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Character Development

Cultivating Strength, Resiliency, and Sensitivity

Building on its enduring Credo—Think Also of the Comfort and the Rights of Others—and guided by its Core Values—critical thinking, integrity, empathy, community, and diversity—Winchester Thurston School, North Campus guides students to become exemplary citizens and leaders through intentional social and emotional development.

Building Community and Integrity through Leadership and Cooperation in WT’s Lower School

Each student is valued as an important member of the classroom community, learning assertion and empathy through formal and informal approaches, both in and out of the classroom.

  • The Responsive Classroom® approach, developed by the Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc., fosters safe, challenging, and joyful classrooms. Our skilled teachers use the Responsive Classroom® philosophy, closely aligned with WT’s Core Values, to guide their instruction, their interactions with children and parents, and their overall approach as educators.

Correlated with better academic and social outcomes for elementary school students, the Responsive Classroom® encourages them to build and nurture a sense of community through cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control.

Researchers identified three key findings about students who use the Responsive Classroom® approach:

  • Improved reading and math test scores
  • Improved social skills and assertiveness
  • A greater enjoyment of school, their peers, and their teachers.

For more information on the Responsive Classroom® approach, please visit

  • Cultivating leadership skills at an early age teaches students to think critically about their environment and allows them to explore citizenship, democracy, and diversity as fundamental components of a thriving community.
    • As leaders of the Lower School, fifth grade students run the monthly Morning Meetings, which gives them the opportunity to set goals for the Lower School and communicate these goals to their peers.
    • A group of fifth grade students comprises the Lower School Leadership Council, meeting to discuss relevant topics and solve appropriate problems related to student life.

Winchester Thurston School, North Campus
4225 Middle Road
Allison Park, PA 15101
P: 412-486-8341

Admission Office
P: 412-578-7518