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Schools Of Character

What Is A School Of Character?

Schools Of Character is Character.org’s prestigious annual recognition program that honors schools for implementing best practices to support character formation in their learning community.

Schools must meet criteria based on our 11 Principles, an evidence-informed framework based on decades of research and proven results. This valuable guide has helped thousands of schools around the world identify strengths and opportunities for improving policies and practices to advance character and learning. Our certification process provides an integrated approach to plan, implement, assess, and sustain a school’s commitment to character development through the entire transformation process. But, each school chooses their own values, curriculum, and initiatives to meet the criteria.

Character Transforms Communities

Why Apply to be a School of Character?

Schools function best when students and educators treat each other with kindness, respect, integrity, and embrace other character strengths when learning together. Earning a School of Character recognition indicates that your a character leader and have made the commitment to create a school culture that promotes and prioritizes good character. Importantly, you are raising good citizens, good neighbors, and leaders of integrity that will positively effect your community for generations to come.

Schools have access to a multitude of valuable benefits, including:

    • Personal Guidance from our trainers, evaluators, and teacher volunteers who help you customize your character journey to transform your school based on their own experience and real-world success.
    • Inclusion in our annual list of Schools of Character, seen by millions through local and national media.
    • Recognition at our International Forum and on our website and social media.
    • A digital promotion package including web graphics, social media messages, newsletter blurbs, and email templates to help schools share the news.
    • An on-site promotion package including banners, flags, guidebooks, t-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, and more.

More Benefits of Becoming a School of Character

More than 3 million educators, students, parents and community members across the country and internationally have been positively impacted by being involved with a School of Character. Over the years, school and community stakeholders have shared with us three significant benefits:

A palpable “ethic of caring” defines the school culture

Staff members use the word “family” to describe the culture of their school. Students perceive their teachers and staff as caring. Discipline reflects the positive attachments between all members of the school community.

Shared core values guides every aspect of the school

At the heart of each National School of Character is a set of shared “core values” that express and articulate what the school stands for. All teachers, staff, students and parents describe the school’s core values as the “beating heart” that guides every aspect of school life.

The core values guide behaviors in the school, home, and community

Schools of Character foster in their students a commitment to be honest and trustworthy, to volunteer their time and talents to the common good, and when necessary, to show the courage to stand up for what is right.

National School Of Character Trends

Character Gives SEL It’s Why

An evidence-based social-emotional learning curriculum positively motivates students to regulate their emotions and learn from their mistakes. But SEL alone can miss the mark in developing good citizens, neighbors, and future leaders. When it comes to responsible and ethical decision-making, Character Education provides direction, helps a student find their identity and purpose, and defines what it means to be a good person. Character gives SEL it’s why!


<< Watch Character.org President, Dr. Arthur Schwartz, explain how schools can help their students practice the character strengths and SEL skills needed to flourish in school, in the workplace, and as citizens.

Current Schools Of Character

Person Early College

Person Early College for Innovation and Leadership in Roxboro, NC is a unique school that focuses on both character education and college preparation. Through a combination of small class sizes, hands-on learning, and a strong focus on character development, students at the school are equipped with the skills and knowledge to be successful in college and life. The school has a strong emphasis on developing leadership, communication, and collaboration skills, as well as fostering an appreciation of various cultures and perspectives.

Red Bank Charter Academy

Red Bank Charter Academy in Red Bank, NJ is a National School of Character! The school is dedicated to cultivating a culture of respect, responsibility, citizenship, and empathy in their students. They strive to create a safe, nurturing, and inspiring learning environment for all students.

A Russell Knight Elementary

A. Russell Knight Elementary in Cherry Hill, NJ is proud to be recognized as a National School of Character. The school’s commitment to building character, teaching respect, and promoting strong ethical values has been key to its success.


The National School of Character program changed the entire school. We improved attendance, grades, parent participation, and created a culture where everyone is happy to be here. We are a true community that cares about each other and it benefits the teachers, students, and parents.

Jane Doe

Teacher - 4th Grade, Sunnyside Elementary School, Plainview TX

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