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Schools of Character

Character.org has been certifying Schools of Character for 20+ years based on their implementation of The 11 Principles of Character. In that time, we have certified more than 500 National Schools of Character, State Schools of Character, Districts of Character and Mexico Schools of Character. More than 3 million educators, students, parents and other community members have improved their lives and the lives of those around them by fostering character development through Character.org’s Schools of Character and resources.

Get to know the Schools of Character team and directly email your State Coordinator by visiting our Schools of Character Team page.

National Schools of Character
Children Running and Holding Hands, Character.org
Teacher Instructing, Character.org
Children Hugging, Character.org

Previous Recipients

We’ve validated and certified hundreds of State and National Schools of Characters over the years. Take a look at some of our most recent recipients below!

Why Apply?

In Schools of Character, adults embrace their critical role as models. Teachers work together as professionals — and with parents and community members as partners — to positively shape the social, emotional, and character development of the young people entrusted to them each day. Students in these schools feel safe, respected, and connected to those around them, allowing them to thrive academically and socially and be motivated to give back to their communities.

Bullying Declines

85% of students attending 2014 National Schools of Character reported in climate surveys that they felt safe at school or that bullying was rare (with 33 of 44 schools reporting).

Better Behavior

89% of the 2014 National Schools of Character that reported suspensions either experienced declines or had rates that were extremely low.

Raising Grades

87.7% of the 2014 National Schools of Character reporting experienced an increase in state reading and math scores – or have passing rates above 85%.

Satisfied Teachers

2010 School of Character Renfro Elementary School reported that 89% of staff feel intrinsically rewarded for doing their job well and 93% feel they belong.

Proud Parents

Previous School of Character Oakhurst Elementary School reported that volunteers logged a total of 5,400 volunteer hours during the 2009-10 school year, exceeding the district average.

Caring Students

Nearly 100% of the students attending 2011 National Schools of Character participated in service learning projects.

I would suggest going through the process. The feedback, win or lose, is an invaluable tool in assessing and improving your character education program.

Aaron Wilken, Fox Middle School

Application

Before getting started on your application, take a look at the 2020 Schools of Character Guide for the timeline, resources, and other information to guide you on the Schools of Character application process.

Ready to get started on your application? Click the button below to begin your Schools of Character journey!

Resources

We believe every school can be a School of Character and we want your school to succeed as well! Please use the following resources to help you on your journey to becoming a School of Character.

  • Mock Audit — Know where you stand before apply for School of Character status by completing the mock audit. Receive feedback and a fully detailed performance by our evaluation team. Learn More >>

  • The Character Exchange — Learn exactly what we are looking for in a School of Character and increase your chances of success by taking our comprehensive course. Learn More >>

  • What’s Happening in Character? — Our blog features the insights of some of the leading experts in character development, including the masterminds behind the 11 Principles of Character. Learn More >>

FAQs

The application will open Summer 2019. Please make sure to check our website for an official date and other deadlines as they are released.

You can find the application here.

A mock audit is available for $250 year round. To complete the mock audit, fill out the application.

There will be an area at the end of the application where you can enter credit card information. You can also pay with a check. If your business office prefers submitting payment via Purchase Order, forward all PO documentation to colton@character.org. Make sure there is a description listing what the PO is intending to purchase, what school or department this PO should be associated with (especially if your school is part of a large district with multiple schools) and to whom the corresponding invoice should be forwarded. There will be a $25 handling fee for purchase orders.

We don’t consider the School of Character designation to be an award rather a pathway to school improvement and a culture of character!

Try another browser if you encounter problems. Google Chrome has worked well for most when completing the application.

State School of Characters will be announced in February and National Schools of Character will be announced in May.

Everyone is different, but this is a very rigorous application process that involves getting input from several different stakeholders, and retrieving detailed demographic information. It’s a real team effort that could take well over a month. We strongly advise you review the application which is available year-round here.

Both State and National Schools of Character hold their designations for 5 years.

Contact Us

Do you have a question about the Schools of Character application process? Please fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

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