Character Development

The goal of the Detroit Country Day School character development program is to model, present, explore and reinforce core values so that students learn to make positive, wise, personal decisions. Using the model of “Our House” as a clear visual reference and foundation, students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 will develop an understanding and skill set of core values and behaviors necessary to make ethical choices as an individual and a global citizen.

Portrait of a Detroit Country Day Student

The Portrait of a DCDS student represents the core of a student's experiences, pursuits, and commitments, integrating essential skills within academics, athletics, arts, and activities.

Collaborative & Cooperative

  • Demonstrates ability to work effectively and respectfully with diverse teams
  • Exercises a willingness to explore creative solutions for a common goal
  • Assumes responsibility for collaborative work, and values the individual contributions made by each team member


  • Articulates thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written and nonverbal communication skills
  • Listens effectively to decipher meaning, including knowledge, values, attitudes and intentions
  • Reads with understanding of meaning, both stated and implied
  • Uses communication for a range of purposes: to inform, instruct, motivate and persuade
  • Utilizes multiple media and technologies appropriately; judges effectiveness and assesses impact

Community-Centered & Globally Aware

  • Demonstrates flexibility to adjust to a changing world
  • Respects others and the environment
  • Contributes to the welfare of the community
  • Understands and models good citizenship

Conscientious Leader

  • Demonstrates integrity in decision making
  • Acts responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind
  • Inspires others to reach their very best via example and selflessness

Critical Thinker & Creative Problem Solver

  • Evaluates evidence, arguments, claims and beliefs to create solutions
  • Develops analytical skills through inquiry-based learning
  • Synthesizes and makes connections between information and arguments
  • Reflects critically on learning experiences and processes
  • Solves different kinds of non-familiar problems in both conventional and innovative ways

Health & Wellness-Oriented

  • Pursues physical and mental health measures, including proper diet and nutrition, exercise, stress reduction and risk avoidance
  • Uses available information to make appropriate health-related decisions
  • Upholds the ideals of a sound mind in a sound body
  • Learns to create a healthy balance between work and play

Independent Learner

  • Monitors, defines, prioritizes and completes tasks without direct oversight
  • Sets and works to achieve short- and long-term goals
  • Pursues learning for learning’s sake
  • Honors intrinsic motivation to channel personal passion for life-long learning

Information Literate

  • Selects and evaluates information for accuracy, validity and point of view
  • Draws conclusions and applies knowledge to make informed decisions
  • Uses technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use, and assess
  • Uses information ethically and responsibly with an understanding of legal and moral issues

Socially & Personally Responsible

  • Demonstrates organizational skills
  • Applies ethical considerations in decision-making
  • Respects adults, peers, self and environment
  • Prioritizes time to manage tasks
  • Exhibits self-discipline
  • Exercises sound fiscal judgment

Technologically Adept

  • Demonstrates ability to use a variety of software and hardware to communicate and create
  • Troubleshoots basic problems
  • Practices digital citizenship