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Complete High School Maize named 2020 National School of Character

Posted: May 15, 2020
Categories: KSDE
Author: Ann Bush

Complete High School Maize, Maize Unified School District 266, has been designated a 2020 National School of Character, Character.org announced Friday, May 15, in Washington, D.C.

Character.org, a nonprofit organization that advocates for the advancement of character development in communities, schools and workplaces, designated 84 schools and seven districts in 15 states as this year’s National Schools of Character.

Complete High School becomes part of a network of Schools of Character that serve as models and mentors to other educators. Each school holds the designation for five years.

Complete High School Maize continues to focus on 10 character traits – friendship, compassion, respect, responsibility, generosity, self-discipline, integrity, cooperation, optimism and grit. These traits were selected in 2009 by district stakeholders and are revisited at least twice a year to ensure they remain relevant and updated.

The district also supports “The Maize Way,” the district’s guidelines for implementing character education and emphasis on the use of common language among staff members, students and parents.

Complete High School Maize promotes a student-centered and service-oriented curriculum. At the center is a class, called “One Minute Lessons,” where each day for one hour all students and assigned staff members meet to learn about, discuss and model the character trait assigned for the month. Staff members developed their own standards-based character education curriculum and have shared it with other schools for free.

Students participate in several service projects, including visiting assisted living centers; helping in the district food bank; participating in the Adopt-a-Highway program; and helping the Salvation Army. More than half of the high school students were requested by elementary teachers as tutors. Once a month, all students participate in two hours of community service as a school. Students learn they don’t just “have” good character, they have to “practice” good character.

Each year, Character.org certifies schools and districts at the state and national level that demonstrate a dedicated focus on character development that has a positive effect on academic achievement, student behavior and school climate.

Previous Kansas schools named National Schools of Character:

  • Circle High School, Circle Public Schools Unified School District 375 (2014).
  • Complete Maize High School, Maize USD 266 (2015).
  • Pittsburg High School, Pittsburg USD 250 (2015).
  • Valley Center Intermediate School, Valley Center USD 262 (2016).
  • Lincoln Elementary School, Clay County USD 379 (2016).
  • Kiowa County Elementary and Junior High School, Kiowa County USD 422 (2016).
  • McClure Elementary School, Topeka USD 501 (2017).
  • Beloit Junior-Senior High School, Beloit USD 273 (2018).
  • Nemaha Central Elementary and Middle School, Nemaha Central USD 115 (2018).
  • Anthony Elementary School and David Brewer Elementary School, both in Leavenworth USD 453 (2019).

Character.org will honor the 2020 National Schools of Character during its next National Forum.

For a complete list of the 2020 National Schools of Character and to learn more about the schools and school districts being certified, visit https://www.character.org/.

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