What's Happening in Character?

Student Perspectives: Creating Community through Activities & Sisterhood

Posted by Character.org Staff on Tue, Mar 8, 2016 @ 04:03 AM

 

In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re featuring the voices of two young women, Jasmine and Ndasia, current students at Early/Middle College at Bennett, a 2015 National School of Character. Early/Middle College at Bennett is an all female high school located in Greensboro, North Carolina.

by Ndasia Gerald, a student in the Class of 2017 at Middle College at Bennett

At a school where sisterhood is a part of the foundation, it is important to serve as your sister’s keeper.  I especially enjoy having the opportunity to get involved in different things at school that give me a chance to get to know my fellow Bennett sisters on more personal levels.

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Topics: Caring Community, Schools of Character, Advisory

Spotlight on Pennsbury: Core Values Unite the District

Posted by Character.org Staff on Mon, Dec 14, 2015 @ 09:12 AM

Principle 1, ““The school community promotes core ethical and performance values as the foundation for good character,” becomes a little bit more challenging when you apply it to an entire district. How can an entire district create an intentional and unified effort to promote core values?

We turn to 2015 National District of Character, Pennsbury School District for the answer. Pennsbury unites all 15 of its schools with character education and each school manages to bring its own unique flare.

Here is an excerpt from “Roaring and Soaring Pennsbury Sounds Off for Character,” by Eileen Dachnowicz, an article in the 2015 National Schools of Character Magazine.

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Topics: core values, Schools of Character

Tips from the Faculty Lounge - Linking Smart & Good

Posted by Character.org Staff on Wed, Oct 21, 2015 @ 09:10 AM

In the 2015 Schools of Character magazine, we featured advice from six principals at National Schools of Character, but we received great insight from a number of other educators from these schools, as well. Here's what they had to say:

How does creating a caring school climate help students improve academically?

"When a school has a caring climate, the ability to reach more students in a positive, impactful way increasing exponentially.  Students become more engaged in an environment where they feel connected and cared for.  This goes for all of us.  When parents are part of a caring school climate they are more inclined to open up and build trusting relationships with those in the school community.  Teachers are integral piece to this puzzle as they are on the front lines with students and parents.  They are the ones who are building positive, lasting relationships with the families they serve.  Education is all about relationships and making connections to learning.  Having a warm, caring school climate allows students, parents and staff to feel more comfortable to take risks and engage in courageous conversations built on trust.” - Michael Anselmo, Principal, Selvidge Middle School

“When our freshmen receive those first quarter grades, many encounter earning their first non A/B grades. That fear of failure disappears when they quickly realize that our school provides a safe environment to face the frustrations of new expectations and challenging classes. They grow confident in their own skills because they know the school provides peer tutors, one-on-one time with teachers, and open doors with administrators. These lines of communication encourage students to find ways to succeed, which only makes that accomplishment more rewarding by creating relationships which will help them as they continue through their high school careers. While we celebrate our students achievements, it is the opportunity for intrinsic reward in a caring school climate sets it apart from others. “ -  Rachel Montgomery, Assistant Principal, Windsor High School

“The benefits of a caring school climate go beyond a social and emotional level. The academic successes take hold, BECAUSE of the social and emotional skills that are nurtured in a caring school climate. This year our kindergarten students were able to work cooperatively and creatively to complete a PBL (Project Based Learning) project about their community and display it at our annual School Fair.  All students felt the pride and success of their month long endeavor.  This was all possible as a result of cultivating our caring school community.” - Kim Ramer, Kindergarten Teacher, Bridgeport Elementary School

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Topics: Academics,, Schools of Character

The 2015 National Schools of Character Press Event

Posted by Rebecca Bauer on Fri, May 15, 2015 @ 09:05 AM

At Character.org we frequently reflect on our mission and our role in the greater landscape of education. In addition to working directly with schools, we strive to serve as “bridge builders” connecting teachers, students and administrators to researchers and policymakers. This aspect of our mission was abundantly clear as I looked around the room at our 2015 National Schools of Character Event the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Wednesday morning.

 

Our attendees were quite a varied group including elementary school students, high school students, parents, teachers, principals, superintendents, legislative assistants, a representative from the Department of Education and a congresswoman. What did all of these people have in common? They are committed to character.

They came to hear about the dedicated work of the 64 National Schools of Character and 3 National Districts of Character that earned recognition in 2015. Since we didn’t have time to talk about each and every school, President & CEO, Becky Sipos highlighted specific school’s practices that were representative of the whole group’s accomplishments. Throughout the year, we will continue to highlight these practices of our National Schools of Character, but until then these examples help to depict the trends that she noticed.

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Topics: Schools of Character, Community Involvement