Five Fundamental Principles

At Thetford Academy, the Five Fundamental Principles of the school community guide student life both in and out of the classroom. Students learn about the Five Principles at their first orientation. All experiences at the Academy, whether part of the academic curriculum or "co-curricular" activities beyond it, give students the chance to practice and uphold these values: Student

  • Excellence

    - We set high expectations. We challenge all members of the school community to reach their highest potential.
  • Cooperation

    - We work and learn together. We see teachers as coaches, students as team members, families as partners, and learning as practice and action.
  • Commitment

    - We value initiative, courage, and dedication. We take responsibility for the goals we set and work hard to achieve them.
  • Diversity

    - We respect differences among people. We welcome the contributions of varied perspectives to a rich and flexible school culture.
  • Caring

    - We provide individuals with personalized support and guidance. We care about each other and about the larger community.

The Report of the Visiting Committee from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) in March, 1999, noted the importance of these principles in the life of the school:

"The five principles (commitment, excellence, caring, respect for diversity, and cooperation) are featured in the materials generated by the Development Office for the Annual Campaign; they adorn school bulletin boards, they even decorate the school's souvenir coffee cups! More importantly, they are a part of the language of the school's students, faculty, parents, administration and governing body."

The visiting committee commended the Academy for adopting the five basic principles, and more importantly, "for placing these principles at the center of school life through the interaction of faculty, students, parents, administration, and trustees."

Further, the NEASC committee found that TA engages students in taking responsibility for their own personal development, the school community, and the community at large. The committee praised the TA student body, "for its spirit of community....The student body at Thetford Academy is a vibrant and diverse one. Students are proud of their school and this becomes apparent by the appearance of the building and the grounds. Students are friendly and when approached don't hesitate to offer information... "

"Students are encouraged to act morally and develop a positive self-image through course work and extra-curricular activities...Students voiced the feeling that they have many opportunities to explore and develop creative talents."

The school's Trustees emphasize this engagement in their statements on student life in the 1999-2000 Strategic Plan.

As the descriptions of student organizations show (see menu at bottom of screen) student leadership already takes a wide variety of forms. The Strategic Plan sets out the goal of "expanding students' involvement in decision-making for school improvement" over the next three years, including establishing roles for students on trustee committees.