Application info

Schools of Character

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Doing good work but not quite ready to submit an application?

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Already a School of Character?
Here’s what you need to know if you are applying for recertification.


2021 Application

We recommend you download the PDF so you can familiarize yourself with the application. We strongly encourage you to work on your application as a word document. Keep copies of your narratives, artifacts, and data prior to filling out your application online. Please note: If you do not submit an application, your information will not be saved in our system.

The 2021 Application will be open this summer.


Guidebook to the 11 Principles Framework for Schools

The framework provides guidance to build, reflect on, strengthen, and sustain your character development work. The guidebook is essential if you plan to implement the 11 Principles in your school and submit a School of Character application.

Purchase Guidebook

Self-Assessment Tool and Scoring Guide

Some key indicators for each of the 11 Principles school’s can use to assess their character initiative. The summary is not a complete list of all the activities, strategies and instructional practices schools may use as evidence of implementation of the 11 Principles.

Download Self-Assessment Tool and Scoring Guide


Information for writing your application
  • A narrative of your character journey, and, if reapplying or recertifying, how you’ve addressed areas of improvement and outreach, and how you’ve grown your initiative.
  • A narrative of your school’s implementation of each of the 11 Principles. Make sure to use multiple examples in your narratives and artifacts. Please include as much evidence as possible, and talk about specific practices only once in the application.
  • Visual evidence (artifacts) that support and show your implementation of each Principle.
  • Academic, behavioral, and climate data.
  • Testimonials of stakeholders (teachers, support staff, students, parents, community members)

Before you start filling out the application
Prior to starting your application, you’ll want to assemble a team whose focus is to collect and reflect upon the data. This will give you a snapshot of where you are on your character journey and where you want to go. While it’s good to have several people gather the information, we recommend that one person write the narrative sections. Writing in one voice helps evaluators understand your school’s character journey.

Plan out your artifacts.
We will ask you to provide evidence of your implementation of the 11 Principles through artifacts that must be uploaded into your application as PDF or Microsoft Word documents. If you wish to provide links to web pages or videos, those links must be inserted into PDF or Microsoft Word prior to uploading.

Conduct your self-assessments early. Self-assessments are sent and managed through the online application web host. Make sure you leave enough time for stakeholders to complete the assessment, so you can submit your application on time.

Remember that spaces and punctuation count. There are limits on the maximum number of characters you can use in each section. Spaces and punctuation count as characters in our system. You do not have to use all of the characters to provide the information necessary. You can maximize the use of characters by only listing a practice once in your application.
Fill out all required fields. Our system will not accept an application if a required field is left empty. Use “n/a” if you don’t have information.

Compile data. Please provide at least 3-5 years of data for test scores, referrals, suspensions, and school climate survey data. Schools applying for recertification should provide 5 years of data.

Submitting your application

As you fill out the application online, your progress will be saved automatically. The web host will send you an email with a link to your application each time you end a writing session. The link will allow you to access your application. To upload files, either drag and drop, or click “upload” and find the file you want to use. Your application is not final until you hit the “submit” button. Once you have submitted your application, you will no longer be able to edit it.

Before you hit the submit button:

- Make sure you have saved copies of all your documents.
- Review your application to make sure all required fields are filled out. Use “n/a” if you don’t have information.
- Make sure you have payment ready. Applications cannot be processed without payment. The fee for schools is $250. Fees for districts vary (see below). We accept credit card or purchase order. There is a $25 fee for processing purchase orders.

If you are submitting an application as a Mock Audit
Mock Audits will be reviewed on a rolling basis and applicants should expect feedback within 6-8 weeks. Applications submitted as Mock Audits will not receive any designation or certification. The purpose of the Mock Audit is to provide schools with more detailed feedback on their implementation of the 11 Principles and guidance on how to strengthen their character development work.

Fees & Deadline

Application Fees

The 2021 Application will be open this summer.

All applications must be submitted by 11:59pm (EST)
Friday November 20, 2020