School Profile

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SCHOOL MISSION

Developing Virtue Secondary School is a Buddhist school that, in partnership with parents, works to instill and develop in our students the core virtues of kindness, filial reverence, respect, trustworthiness, fairness, citizenship, integrity and humility. We provide an environment for our students to achieve their full academic potential and become outstanding citizens, who contribute to making their community and the world a better place.

STUDENT OUTCOMES

A graduate of Developing Virtue Secondary School:

  1. Practices the core virtues of kindness, filial piety, respect, trustworthiness, fairness, citizenship, integrity and humility.
    • Cherishes life in all its forms, is a responsible steward of the environment, and exercises frugality.
    • Is a confident, well-rounded person who interacts harmoniously with others and takes responsibility for his or her own
    • Has developed the skills of a good citizen and explored within themselves the complementary qualities of leadership and responsible teamwork through active service to others and volunteerism.
  2. Has gained a deep appreciation of their own inherent spiritual wisdom through meditation and other spiritual practices and teachings.
    • Has an appreciation and understanding of the fundamental teachings in Buddhist philosophy and ethics that inspires them to follow a life of integrity in accordance with their own philosophical or religious beliefs.
  3. Has explored and developed their individual academic potential and talents in the humanities, sciences or arts.
    • Has developed an enthusiasm for the pursuit of knowledge.
    • Is prepared for success in college.
    • Has the ability to think and write critically and analytically.
    • Has developed their individual creative potential in thinking, expression and problem solving.
  4. Expresses a multinational, global awareness and understanding; and shows an appreciation and respect for a variety of cultures and religions.

ACCREDITATION AND MEMBERSHIP

Developing Virtue Secondary School is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). (For more information, contact WASC, Accrediting Commission for Schools, 533 Airport Blvd., Suite 200, Burlingame, CA 94010. Phone: (650) 696-1060.) The school also holds membership in the Association of Northern California Chinese Schools.

FOUNDER

The Venerable Master Hsuan Hua, a Chinese Buddhist monk, came to the United States in 1962 to propagate Buddhism in the West. He vowed to save the world by means of education. Before becoming a monk, he established a school in his home in order to teach the impoverished children of his community at no charge. Later, continuing to act on his vow, the Master founded Instilling Goodness Elementary School in 1976, followed by Developing Virtue Secondary School in 1981, the first Buddhist high school in the nation.

CAMPUS

Situated on the grounds of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, a 488-acre Buddhist monastery and international community in the rural outskirts of Ukiah, 110 miles north of San Francisco, the Instilling Goodness/Developing Virtue Schools educate boys and girls separately, creating an environment conducive to academic and personal growth. The Boys Division is housed in a two-story building, and the Girls Division is housed in two two-story buildings. Each division has its own library and computer lab, and shares a science lab and a visual and performing arts complex that includes an art studio and an art gallery/music practice room. Each division has its own basketball court and athletic field. The schools share in the use of the main ceremonial hall, community kitchen and dining hall, and Daoyuan Lecture Hall. The campus also houses a monastery, a convent, Dharma Realm Buddhist University, a university library, a vegetarian restaurant, an organic farm, a senior center, a bookstore, and residences for families and boarding students. Originally designed by Luther Burbank, the scenic campus abounds with myriad varieties of trees and native plants and includes a pine forest, a creek, and a wetland, making it home to a diverse population of birds and wildlife. Surrounded by mountains, vineyards, and pear orchards, the clean air and landscape of Mendocino County provide an ideal environment for fellowship and study.

FACULTY AND CLASS SIZE

The approximately 40 faculty members include monastic and lay members of Dharma Realm Buddhist Association, as well as teachers and professionals from around the world, who create a stimulating learning environment through a blend of Western and Eastern teaching philosophies and methods. The average teaching experience of the faculty is 13.5 years with approximately 40% holding master’s degrees and 10% holding doctoral degrees. The student/teacher ratio is 2:1, and Developing Virtue School’s average class size is 12. Interaction between teacher and student does not stop in the classroom. Teachers work as coaches, sponsors for clubs, and advisors to students. And most live on campus.

SECONDARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM

Developing Virtue Secondary School offers a college preparatory curriculum. The minimum units required for graduation in each subject area are as follows:

English 40
Social Studies1 30
Mathematics 30
Foreign Language2 30
Religious Studies & Ethics3 30
Meditation 24
Physical Education 20
Visual or Performing Arts 10
Electives 12

Notes

  1. 10 units of World History & Geography, 10 units of U.S. History, 5 units of U.S. Government, 5 units of Economics.
  2. The foreign language offered at our school is Chinese.
  3. Intro to Buddhism, World Religions, & Ethics in Philosophy & Religion.

Advanced Placement Courses

Calculus AB Calculus BC
Environmental Science*2 Economics (Micro)
English Language*1 Chinese
English Literature*1 Psychology
World History*2 Physics 1
US History Physics C: Mechanics
Statistics Physics C: Elec. & Magnetism

*1 These courses are taught in alternate years.
*2 Not taught every year i.e. not taught this year

Honors Courses

Chinese 6 (Honors)

College Level Courses

This includes all 200 level transferable college courses taken at Mendocino College or other approved colleges.

Due to the rigor of AP and Honors courses in this school, we strongly recommend that students take no more than four courses at this level in one year. All of our academic courses are approved by the University of California.

STUDENT BODY

The culturally diverse student body of over 200 students (K-12) includes a balanced mix of day students from the local vicinity, boarding students from other cities, states, or countries (including Asia and Europe), as well as students whose families live on campus. Our students are of various religious faiths and ethnic origins, though predominantly of Asian or mixed Asian-Caucasian origin.

In addition to attending school from 7:50 a.m. – 4:05 p.m., boarding students attend an hour-long Buddhist ceremony and two hours of study hall each evening, perform weekly community service, and learn to take responsibility for their own lives and live harmoniously with others.

In the last 15 plus years, all graduates have gone on to college or university. Many go to community college and then continue to a four-year degree, others directly enter into a four-year institution. Some are accepted at prestigious universities, such as MIT, Princeton, Columbia, Northwestern, Univ. of Chicago, Stanford, Washington Univ., UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Davis, UC Irvine, Swarthmore, Wellesley, Scripps, Smith and Bryn Mawr.

Moral virtues are taught not only in the classroom, but by the daily experience of seeing and working with monks, nuns, and lay people volunteering in a myriad ways all around the students, from fixing cars and plumbing, doing computer or electrical work, to landscaping, cooking, gardening, cleaning, carpentry, painting, and teaching. This experience is reinforced by the daily tasks and responsibilities expected from the students such as cleaning schools and campus, serving in and cleaning the dining halls, serving the younger children, tutoring and mentoring younger students, performing community work on campus as well as being involved in outreach programs to the greater Ukiah area, and performances for elders and children.

The spirit of commitment, volunteerism and respect for life, dedication to the community and citizenship which the school seeks to instill and develop, are found in the return over the years of many graduates to teach or volunteer at the school and community here, as well as in their involvement in grassroots and other organizations wherever they live. Many remain lifelong vegetarians that actively pursue religious and cultural interests.

ENRICHMENT AND EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

Students participate in a variety of elective and extracurricular enrichment programs which have included Chinese Orchestra, Lion Dance, Dragon Dance, 24 Seasons Festival Drumming, Chinese Traditional Dance, Yearbook, Student Newsletter, Associated Student Council, Model United Nations, Community Service Club, Basketball, Soccer, Tai Chi, Yoga, Drama, Calligraphy, Piano, Violin, Advanced Religious Studies, Boys Scouts, Mathematics Competitions, Chinese Competitions, and Interfaith Dialogues. Most students participate in several extracurricular activities. All students serve, perform, and help to organize the annual celebrations of Honoring Elders Day (autumn) and Cherishing Youth Day (spring), which are attended by 500 to 1000 people from the surrounding Mendocino County community.

GRADE POINT AVERAGE / CLASS RANK

Cumulative grade point averages are based on semester grades. Both weighted and unweighted GPAs are given. In calculating the weighted GPA, Honors, Advanced Placement, and College Level courses receive an additional point.

Honors, AP, and College Level courses:

A = 5.0, B = 4.0, C = 3.0 (D and F are not weighted)

Regular high school courses:

A = 4.0, B = 3. 0, C = 2.0, D = 1.0, F = 0.0

Developing Virtue Secondary School believes that rank in class is not meaningful for a small graduating class. Given the academic strength of its student body and the rigorous curriculum afforded them, class rank is an invalid predictor of success in college for Developing Virtue School graduates.