By personal formation we refer to the entire education that a student receives in Springdale. The academic program, tutorials, spiritual means of formation, sports and even the facilities contribute to his formation as a person with an intellect and will. Everything in Springdale exists and is done for the sake of the total personal development of the students.
A more specific way of understanding personal formation, however, is to consider it in contradistinction to academic or intellectual formation. Taken in this context, the school understands it to mean the efforts of specific agents to form each student such that he pursues wisdom and virtue. By wisdom is meant the knowledge a human being must have to be happy in this life and in the next. By virtue is meant those habits that make a human being good.
The personal formation program consists of means of formation over and above the academic program that aim for one's integral development. These means of formation endeavor to lead each student to a greater self-knowledge to prepare him for life here and hereafter. The program consists in a deliberate and systematic program of character formation that is
- founded on the academic program considered as the primary venue for forming character
- directed to all the students in a personalized manner
- permeated by a Catholic ethos and the lay spirituality of Opus Dei
- carried out through the collaboration of the parents(who are helped to become first and foremost parents) and the teachers (who are trained to become agents of formation)
Means of Formation
The mentoring system is where the goals of wisdom and virtue are personalized. A student's mentor guides him in attaining all the goals of education although he spends more time teaching him one of them — virtue. While the teacher educates formally in the classroom, the mentor educates informally through his conversation with the student. Mentors deliberately seek the help of parents. In fact, he works on the premise that the goals of wisdom and virtue are primarily the concern of the parents. The mentoring system is the school's strongest instrument for personal formation.
The Springdale family of parents, teachers, administrative staff and students strive to live the twelve Virtues of the Springdale Gentleman. Each fundamental virtue covers several others and is the source and cause of many other virtues that comprise the Virtue of the Month (VOM) line-up in the different school units. The selection of the 12 virtues is based on a Christian understanding of man as handed down through the ages and enriched by the lay spirituality and clear Christian doctrine taught by Saint Josemaria Escriva. Ultimately, the goal is to live the virtues that Jesus Christ lived, the example of perfect manhood.
Three components make up our spiritual formation program: religious instruction, the sacraments, and spiritual direction. The program helps each student grow in the faith by helping him develop a stable life of piety, a big help in facing the changes that adolescence brings. Moreover, the program Christianizes the human formation that each one receives. A student does not get all he could from Southridge if he does not take advantage of all the components of spiritual formation offered to him in the school.