Core Virtues

“Good moral character is not something that we can achieve on our own. We need a culture that supports the conditions under which one becomes good and friendship flourishes.” — Aristotle

At Cincinnati Classical Academy we believe that academic and personal integrity are essential to the success of our educational mission. We are responsible not only for developing the student’s intellect but also for developing character grounded in strong morals and responsible citizenship. We agree with Aristotle that one becomes good only by observing and practicing right behavior.

Discipline, ethics, and personal responsibility will be modeled by teachers and expected by students, both inside and outside of the classroom. Students will also be introduced to the virtuous behavior of timeless heroes and heroines of literature and history. Moreover, Cincinnati Classical Academy defines a standard of behavior using the seven core virtues outlined below to help students learn and develop virtuous behavior based on high moral standards.

1. Prudence | Prudentia

The ability to find the good in every situation and to choose the right means of attaining it while at the same time avoiding the temptations to act without thinking or without regard to the good. Students demonstrate prudence when they choose what is right without being told and when they are able to reason well about how rules for the playground or the classroom are best applied in any given situation.

“By prudence we understand the practical knowledge of things to be sought and of those to be avoided.” —Cicero 

2. Justice | Justitia

The disposition, habit, and choice of obeying rules, respecting authority, and treating others fairly. Students act justly when they respect school and class rules in the absence of a teacher, show consideration towards others in the hallway, and refrain from allowing their interests to dictate rules for others. 

“Justice consists not in being neutral between right and wrong, but finding out the right and upholding it, wherever found, against the wrong.” —Theodore Roosevelt

3. Courage | Fortitudo

The disposition, habit, and moral strength to confront and withstand danger, fear, temptation, or difficulty. Students are courageous when they persevere on difficult assignments, offer a comment even when they are not fully confident in themselves, or refuse to bow to peer pressure when it encourages them to do what is wrong. 

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; it’s also what it takes to sit down and listen.” —Winston Churchill

4. Humility | Humilitas

The disposition of having a moderate estimate of oneself and being free from pride or arrogance. Students show humility when they don’t brag about their academic, artistic, or athletic accomplishments and when they assist younger students who are less capable than themselves. 

“An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.” —Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

5. Gratitude | Gratitudo

The disposition, habit, and choice of being thankful, including readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Students show gratitude when they say “thank you” to teachers, fellow classmates, and others who have helped them in some way and when they sincerely compliment others on a job well done.

“Gratitude is a divine emotion. It fills the heart, not to bursting; it warms it, but not to fever.” —Charlotte Bronte 

6. Perseverance | Constantia

The disposition, habit, and choice of remaining steadfast in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Students show perseverance when they complete an academic task even when they feel they are not good at it or when they continue to give 100% effort playing on sports teams even when they feel outmatched.

“I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed.” —Booker T. Washington

7. Compassion | Misericordia

The disposition, habit, and choice of recognizing the suffering of others, then taking action to help. Students show compassion when they ask someone to play, take turns, or help someone who is hurt.

“There never was any heart truly great and generous that was not also tender and compassionate.” —Robert Frost