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Stockton Grade School named 2021 State School of Character

Posted: May 11, 2021
Categories: KSDE
Author: Ann Bush

Kansas Schools of Character Recognition Program honors additional schools, district

Stockton Grade School, Stockton Unified School District 271, was recognized as a 2021 Kansas School of Character on Tuesday, May 11.

Recognition is given through the Kansas Schools of Character Recognition Program and sponsoring organizations - Character.org, the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) and the Smoky Hill Education Service Center.

“We are so pleased to announce Stockton Grade School as a 2021 State School of Character,” said Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson. “The past two school years have been filled with many challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Stockton’s students, educators and parents worked hard and consistently practiced character development. Kansas is proud to recognize their hard work and unwavering dedication.”

Stockton Grade School is one of 76 schools and one school district across the country to be certified by Character.org as 2021 State Schools of Character. 

The State Schools of Character award program recognizes schools and districts that have worked to enhance social, emotional and character development. Character.org certifies schools and districts at the state level that demonstrate a dedicated focus on character development, which has been shown to have a positive effect on academic achievement, student behavior and school climate, according to character.org. Character.org was founded in 1993 and is a national nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Since its inception, Character.org’s Schools of Character program has impacted nearly 3 million students, staff members, parents and other community members.

Criteria for selection are based on Character.org’s 11 Principles of Character, which include providing students with opportunities for moral action, fostering shared leadership and engaging families and communities as partners in the character-building effort.  

More information on Kansas’ Social, Emotional and Character Development Standards, which the state adopted in 2012, is available at http://www.ksde.org/Agency/Division-of-Learning-Services/Career-Standards-and-Assessment-Services/Content-Area-M-Z/School-Counseling/Social-Emotional-and-Character-Development. The 11 Principles of Effective Character Education by Character.org are available at www.character.org.

One Kansas school and one Kansas school district received Shifting School Culture Recognition through the Kansas Schools of Character Recognition Program. This recognizes schools and districts that have developed and implemented a social-emotional character-development (SECD) initiative or program for at least one year and are transforming the school/district culture, as well as growing students’ SECD skills. 

The school and district receiving Shifting School Culture Recognition are:
•    Barber County North USD 254.
•    Bickerdyke Elementary School, Russell USD 407.

Eight schools and one district received Enhanced Spotlight Recognition through the Kansas Schools of Character Recognition Program. This recognizes schools and districts that are implementing new initiatives or are enhancing existing initiatives that will strengthen the SECD skills in their students and school climate. 

The schools and district receiving Enhanced Spotlight Recognition are:
•    Barber County North USD 254.
•    Bickerdyke Elementary School, Russell USD 407.
•    Hesston Middle School, Hesston USD 460.
•    Lakeside Elementary School, Waconda USD 272.
•    Kennedy Primary, McKinley Intermediate School and Eisenhower Elementary School, Abilene USD 435.
•    Meade Elementary/Junior High School, Meade USD 226.
•    Spring Valley Elementary School, Geary County USD 475.

To watch a virtual recognition ceremony, visit //go.smokyhill.org/soc2021-recognition.

For more information about State Schools of Character or National Schools of Character, visit character.org. For more information about KSDE, visit www.ksde.org. For more information about Smoky Hill Education Service Center, visit www.smokyhill.org.

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