Goals & Expectations


As a Classical school, SHPA is not only committed to academic excellence but also to character development.

SHPA maintains high expectations with respect to student effort, positive growth, personal responsibility, academic achievement, and parent support and participation. We also have high expectations of student behavior.


Elementary School Students

We teach and model ethical standards and behavior to our students —including the core virtues of cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control. SHPA’s Elementary School students and teachers call these the C.A.R.E.S. principles, and we practice applying these characteristics in our daily lives.

Additionally, as a Classical school, we use this core virtues program to teach respect, compassion, courage, diligence, patience, and perseverance. SHPA students learn these core virtues through great children’s literature and our reading program includes books that promote and teach these characteristics.

We hold monthly V.I.P ceremonies at every elementary grade level to recognize students for behaviors that show good character and caring for others.

Please enjoy one of our monthly V.I.P ceremonies: V.I.P Ceremony Video


Middle School Students

Developing a positive and vibrant Middle School classroom environment for adolescents involves creating a supportive structure, reasonable rules, logical consequences, respectful interactions, and the identification and appropriate communication of emotions. Students and their parents/guardians play an important role in creating a positive and supportive classroom. In such a climate, the educational setting is a cooperative effort to learn, relate to one another, and experience an enjoyable and successful learning process.  SHPA’s Student Advisory Program and the following Character Pillars named ‘RICCHES’ uphold and advance this process:

  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Compassion
  • Community
  • Honest
  • Self-Discipline


SHPA’s Core Knowledge curriculum is content-rich and context-specific, ensuring students learn successfully through a coherent and cumulative scope and sequence designed to avoid redundancies and reduce gaps in learning and instruction. As a preparatory school, SHPA creates a challenging and supportive academic environment that promotes literacy, equity, readiness, and grit through rigorous academics, disciplined character development, and a culture of high expectations.

Citizenship & Virtue

Aristotle was the first great teacher of ethics. He taught that ethical study develops character and attempts to address the question of how humans should best live. He stressed the importance of developing both excellence (virtue) of character and excellence of activity because the person who possesses excellence of character does the right thing, at the right time, in the right way. This was the definition of a good citizen in ancient Greece and we believe it at SHPA.

SHPA mission and programming includes a focus upon lifelong learning and citizenship. We engage students in extracurricular activities, volunteer opportunities, and community events that teach the value of participation for the greater good and giving to others as a means of living well.

SHPA’s competitive sports offerings teach the value of working together, and include soccer, basketball, volleyball, and track and field. Our enrichment clubs include theatre, band, choir, art, and chess. SHPA is also a member of the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, participating in Bloomington Community Days, Toys for Tots, contributing to local food shelves, and partnering with area organizations such as Base Camp, the Search Institute, and Second Harvest Heartland to extend learning and citizenship engagement.