October 15–21 is Character Counts Week, teaching students the 6 Pillars of Character and what it means to be individuals of honorable character and helping them live lives that truly exude how one should act and treat people, displaying kindness and respect to oneself and others. Such values are integral in building strong communities and preparing our students to be positive role models.

6 Pillars of Character


Students who display trustworthiness are honest, show integrity, do what they say they’ll do, and stick to their values.

We strive to ensure that all our students understand what it means to be trustworthy individuals and model such characteristics in how they conduct themselves both inside and outside the classroom.


Respectful individuals treat others according to the Golden Rule, accept one another’s differences, and consider others’ feelings.

At all Downey Unified schools, we teach our students respect by modeling it among the faculty and staff—both in the way they treat one another as well as how they treat students. By setting the precedent, district employees are able to allow students to learn through observation of real-life situations and relationships.


A person with the characteristic of responsibility does what he or she is supposed to do, practices self-discipline, thinks before acting and is accountable for his or her words and actions.

Students in Downey Unified are held accountable for their actions and decisions, gaining a sense of responsibility in the process. It’s imperative for students to understand how the choices they make each day can impact them, whether with positive outcomes or negative consequences. In doing so, students are able to take more responsibility for the situations they face in their lives and become better equipped to become responsible citizens now and in the future, adults who are capable of making positive impacts on society.


Individuals who value fairness play according to the rules, take turns and share, are open-minded to the opinions of others, and don’t take advantage of others.

Students in Downey Unified are given the necessary resources and preparations to exhibit fairness in how they live, work, play, and treat others. Whether on the courts or fields, in the classroom, or other areas of society, they are taught to conduct themselves with integrity and honor, affording fair opportunities to all individuals.


Caring students show kindness and compassion to others, express gratitude, and forgive others.

One of the most important traits we hope to instill in our students is kindness effectively demonstrated through caring words and acts toward others. We consistently remind students how caring hearts can change people’s attitudes and often even their entire lives, and Downey Unified employees are intentional about modeling caring behavior for all our students in all they do.

Good Citizenship

Individuals who model good citizenship make concerted efforts to improve the community and environment, are kind and caring neighbors, and intentionally make choices to protect the rights and safety of others.

All 6 Pillars of Character help teach our students what it means to be kind and respectable individuals with genuine desires to help others and treat them as they wish to be treated. It is Downey Unified’s vision to have all students graduate with a 21st Century education that ensures they are college and career-ready, globally competitive, and citizens of strong character. By instilling such values in them early in life, we hope to ensure that by the time they move beyond our district, they are adequately prepared to live in a way that demonstrates that they are citizens of strong character in all aspects of their lives.