Schools of Character
Schools of Character
Last year we certified
84 schools and 7 school districts as
our 2020 National Schools of Character
We also certified one international school from the nation of Colombia. Each of these schools and districts
has put into place a comprehensive approach that inspires their students to understand, care about and consistently practice a set of core values that will enable them to flourish in school,
in relationships, in the workplace, and as citizens.
These schools underwent a rigorous evaluation process to achieve their certification, documenting how they have implemented the standards articulated in Character.org's 11 Principles Framework for Schools. Based on decades of research on effective schools, the 11 Principles Framework serves as a guide for schools to plan, implement, assess, and sustain their comprehensive character development initiative.
76 Schools and 1 District certified as
2021 State Schools of Character
All schools and districts who have been certified as a
2020 School of Character are recognized during
Character.org's National Forum in Washington, D.C.
Our school was passionate about developing the collective character of our school community but unsure how to tie it all together in a cohesive manner. Once we learned about the 11 Principles Framework our efforts took off!
- Joe Duda, Middle School Principal
Benefits of becoming a
School of Character
More than 3 million educators, students, parents and community members across the country and internationally have been positively impacted by being involved with a School of Character. Over the years, school and community stakeholders have shared with us 3 significant benefits:
A palpable "ethic of caring" defines the school cultureStaff members use the word "family" to describe the culture of their school. Students perceive their teachers and staff as caring. Discipline reflects the positive relationships between the adults and students involved. Among staff, what begins as respectful relationships become caring attachments
between all members of the
A set of shared core values guides every aspect of the schoolAt the heart of each National School of Character is a set of shared "core values" that express and articulate what the school stands for. For example, at Woodbridge Elementary, the school staff strives every day to model the "Be the WE" creed that includes the character strengths of respect, kindness, acceptance, and service. Woodbridge teachers, staff, and parents describe their creed as the "beating heart" of the school.
The core values guide behaviors in the school, home, and communitySchools of Character foster in their students a commitment to be honest and trustworthy, to volunteer their time and talents to the common good, and when necessary, to show the courage to stand up for what is right. Teachers use service-learning to help students address "real world" issues. Schools of Character also offer students opportunities to take on leadership responsibilities related
to restorative practice, bully
resistance, academic integrity,