The 2013 State and National Schools of Character Online Application is Now Open

By Lara Maupin, NSOC Coordinator

CEP’s Schools of Character program is a free school improvement process offers the opportunity for self-assessment, expert feedback, and possible recognition to schools and districts engaged in character education. Applicants repeatedly tell us about the benefits of the process. “I would suggest going through the process. The feedback, win or lose, is an invaluable tool in assessing and improving your character education program,” said Aaron Wilken, Principal of Fox Middle School, a 2011 NSOC.   Any U.S. school serving students in Kindergarten through 12th grade may apply, regardless of whether or not you are located in a participating state. If you do not have a State Sponsor, your application will be reviewed by CEP. Applicants located in participating states are eligible for both state and national recognition.

While considered a prestigious awards program, CEP’s Schools of Character program is not actually competitive. All applications are judged against a standard – CEP’s 11 Principles – and all those that demonstrate excellence are named State and/or National Schools of Character. Applications must be completed and be submitted online at by December 3, 2012 in order to be reviewed and considered for possible recognition in 2013.   CEP and our State Sponsors provide a wide variety of resources for applicants.


Federal Focus on School Climate Reform

As the leading national organization for character education and the only one located in our nation’s capital, CEP wants to be your voice capital when it comes to governmental initiatives that affect our field. To that end, we’ve joined the Conditions for Learning Coalition, headed by Jon Terry at Capitol Youth Strategies. Here’s the latest from Washington:
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Allen Creek Elementary School Knitting

Members of the Knit Wits spend recess time working with senior citizens to learn to knit. Hand-knit items are donated to student-researched needs in the community. Knit Wits has been meeting for 8 years and has donated items to The Center for Youth, Lollypop Farm animal shelter, American troops and Veterans through Blue Star Mothers of New York, and a local shelter for homeless families. – Allen Creek Elementary School


Leading with Integrity

The cheating scandals reported in the news this summer highlight the need for our country to educate an ethical citizenry.  Public education was founded with this purpose in mind.  The goal then and now is to resist the practices of corruption, which can lead to anarchy and the call to re-establish a monarchy.  When our teachers and administrators are cheating to improve standardized test scores, we undermine our moral authority to lead with integrity.

Read the full article by David Wangaard.


Kansas PCEP High Schools win Governor’s Award

Five high schools in Kansas that are participating in the Partnership in Character Education Program grant sponsored by United States Department of Education and the Kansas Department of Education have been recognized by the governor of the state as part of the fifth annual Governor’s Achievement awards honoring top performing schools in the state. Read more

Clifton-Clyde Senior High School, Lakin High School, Northern Heights High School, Silver Lake Junior/Senior High School, and Weskan High School are among 18 high schools to receive this prestigious award. Each of these five schools sent teams to an 11 Principles of Effective Character Education Foundational training and did ongoing work on the development of positive culture and climate with strategies and tools learned.  To receive this prestigious award, schools must have achieved the Standard of Excellence in both reading and mathematics for 2011.  Additionally, the school must have made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in both reading and mathematics and one additional measure in 2011. The additional AYP measure for high schools is their graduation rate.  Further, the schools must have been among the top 5 percent of schools in both reading and mathematics on the 2011 state assessments.  “The Governor’s Achievement Award is a significant recognition for Kansas schools,” said Kansas Education Commissioner Dr. Diane DeBacker. “The accomplishment recognizes a school’s high expectations and the ability of the school staff to assist students in achieving to those expectations.”