The original Central Jr. High, located at the center of Belleville, Illinois, was built in 1920. In 2002, Belleville Public School District #118 opened a new state-of-the-art building to replace the old Central on the edge of the growing city. We currently have 54 staff members serving a diverse student population. Character Education had been integrated in the curriculum since we began teaching. Formally, the community of Belleville adopted Second Step 12 years ago and began teaching Life Skills of the Month 9 years ago. At that time Central Junior High began its journey into character education.
Teachers have been active in supporting character education. We trained the entire staff in how to utilize class meetings with workshops with Dr. Marvin Berkowitz in 2006 and Judy Owens in 2007. Since this time we began keeping data on discipline and academics. Our character initiatives have helped to decrease discipline referrals and increase academics. For the past 9 years the school improvement plan at Central has included a goal for character education. Teachers use character education within their classroom management plans and student involvement and autonomy continue to increase as our character plans evolve