What is a School of Character?
A School of Character embraces an 11 Principled framework which guides a school to cultivate a culture of character in a school. Based on decades of research on effective schools, the 11 Principles serve as guideposts for schools to plan, implement, assess, and sustain their comprehensive character development initiative.
School leaders also use the 11 Principles as a school improvement process. The 11 Principles focus on all aspects of school life, including school culture and climate, social and emotional learning (SEL), student engagement and academic achievement, as well as multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS), positive behavior intervention and supports (PBIS), response to intervention (RTI), restorative practices, teacher morale, and parent engagement.
Benefits of a School of Character
More than 3 million educators, students, parents, and communities members across the world have been positively impacted by being involved with a School of Character. There are 3 significant benefits:
The core values guide behaviors in the school, home, and community:
Schools 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, and sportsmanship.
A set of shared core values guides every aspect of the school:
At the heart of each School of Character is a set of shared “core values” that express and articulate what the school stands for. For example, the school staff strives every day to emphasize that we are all one family working together to build character strengths of respect, kindness, acceptance, and service.
A palpable “ethic of caring” definesthe school culture:
Staff members use the word “family” to describe the culture of their school. Students perceive their teachers and staff as caring. Discipline refects the positive relationships between the adults and students involved. Among staff, what begins as respectful relationships become caring attachments between all members of the school community.