can thrive. We recognize and celebrate individual achievement and contributions to the common good.

revised by the Curriculum Council, Fall, 2008

Core Values

The Life of the Mind

With regard to the Life of the Mind, the School expects that students will:

  • be curious and value learning as a life-long endeavor;
  • do their best to meet the expectations established by their teachers;
  • always do their very best work;
  • always do their own work; and
  • support the intellectual efforts of friends and colleagues.

First and foremost, Horace Mann is and has always been a school that values The Life of the Mind. Kindergarten children are introduced to the logic and strategy of chess. Second graders explore nature on a stream walk at the Dorr Nature Lab. Seventh graders visit New York City with their history class to understand and appreciate the culture and heritage of the city we share. Ninth graders perform Shakespeare in the original and modernized forms. Eleventh graders study calculus and ethical uses of genetics. These experiences stimulate our students to be avid learners eager for the chance to broaden their intellectual horizons.


Mature Behavior

With regard to Mature Behavior, the School expects that students will make every effort to:

  • let their teachers know if they need help with school work or with any problems that arise at school;
  • be honest and sincere;
  • respect and do their best to follow the School’s rules;
  • strive for self-esteem and confidence;
  • follow the positive examples of their parents and teachers; and
  • take responsibility for their actions and accept the intended and unintended consequences of those actions.

Mature Behavior is equally important. Our more than 1,700 children, ages three through eighteen, are expected to exhibit age appropriate behavior, and we make our expectations clear in every Division. At Nursery, mature behavior includes learning to work together, to share the space and facilities, and to learn to be friends. At Lower, students and parents are given the “Statement of Core Values,” outlining expectations including ‘using cooperative strategies to resolve conflict’ and ‘being honest, kind and mannerly.’ In the Middle, students take more responsibility for themselves, work to form a community with their peers, and learn good sportsmanship as they compete on interscholastic teams. At Upper, mature behavior includes accepting an Honor Code, taking on significant leadership roles, and making responsible choices.


Mutual Respect

With regard to Mutual Respect, the School expects students to:

  • treat members of the faculty and fellow students in a  respectful and civil manner;
  • listen and respond positively to constructive criticism from teachers and parents;
  • show respect, care, and concern for all members of the Horace Mann community and
  • be open to learning about the cultural differences and traditions of others in and outside of the Horace Mann community.

Hand in hand with Mature Behavior comes Mutual Respect. Horace Mann does not have a ‘typical student,’ but welcomes an extremely diverse student population from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, more than one hundred and fifty different zip codes and from public and private schools. The School has more than twenty-four percent students of color. We value diversity of all kinds, including racial, ethnic and socio-economic background and gender, as well as diversity of ideas and approaches. We incorporate that diversity into our classrooms, studios, and onto our playing fields. The environment of respect at HM makes it a safe place for students to explore, with the knowledge that they will be supported through their successes and setbacks.


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