Berlin Community School
Berlin, NJ
Berlin Borough School District

BCS believes that character education (CE) is the key to changing school culture. The mission of BCS, an active partnership between school and community, is to provide broad and balanced educational opportunities in a nurturing environment designed to challenge all students to strive for personal excellence and responsible citizenship in an evolving global society. In 2008 BCS was invited to participate in a 2 year project fostering change in school culture that supports learning. During the first year, the CE committee established and set goals it would accomplish. First, we had to establish the needs of our school, thus our first climate survey was distributed. The information prompted us to develop a new code of conduct reflecting the Six Pillars of CE. The goal was to have students take ownership for their behavior. Since then, BCS has bridged the gap between the elementary and middle school by extending the number of members on the SECD committee. The committee united staff and raised awareness of the needs of the school. In 2010 and 2011 BCS increased the responsibility and respect of students documented through the reduction of disciplinary referrals, the increase of community service, and the participation of the entire staff in the People’s Choice Awards and wearing their BELIEVE t-shirts to support character education. The community is actively involved showing their support by voting BCS “One of the Best of South Jersey” for the past three consecutive years.

Signature Practices

Lesson Plan: Introducing Academic Integrity
Students will be able to define academic integrity and develop a rationale for its importance.
Promising Practice: T.A.M.E.R.s (Teens Add More Enrichment Regularly)
Middle school students enrich their personal recess time by enjoying lunch with younger students. Following lunch, the older students interact and assist younger students during recess by organizing various activities designed and implemented by the teens themselves.


Although already a school of great character, the committee formed here has made the traits we want our students to embody more evident on a daily basis. Teachers conduct lessons related to our trait of the month and students write journal entries based on classroom discussions about good character. The positive actions of the students are contagious and have also led to the decrease in behavioral issues here at BCS. Our students are moving onto high school having been prepared to meet academic requirements, but also as students of high character that will be future role models.
- Mike Galeone, 5th Grade Teacher

The staff at our school, from custodians, lunch aides, cafeteria workers, secretaries, aides, and teachers to administration are very involved in the character education program. Staff have come up with creative ideas to link character education to classroom activities and studies. New ideas are presented to the committee regularly, the most recent being volunteer recognition. These fresh ideas help boost morale and self-esteem plus continue to reinforce good character.
- Donna Madara, Middle School Secretary

Ever since day one of Kindergarten, I knew that Berlin Community School was something special. Now that I am in eighth grade I really see the greatness of my school. Along with getting an exceptional education, my teachers have taught me how to be a better person. Just like math and science, showing respect is a normal thing to learn in our curriculum. BCS has enabled me to achieve my goals to this point, and prepared me for future success!
- Andrew, Grade 8

Our family does not think of the employees at BCS as staff, we think of them as family. We have always been treated with respect and the teachers have gone above and beyond to put our sons on the path to success. Our sons have flourished over the past four years and the progress they have made is immeasurable. We know our sons are safe and loved while at BCS.
- Pam Hess

Berlin Community School has provided its students with all the necessary tools to reach their goals within a safe and nurturing learning environment. One of the main contributing factors is the ongoing positive relationship between the students and their teachers. Students are pushed to reach their individual academic levels of success in a constructive way that makes them want to succeed not only in school but in their personal lives as well.
- Eric Wolf, Berlin Community Patrolman

Contact Information

Tony Trongone
215 South Franklin Avenue
Berlin, NJ 08009
Phone: 856-767-0129