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BEAR Core Values

Dawson Bears are Rooted in Our Core Values

The statements that describe our Core Values depict the strength and stability felt when we’re all connected.

These values anchor our learners to the meaning behind everything we do and how we show up for one another. Belonging, Engagement, Advocacy, and Resilience are the values we see proudly displayed across our campus and our digital platforms to help our community recognize what these words look like during every next step of the learning journey. Our Core Values create powerful threads that are relatable for everyone at Dawson. It’s how we continue to tell the Dawson story in a way that evokes unity and understanding. 


A Values-Driven Education

The work we do as a school to deliver a values-driven education does not live in isolation but is threaded throughout the design of every lesson plan and interaction we steward across campus. Helping our students connect with their values system does not take away from their learning but gives them purpose when they apply essential academic skills.

A successful education requires a foundation Rooted in Values. With our school and family partnership, every student is poised and ready for future success. Because we won’t always be there to point them in the right direction, we prepare them with values that will resonate far into the future.


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Our community exhibits empathy, integrity, humility, and kindness. We are accountable for our actions and learn deeply from others. We uplift diverse voices and build experiences that honor identity. We listen for understanding to develop and nurture purposeful partnerships.


Our community believes wonder and joy result in thoughtful and enduring learning. True to the legacy of our founder, there is no limit to what we dream, do, try, and solve. Our learners exert voice and choice during the journey toward new competencies and skills. Our commitment to evolve and take ownership of our growth reflects our engagement with lifelong learning.


Our community appreciates the sacrifices of others for freedom and social justice. We aspire to positively impact our school, local community, and the world. We investigate root causes, analyze solutions, connect with people in need, and are empowered activists in the problem-solving process. Dawson changemakers value global perspectives and a “Love of the Land”. 


Our community believes learning should inspire creativity, collaboration, and innovation through experiences that embrace trial and error, failing forward, an iterative mindset, and reflection. Our founder believed in “Nothing Without Labor” and a transformative student experience that requires productive struggle.



four dawson middle school students smiling and laughing
two young students smiling and hugging in front of the playground


a teacher and three students with a science device
A teacher and her young student smiling


young student smiling with the playground in the background
two young students at an art table


students working together on a whiteboard
a teacher and two students at a work table

“Teachers in class influenced me, too, by embodying Dawson’s Core Values of Belonging, Engagement, Advocacy and Resilience. Their constant support has inspired me to achieve my goals and strive in class. They encouraged me to advocate for myself and others around me. I believe that the real influencers are our teachers. True influence goes beyond current trends and can last a lifetime. I've been to many schools across the nation and from day one, I knew Dawson wasn't just another new school. I knew it was the beginning of something amazing. Ian Kasten '24

Belonging Core Value
Engagement Core Value
Advocacy Core Value
Resilience Core Value