Educational Institutions

School for Ethical Education

  • Milford, CT
  • www.ethicsed.org

Mission Statement

The School for Ethical Education (SEE) recognizes the need for an increased focus on ethical behavior within human interactions. We also affirm the contribution of sound ethical reasoning in the advancement of ethical behavior. To promote our vision, SEE provides classes and seminars to educators, parents, student leaders and community members. SEE collaborates with school districts, parent organizations, professional education centers, and institutions of higher and continuing education. SEE instructors teach, research, write, administer programs, speak at events and meetings, and consult with relevant educational organizations to advance strategies that promote ethics in action for comprehensive character education in support of positive character.

Main Programs

  1. Youth: Ethics in Service
  2. Integrity Works!
  3. Laws of Life Essay Writing
  4. Golden Compass: Character-Based Decision Making
  5. John Winthrop Wright Ethics in Action Award
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Most of SEE's programs serve communities in Connecticut; however, SEE does have consulting contacts throughout the US and SEE's Integrity Works! program includes a network of schools in the US and Canada.

ruling year

1997

Principal Officer since 1995

Self-reported

David B Wangaard

Keywords

Self-reported

Character development, Ethics education, Academic integrity, Youth development, Teaching strategies

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EIN

06-1411577

 Number

1147899598

Also Known As

SEE

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Community Service Clubs (Kiwanis, Lions, Jaycees, etc.) (S80)

Citizenship Programs, Youth Development (O54)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

The School for Ethical Education (SEE) celebrates 15 years of working to advance ethics in action. SEE continues to implement its core programs that include: Youth: Ethics in Service (YES) service-learning projects in schools; Integrity Works!, which is focused on advancing strategies for academic integrity; Laws of Life essay writing program as a writing assignment that helps students reflect on positive values; and our teaching and consulting programs that include contracts with schools, the University of Bridgeport and other agencies. In 2009-10, approximately 320 students and teachers working on 13 different teams participated in service-learning projects and practiced ethical reflection during Youth: Ethics in Service (YES). The service-learning projects included a variety of projects that served fellow students and students in foreign countries along with the administration of a youth philanthropy board. YES teams were engaged in their projects for an estimated 5,000 hours. Since 1998, there have been over 7,600 YES participants completing service-learning projects and if they had been paid at CT's minimum wage, YES would have generated more than $1.4 million in service value. Integrity Works! concluded its third year working to promote academic integrity in high schools. Four schools in Connecticut organized Academic Integrity Committees and worked with SEE support to implement strategic plans that built awareness and commitment to students choosing to practice integrity. This spring, SEE completed it 10th year hosting Connecticut's Laws of Life Essay Program. Approximately 4,200 participants wrote essays that provided students in grades 5 to 12 the opportunity to reflect and write about the values they believe would help them live productive lives. Approximately 5,180 others participated in SEE classes, workshops or activities that included Integrity Works! during the 2009-10 project year.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Youth: Ethics in Service

Youth: Ethics in Service (YES) supports teachers and after-school program leaders to implement effective service-learning as defined by (1) students engaging in planning and implementation of meaningful projects, (2) teachers connecting academic goals to service work, and (3) all participants completing planned ethical reflection activities and project evaluation. Service-learning has been an important project strategy of SEE's since 1998. SEE's development of YES has been supported by Federal Learn and Serve funds and grants from regional foundations.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

90,000

Program 2

Integrity Works!

SEE has completed the third year of an implementation and evaluation study regarding academic integrity in high schools. The primary purpose of this project sought to investigate student beliefs, perceptions and observations about cheating in their school and test the effectiveness of an adult/student collaborative committee to promote a school culture in favor of integrity along with advancing a network of professionals committed to supporting academic integrity.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

General Public/Unspecified

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

125,000

Program 3

Laws of Life Essay Writing

The Laws of Life essay program is a writing project with a focus on character development. Laws of Life provides students in grades 5-12 the unique opportunity to reflect and write about their core values, principles and ideals that will guide them throughout their lives. Writing with Laws of Life encourages a dialogue between students and their teachers, parents and community members to advance excellent writing, positive values and character. The writing process for Laws of Life can be integrated into many academic subject areas such as English literature, language arts, history and health. Laws of Life is a non-sectarian, academic activity that typically identifies universal ethical principles and laws of life such as - love, service, perseverance, honesty, respect and courage. These values are recognized to be life affirming, support positive citizenship and transcend religion, culture and national borders.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

