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Culture of Integrated Ethics

Turning questioning into personal understanding and global engagement

MKA students work to develop habits of inquiry and reflection as the building blocks of their own moral and intellectual character. They learn about themselves and how they can impact the world around them.

“How can we best develop the moral and intellectual habits of good character?”

MKA’s Culture of Integrated Ethics, rooted in the MKA Character Standards, brings together many different facets of MKA’s curriculum and school culture that simultaneously explore answers to this guiding question.

As students question, reflect, collaborate, and problem-solve, they are intentionally practicing the habits of good character and engaged in an authentic and relevant Culture of Integrated Ethics.

Character Standards for the MKA Community

All members of the MKA community strive to act, speak, and think in ways that are:

Diversity & Inclusion

How can we better understand and appreciate both our own identities and the diverse identities of others? Read More

Educational Technology

How can we digitally connect with the world in ways that are both true to ourselves and respectful of others? Read More

Global Experience

How can we become more informed and active global citizens? Read More

Community Engagement


How can we make a habit of helping others and positively impacting our local and global communities? Read More


Social-Emotional Learning

How can we know and value ourselves, our emotions and the dignity of others in ways that enable us to respond confidently when facing a challenge and contribute to a respectful and collaborative learning community? Read More


How can we develop responsible daily habits that help sustain our environment and improve our local and global communities? Read More



Student Leadership

Student ownership ensures that MKA’s Culture of Integrated Ethics remains relevant and engaging. In 2007, a group of student leaders redesigned the MKA Character Standards to make them more accessible to the student body and applicable to all members of the MKA community. Their work inspired the formation of the Upper School Student Ethics Committee and later the Middle School Ethics Roundtable, which provide opportunities for student discussion, reflection, and action on the role of MKA’s Character Standards in and out of the classroom.

Members of the Upper School Student Ethics Committee also aid the faculty’s professional development by offering constructive feedback, which faculty members incorporate in their curricular and co-curricular planning during each summer’s Integrated Ethics Institute.

Additional student-led groups support MKA’s goal of helping students to develop the moral and intellectual habits of good character. These include the Student Diversity Leadership Committee, Student Laptop Leaders, Global Experience Student Leaders, Green Group/Environmental Action, Peer Leaders, and Honor Council

Philip McNeal Leadership Program

Inspired by the life of former Trustee and MKA Parent, Philip McNeal, The Philip McNeal Leadership Program will augment a signature learning initiative at MKA, the Culture of Integrated Ethics, by providing MKA students robust curricular and co-curricular activities to learn how to be ethical beings, critical thinkers, responsible citizens and honorable leaders.

This new program is timely and in direct response to the turmoil across our country that is driving us to make much-needed changes to dismantle the systemic racism within our institutions and high-lighting the importance of educating our youth to be empathetic, anti-racist, ethical leaders. It is also aligned with the internal assessments and evaluations MKA recently conducted to understand how to better fulfill its mission to be a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community.

Learn More About this program

Professional Development

We balance all aspects of our lives. By devoting personal attention to academics and personal commitments, we maintain moderation. While welcoming relaxation, we exert self-control and strength of will when faced with temptation and challenge.

Integrated Ethics Institute

During this weeklong summer institute, faculty from all three campuses explore the myriad ways in which integrated ethics can play a more deliberate role in our school—from the classroom and the advisory program to extracurricular life and support services. Faculty choose from a number of directed readings, interactive workshops, and field trips to support their learning and individual and group curricular design projects. These projects not only further professional growth, but also honor the collaborative process of teaching and learning that is integral to MKA.

Blauvelt Award

Demonstrating MKA’s commitment to helping faculty members study integrated ethics, the Blauvelt Professional Study Advancement Award offers monetary support for those seeking to explore creative ways to bring integrated ethics to the forefront of MKA life. Recent projects have included:

  1. Messages, Morals, Meaning, and Me: Using Literature to Foster a “Culture of Care” in Kindergarten.
  2. Creating Socially Conscious Word Problems in Middle School Algebra.
  3. The Ethical Dilemma of Civil War in the Ancient and Modern Worlds.