Faculty & 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.
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.