Developing Virtue Secondary School

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Developing Virtue Secondary School
Talmage, California
Type Private Secondary
Established 1981
Principal Douglas Powers (Boys) / Dharma Master Jin Jr (Girls)
Grades 7-12
Enrollment 100+
Campus Rural
Color(s) Blue and Gold
Mascot Dragon
Affiliation Buddhist
Classrooms of Developing Virtue Boys' School
Classrooms of Developing Virtue Girls' School

Developing Virtue Secondary School (DVS, Chinese: 培德中學; pinyin: Peide Zhongxue) is a private Buddhist school located in the town of Talmage, California, and the first Buddhist high school founded in the United States.

The school is part of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, one of the biggest Buddhist monasteries in the Western Hemisphere, and is operated under the auspices of the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association.


Although DVS is located in the United States, the students are predominantly Asian, many being from Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore, and from European countries such as Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Most of these students live in the school's dormitories within the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.

The school has gained much attention from the local communities of Ukiah and Talmage, where students have staged performances, marches, and participated in city contests and sports. DVS is often referred to by local community as the "Buddhist school". DVS also celebrates the annual celebration of Honoring Elders Day and Cherishing Youth Day, when local elders and youth come to the schools to participate in performances and a celebration of life and youth.


The entire school is located within the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.

The classrooms for the Girls' division occupy two two-story Tudor-style brick buildings on the southwestern side of CTTB's campus, and the Boys' division's classrooms are located up on the northeastern side in one large building. Both divisions have separate dorm buildings adjacent to the classrooms for boarding students, and basketball courts and soccer fields.

The two schools share an art studio, an assembly hall (Confucious Hall), science classrooms/labs, and a cafeteria.


DVS students have a curriculum very similar to that in public schools (and approved by the University of California), but several classes unique to DVS are taken by students, including:


Other than regular standardized testing for college admissions, students are encouraged to take the Advanced Placement tests offered annually in a variety of subjects offered. While some AP classes are officially taught and offered throughout the year, students are also encouraged to conduct independent study in the AP class of their choice should it not be offered during the current academic year.


The school is divided into two divisions - Boys and Girls. There traditionally has been a healthy rivalry between the two divisions, and students of either division are not frequently in contact with students of the other division.

When the school was founded, the girls and boys were not separated, and until recent years, the elementary boys(Grades K-4) enrolled as students at the girls elementary building. The two schools are now fully "gender-separated".

This gender separation is extremely strict. It is, in fact, the core rule of both schools: not to communicate in any way to the opposite school. Just like any other rule, however, it is constantly broken. The punishments when caught include suspension, community service, and even expulsion.


Developing Virtue Boys School, commonly abbreviated as 'DVBS'. In the 2009 - 2010 academic year, there were about fifty students at DVBS.

A Dragon Dance performance on Honoring Elders Day


There are many clubs within DVBS, including:

Student Government[edit]

The Associated Students' Council is the student government body of DVBS, with elections held every June. The ASC meets at least once a week after school, and deliberates and debates about concerns, and issues that students have.


The mascot for DVBS teams are the Dragons.

The Boys Division regularly fields a basketball team to compete in the Ukiah City League, with varying amounts of success. In 2010, the team had an 8-1 winning record and made it to the finals. The team also travels to San Jose to compete in the Association of Northern California Chinese Schools tournament and they won 1st place in that competition in 2010.

There are also six intramural teams in DVBS, each named by a certain color. Originally only the Red, Blue, and Green teams existed, but with the recent upsurge in attending students, the Orange, Purple, and [Yellow teams were formed as well. The teams compete for school championships in basketball, soccer, modified football, and volleyball.


Developing Virtue Girls School is commonly abbreviated as 'DVGS'. In the 2009 - 2010 academic year, there were aaround sixty students attending DVGS. The Junior High (Grades 7-8, also called Middle School) classrooms are located in the elementary building of the school.

Student Government[edit]

The student governing body in DVGS the Association of Student Body (ASB). Elections are held at the end of every year for its Executive Board, candidates are expected to give a short speech on the day of election. ASB serves as a facilitator between students and faculty by addressing the student body needs to the faculty and vice versa. Throughout the years, ASB has created several events that have now become tradition.


The many clubs at DVGS include:

  • College Resource Center (CRC)
  • Community Service Club (CSC)
  • Chinese Orchestra
  • Chinese Dance Club
  • Sitra (DVGS' bimonthly school newsletter)
  • Model United Nations (MUN), competes annually at the UC Davis/Berkeley Model United Nations conference.
  • Holiday Committee
  • Yearbook


The mascot for DVGS teams is also the Dragon, asked used to be the Phoenix.

DVGS also has basketball teams that compete in the City League annually in the High School and Junior High levels. Other sports include their recently added track teams, in which both High School and Junior High levels compete with other schools.


  • Yearbook Club
  • 2009 Prototype
  • 2010 Experience


DVS has a number of unique customs and traditions that are not found in other private schools. They include:

  • Uniforms: Boys and girls have to wear school uniforms to school. The boys' uniform comprises white dress shirts and navy blue trousers and neckties. The girls wear white blouses and green plaid skirts or blue trousers. The girls also wear uniformed blazers, winter coats, red zipper neckties, and sweater vest which are optional. Occasionally, the girls' school will be allowed to wear 'casual' clothes to school, but no similar program exists at the boys' school.
  • Volunteer Teachers: Many of the teachers teaching at DVS are volunteers from the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas and Ukiah. A few teachers are also Buddhist bhikshus and bhikshunis and members of the sangha.
  • Senior speeches: Dues to the relatively small size of each graduating class, each graduating senior traditionally writes a short speech at his or her graduation. Due to the presence of international guests at commencement ceremonies, Seniors are typically obligated to translate their speech into Chinese.


The predecessor to DVS, Instilling Goodness Elementary School, was first founded at the suggestion of San Francisco City Supervisor Carol Ruth Silver in 1976 by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua. Starting out with just eight students, the school soon outgrew its quarters and was moved to Talmage's City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in 1978. Developing Virtue Secondary was officially founded in 1981, and divided into separate Boys and Girls divisions in 1981.

Prior to the founding of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas and Developing Virtue Secondary Schools, the land was used for the Mendocino Mental Hospital. This particular history prompted the circulation of numerous ghost stories.

The first graduating class of DVS graduated in 1983 with only two students. Over the years, the school slowly grew until by 1996, graduating classes were regularly 10 students or more. The graduating Class of 2004 had 12 graduates, 6 from DVGS and 6 from DVBS.

In 2003, DVS became a candidate for accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and began a massive remodeling of the campus.

In August 2007, Developing Virtue Secondary School was accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The school holds membership in the Association of Northern California Chinese Schools.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°7′56″N 123°9′39″W / 39.13222°N 123.16083°W / 39.13222; -123.16083