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The Palo Alto Unified School District has established district curricular goals and standards for every grade level that either meet or exceed the State of California Standards. For a full description of these standards, please visit the PAUSD Curriculum Resources.

In addition, each year the Walter Hays School Site Council establishes school goals and creates the School Development Plan which describes our current strategies and activities in place to help us meet the PAUSD Promise.

Walter Hays Character Education Program

Educating the Whole Child

We believe that children who have strong social and emotional skills are better prepared to handle the challenges of academics, are more resilient, and are more likely to become the leaders of tomorrow.

The following research supports our beliefs:

  • Social and emotional skills create higher achievement (Ornstein,1986; Lakoff, 1980).
  • Children with highly developed social skills perform better academically than peers who lack these skills (Grossman, et al, 1997).
  • 85-95% of the difference between a "good leader" and an "excellent leader" is due to emotional intelligence (Goleman, 1998).
  • UCLA research indicates that only 7% of leadership success is attributable to intellect; 93% of success comes from trust, integrity, authenticity, honesty, creativity, presence, and resilience (cited in Cooper and Sawaf, 1996).
  • Optimism is a skill that can be taught. Optimists are more motivated, more successful, have higher levels of achievement, plus significantly better physical and mental health (Seligman, 1991).

At Walter Hays Elementary School, students in kindergarten through fifth grade participate in a school-wide character education, social skills development program. This program is designed to support the development of empathy, resiliency, and optimism in our students.

Every year, students learn about and practice the following character education traits:

  • Self Discipline/Self Control
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Fairness
  • Empathy
  • Caring
  • Respect
  • Responsibility