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Two Kansas schools named 2018 National Schools of Character

Posted: May 18, 2018
Categories: KSDE
Author: Ann Bush

Two additional schools recognized for character development programs

TOPEKA — Two Kansas schools received designation as 2018 National Schools of Character on Friday, May 18, in Washington, D.C.

Character.org, a nonprofit organization that supports the advancement of character initiatives in schools and communities, on Friday morning announced that five districts and 73 schools are being recognized as 2018 National Schools and Districts of Character.

The two Kansas schools named National Schools of Character are:
•    Beloit Junior/Senior High School, Beloit Unified School District 273
•    Nemaha Central Elementary/Middle School, Nemaha Central USD 115

Since the inception of Character.org’s Schools of Character program in 1998, 547 schools and 35 districts have been designated National Schools or Districts of Character. These schools and districts have impacted more than 2 million students’ lives.

Friday’s announcement was made at the New Jersey Alliance for Social Emotional Character Development at Rider University in New Jersey.

Each year, Character.org, which was previously known as the Character Education Partnership, and state affiliates, including the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), select schools and districts that demonstrate a dedicated focus on character development programs and a positive impact on academic achievement, student behavior, school climate and their communities. These schools are designated State Schools of Character. Next, each State School of Character is considered for national recognition through the National Schools of Character program.

Beloit Junior/Senior High and Nemaha Central Elementary/Middle, along with 11 other schools and one district, were honored Thursday, May 3, at a special ceremony at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka. Beloit Junior/Senior High and Nemaha Central Elementary/Middle were announced as the 2018 Kansas Schools of Character during the event.

Character.org will honor the designated schools and districts at its 25th National Forum on Character Education from Oct. 4-7, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

Previous Kansas schools named National Schools of Character are (2014) Circle High School, Circle Public Schools Unified School District 375; (2015) Complete Maize High School, Maize USD 266; (2015) Pittsburg High School, Pittsburg USD 250; (2016) Kiowa County Elementary/Junior High School, Kiowa County Schools USD 422; (2016) Lincoln Elementary School, Clay County USD 379; (2016) Valley Center Intermediate School, Valley Center USD 262; and (2017) McClure Elementary School, Topeka USD 501.

Character.org also announced that Ravenwood Elementary School, Olathe USD 233, and Lakeside Elementary School, Pittsburg USD 250, have been named 2018 Promising Practices in Character Education schools. This program showcases innovative best practices that have an impact across the nation and abroad.

The 2018 Promising Practices in Character Education schools represent five different countries (the United States, Colombia, Taiwan, Mexico and the Philippines); 21 states and Washington, D.C.; 238 public, charter and private schools; eight school districts; and nine youth-serving organizations.

Ravenwood Elementary was honored for the Tiger Families program, which develops multi-age relationships by pairing a teacher and students to complete intentional learning activities each month.

Lakeside Elementary was honored for the BIST Buddies program, which focuses on small-group, cross grade level instruction to help increase the awareness and practice of good character.

For more information about social-emotional standards or Kansas Schools of Character, email Kent Reed at kreed@ksde.org or Noalee McDonald-Augustine at nmcdonald@smokyhill.org.

More information on Kansas’ Standards for Social, Emotional, and Character Development Standards, which the state adopted in 2012, can be found 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.

For more information about Kansas’ character development programs, visit the Kansas Schools of Character website at http://www.topekacharacter.org/schools-of-character.html.

For more information about Character.org or for a complete list of designated schools and districts, visit http://character.org/schools-of-character/national-schools-of-character-overview/.

For more information about the Kansas State Department of Education, visit www.ksde.org, follow us on Twitter @ksdehq or find us on Facebook.

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