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Episcopal Identity & Culture

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Porter-Gaud works hard to create a community that is inclusive, stresses the importance of philanthropy by serving our community, welcomes people from all over the world, and instills a sense of accountability in its students – all tenets of the Episcopal faith. We have several initiatives driven by our mission to help us achieve these vital goals. We want every member of our school family -- our students, parents, faculty & staff, alumni, grandparents, and friends -- to feel the value of and to feel valued by the Porter-Gaud Community.


 

Episcopal Identity

EMBRACING A CULTURE OF INCLUSIVITY
 

As an Episcopal school, Porter-Gaud stands on the foundation of Anglican theology rooted in the Scriptures and expressed in the Book of Common Prayer.  Because the school community is inclusive and diverse, we cultivate a climate of respectful dialog in matters of faith. The School respects different faith traditions while simultaneously emphasizing its Episcopal core.  We uphold the principles of honesty and integrity and the pursuit of moral and ethical character. Inherent in the Porter-Gaud mission is the belief that we possess certain distinctive gifts and talents given to us by a loving God. The school community reflects this belief and our teachers are committed to helping each student discover his or her gifts and talents. 

"Porter-Gaud affirms the value of the spiritual dimension of learning – integrating faith and reason – and is grounded in academic excellence. We combine rigorous and free intellectual inquiry with an unapologetic proclamation of faith in loving God."

Dr. Charles Echols, Head Chaplain 

Tenets of Our Episcopal Identity

Religious Diversity

Our Episcopal identity has an integrity which enables us to be an inclusive community grounded in respect for each of its members.  The religious pluralism of the school does not degenerate into “my truth and your truth”, and therefore provides a magnificent opportunity to foster respect for the religious and spiritual formation of people from a variety of religious backgrounds.

Community Life and Love

Our school’s traditions and community life enable us to honor, celebrate, and worship God in Christ as the center of life and to care for all people as made in the image of God. Our identity is rooted in the revelation that God by nature is love.  This reality permeates all that we do in our daily life and work. Emerging from our Christian world view is love for our students, for their value as children of God, and for their unique gifts. This belief undergirds everything we do.  Because love is will, we act out of love, teach love, model love, and love one another in our community as God first loved us.

Worship

Worship is one of the most universal and effective expressions of Episcopal identity and community life, and is both held regularly and is expected for all faculty and students. We use Episcopal liturgies, as found in the Book of Common Prayer, in chapel, on regularly scheduled, and special occasions (for example, Founder’s Day, Opening Ceremony, Lessons and Carols, Baccalaureate, and Graduation). The use of prayer in the life of the school, including public occasions and sporting events, is an essential expression of our Episcopal identity.

Service

Because God first loves us, we are given grace, through which we are empowered to respond to the needs of others both at home and in the world. We believe the teaching that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Academics

The religious studies curriculum of Episcopal schools is offered for all grade levels and is as fully rigorous as any other academic course and graded as appropriate with divisional practices. The content of religious studies is developed by the chaplains, with input from the curriculum committee, and will be developmentally appropriate and may be provided through interdisciplinary or religious studies classes.                                                        

Community Service

 
A CULTURE OF PHILANTHROPY

Porter-Gaud believes in giving back to the community whom we serve. While service is not required of our students, we enjoy broad participation in a wide variety of projects throughout the year. Compassion, empathy, and care for those in need are essential to becoming a Porter-Gaud graduate.

Our entire school community participates in:

  • The Holiday Toy Drive
  • Recycling
  • Relay for Life
  • Race for the Cure
  • World Food Day food drive
  • Canned food drive at our annual faculty vs student basketball game.

Our students work with more than 30 local, national, and international non-profit organizations every year. 

Contact
 

GRETCHEN TATE
Director of Community Service
(843)402-4791
gtate@portergaud.edu

Chandler McKelvey '19
Service Leader | Richards Award Recipient

Gallery of Service Projects

Diversity & Inclusion

 

At Porter-Gaud, we embrace diverse cultures, backgrounds, ideas, and differences that enliven, broaden, and deepen who we are.

 

Global Union

Porter-Gaud's Global Union is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of diversity. GU is not an exclusive club; it is an inclusive club that consists of those who are open-minded and passionate about having a more diverse, understanding and affirming campus. We are accepting of all individuals regardless of differences and encourage open dialogue and communication during meetings, planning and implementing programs and in all co-curricular experiences. We embrace differences in race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and all areas under the umbrella of the broad spectrum of “diversity.” We welcome you to step outside of your comfort zone….and into the Global Union. Together we can make a difference!

 

Diversity & Inclusion Parent Alliance

The Diversity and Inclusion Parent Alliances's (DIPA) mission is to help students and families grow in their understanding of diversity and cultural sensitivity, develop awareness and empathy, and recognize and appreciate the unique nature of our school community. This parent partnership is in support of our school’s mission and in building a welcoming and inclusive community.

Throughout the school year, DIPA hosts several casual drop-ins, national speakers, and community roundtable conversations. Look for our 2019-2020 events coming soon! 

 

Programming

Class discussions consist of topics on culture, race and ethnicity, religion, disability awareness, and socioeconomic status. While these topics can sometimes be difficult to discuss, providing the opportunity to have open dialogue and allowing students to ask and answer questions is key. A combination of resources including websites such as Teaching Tolerance, Edutopia News, and a variety of picture books are used to help facilitate discussions. In order to live out our school's mission, it is imperative we have these critical conversations. 

CONTACT
 

JOHN PEARSON
Director of Diversity 
(843)402.4703
jpearson@portergaud.edu

TERRA BURKE
Director of Multicultural Affairs
(843)402.4675
tburke@portergaud.edu

TINA FOX
Global Union Sponsor/
Us Math Faculty
(843)402.4821
tfox@portergaud.edu

Beyond Black and White: April 2019

 

The spring get-together of the Diversity & Inclusion Parent Alliance brought together parents for positive conversations and dialogue about celebrating diversity at Porter-Gaud, which includes not only race, but also economic, gender, sexual orientation, and religious differences. 

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Character Development

 

HELPING OUR STUDENTS BECOME THEIR BEST SELVES
 

Porter-Gaud is the only school in South Carolina to be designated a School of Character by the national Character.org organization. Across all grades, our character education program has a positive impact on academics, student behavior, and school climate. Our school community values integrity, respect, patience, tolerance and humility.

The Student Wellness Program is designed to introduce and deliver character development to all Porter-Gaud students grades 1st through 12th. This multifaceted program allows students to acquire virtuous skills and ethical behaviors by living the schools core values of WATCH, Words, Actions, Thoughts, Character, and Habits. Throughout their 1-12 career, students will learn key concepts and language so that they will understand how to be the best version of themselves and have a positive impact on school culture. They will integrate moral character, integrity and ethical behavior through self-awareness and self-regulation, and will be given ample opportunities to put this into practice through intentional programs and personal choices. The student wellness program will have a focus in 4 critical areas; Spiritual Life, Social Emotional Learning, Inclusion and Diversity, and Leadership. Through a curriculum of classroom lessons, speaker series, assemblies, presentations, and our school rituals and traditions, the student wellness program will deliver the promise of the Porter-Gaud mission: to endow its citizens with a foundation of moral and ethical character and intellect.