Our Episcopal identity is at the heart of our mission and provides a framework for all members of our school community to live and learn together. While we are committed to preparing our students for the world beyond our campus, this very same world presents constant challenges to what we stand for as a school. With this in mind, all members of the St. Margaret's Episcopal School community are called to support and advance our mission and to adhere to the highest standards of ethical behavior and conduct.
The National Association of Episcopal Schools describes the unique qualities of Episcopal schools as being "models of God's love and grace, created to serve God in Christ in all persons, regardless of origin, background, ability, or religion. They are created to strive for justice and peace among all people and to respect the dignity of every human being. Episcopal schools are clear, yet graceful, about how they articulate and express their basic identities." There is much in this description, and each of us has an obligation to measure our lives at St. Margaret's by these standards. Do we conduct ourselves with love and grace? Do we serve, respect and value all members of our school community? Do we strive for fairness and justice from the least significant to the most important? Do we work to resolve our differences in a peaceful and respectful manner? And do we "live" our core values with integrity, compassion, dignity, respect and a commitment to the common good?
Membership in the St. Margaret's Episcopal School community carries with it a responsibility to adhere to the basic principles articulated above. We assume that families choose us because they want to be part of a school community with a clear mission and common core values. We take seriously our shared commitment to hold both students and adults to the highest of standards. Occasionally, we experience conduct that runs contrary to our mission, strains the fabric of our school community, damages relationships and challenges our Episcopal identity. No matter how important the issue or how sharp the disagreement, it is incumbent on all of us to strive faithfully to be "models of God's love and grace."
In its most practical form, this means there will inevitably be occasions when certain behaviors or approaches are not acceptable in our school community. Increasingly, we find ourselves confronted with pressures that diminish and distract our focus on our students. Even the very best of us are prone to succumbing to these mission-altering influences. In the end, however, we must always be mindful that we are here to serve our children and provide for them a sound, moral and ethical foundation from which to launch their lives and bring value to the world they will inherit.