Lake Bluff School (LB) is a neighborhood school within the diverse community of Shorewood, Wisconsin. The schools in Shorewood are the hub of the community and LB is considered a jewel in that hub, in no small part due to our efforts with Character Education (CE). During the ’06 school year the LB staff unanimously decided to implement an intentional program of CE in response to a parent survey that showed several areas of concern with regard to student behavior. Our staff and parents decided to focus on core values. A local CE conference provided an important catalyst to our efforts and from that, specific training within our school followed from Dr. Marvin Berkowitz and Dr. Hal Urban.
Our work with character has transformed our school culture and climate. Our staff recognizes that CE starts with ourselves; we know that students will take their cues from how we treat children and each other. The day starts with children being greeted at the door by their teacher followed by morning meetings. Monthly character assemblies written and performed by students highlight our character traits. Service projects and a strong “buddies” program also serve as a foundation of our efforts. Especially affirming is our school’s complete embrace of CE. One hundred percent of our staff is on board, and our parents participate and cite CE as a pivotal strength of our school.