$12,000.00

Program 4

Golden Compass: Character-Based Decision Making

The process of making a good choice (an ethical choice) may be influenced by many factors such as a person's values, family training, community norms, emotions and/or self-interest. With all the factors that influence choices, students find it difficult to explain how they prioritize options to make a good decision. The activities and skills taught through application of The Golden Compass provide a compass needle that always points to alternatives in support of positive character. In the Golden Compass program, teachers and students are provided exercises to create a skill base for character-based decision making. Following the basic skill development, The Golden Compass program provides 56 dilemmas to help students practice character-based decision making. The dilemmas are circumstances that are relevant to the life of middle school and high-school students while at school, home or in the community and include situations to resist bully behavior. There is often more than one good option to solve life's dilemmas. The Golden Compass provides activities to help students practice reasoning skills while validating the importance of positive character to guide decisions. The activities and process provided in The Golden Compass program are suggested for use in homeroom settings, class meetings, advisory/advisee periods, health-education classes, discipline plans and language arts and social studies classes that evaluate the decision of characters in literature or history.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

$3,000.00

Program 5

John Winthrop Wright Ethics in Action Award

John Winthrop Wright Ethics in Action Award seeks to highlight leaders who demonstrate positive character. Named after SEE's founder,John Winthrop Wright, this annual award recognizes individuals who demonstrate authentic commitment to ethics and positive character in their leadership. Nominations are invited through submission of the SEE nomination form.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

$5,000

Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Most of SEE's programs serve communities in Connecticut; however, SEE does have consulting contacts throughout the US and SEE's Integrity Works! program includes a network of schools in the US and Canada.

Additional Documents

Funding Needs

SEE's most pressing needs include: (1) financial support to complete a research study to validate a classroom moral development curriculum that supports student choice to demonstrate academic integrity. The proposal is a collaborative effort with a colleague from the University of Connecticut and is budgeted for $588K for three years. SEE is also seeking funding to expand the teaching pedagogy of service-learning in schools and a three-year proposal that includes collaborators in the New Haven Public Schools and Gateway Community College is budgeted at $800K. (2) An equally pressing need for SEE is to translate its mission of ethics in action into terms and objectives that are marketable. Public school personnel are so stressed over meeting strict academic standards that the citizenship and character goals of their students are often overlooked. This is evidenced by the students' participation in academic dishonesty, which is reported in our own Connecticut surveys to exceed 95% of the student population self-reports cheating in the most recent school year. This moral lapse is undermining the true mission of the schools to authentically teach students and corrupts the students' view of honest effort and the moral value of learning.

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

THE SCHOOL FOR ETHICAL EDUCATION INC
Fiscal year: Sep 01-Aug 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

School for Ethical Education

Leadership

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Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
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  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

David B Wangaard

BIO

SEE Executive Director since founding in 1995 Teacher, school principal-- 1984-1993. Biologist for USFWS - 1977-84

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"Not many agencies trace their mission back 400 years. One of SEE's distinctions is a generational vision that its founder, John Winthrop Wright, shared with one of his early American ancestors John Winthrop, the first Governor of Massachusetts. Still onboard the Arabella in 1630, Winthrop wrote of his hopes and dreams for the new colony he was leading and the life he wished for the settlers. Winthrop articulated this 'life' to mean life in the community. It was his belief that life in the community, with a clear requirement for personal character, was essential. Winthrop added justice, mercy, and love to personal character as foundational for successful communities. The first governor outlined four practical steps to achieve such a community. The first step was to see a vision of community. Winthrop noted that everyone should see themselves living within a community, that we ought to account ourselves knit together.The second step recognized the importance of describing the common good. Winthrop defined the common good to include a valuing of what each individual adds to the community.The third step Winthrop suggested focused on what works to improve our lives. It was assumed that what constitutes the good to improve my life would not be radically different from the good to improve another individual or the community life.The last step Winthrop described was the principle to bear one another's burdens. By practicing these steps, Winthrop believed that the settlers could create a City Upon a Hill, which would promote individual and community success. Winthrop's writings in 1630 are full of hope and promise and are a foundational proclamation for a responsible and caring community. It admonishes us and points out the rocks of individualism on which we, over 380 years later, find ourselves shipwrecked and the cause of much of social dysfunction. The words of John Winthrop remind us what the early colonists were attempting to accomplish and what we seek to accomplish today. John Winthrop Wright, as a descendent of John Winthrop, has provided SEE the vision and resources to continue the important task of community building to promote ethical behavior and develop positive character. SEE's distinction continues with the support that it receives from Wright Investors' and how that support leverages all other income to the agency. In addition, after 15 years of operation, the agency is uniquely qualified in experience and published works to advance its mission in Connecticut and beyond."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Peter M Donovan

Wright Investors' Service

Term: Nov 2002 - Aug 2012

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?