National Schools of Character Site Visit Day
Wednesday, March 1st, 2017
CharacterPlus invites you and your colleagues to engage in a FREE day of Professional Development immersed in one of the most impactful days of experiential learning ever! Bring a team with you as you visit 2 different National Schools of Character. Within these walls you will see some of the Best Practices in action. You will have a chance to interact with students and staff and ask them first hand questions about their journeys to become a National School of Character. You will come away from this experience with multiple ideas for immediate implementation into your school or classroom.
If your school is considering becoming a National School of Character or if you are just beginning or in the middle of your transformational journey, we encourage you to attend this impactful day of learning.
A CharacterPlus staff member will be at each school to greet you as your arrive for the tour.
Participants will provide their own transportation and lunch will be on your own in between the visits.
Morning Site Visits Afternoon Site Visits
Lincoln Elementary (9:00am – 11:00am) Barretts Elementary (12:30pm – 2:30pm)
Sappington Elementary (9:00am – 11:00am) Bayless Elementary (12:30pm - 2:30pm)
Woerner Elementary (9:00am – 11:00am) Busch Middle (12:00pm – 2:00pm) Valley Park Middle (8:00am – 10:00am) Craig Elementary (12:30pm – 2:30pm)
Woerther Elementary (9:00am – 11:00am) Geggie Elementary (12:30pm – 2:30pm)
Uthoff Valley Elementary (9:00am – 11:00am) Nottingham CAJT High School (12:00pm – 2:00pm)
You will choose an a.m. school and a p.m. school to visit. Each school limited to no more than 20 participants. Signups will be based on first -come, first- served basis. Once a school enrollment is “closed”, you will be prompted to select a different school in that time slot.
Choose ONE Morning Session:
LINCOLN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – TROY SCHOOL DISTRICT1484 Boone St, Troy, MO 633792011 and 2016 NSOC
Rural K-5 417 Students 10.5 % SPED 7.2 % Minority 39% F&R 6.5 % Mobility .24 % ESL
At Lincoln Elementary (LE), we are excited to reapply for our State School of Character recognition. We are proud to say that we were recognized as a National School of Character in 2011. We realize that our journey is not over and are using this reapplication process as an opportunity to not only reflect on our current procedures and Character Education initiatives, but also as an opportunity to continue growth and broaden our impact on our students and community. Character Education is our foundation. As we think about our ten year journey, we cannot help but be proud of our accomplishments. We “do” Character Education not for recognition, but because we know it is what is best for our Leopards. That mindset is a common theme throughout our building. We have had several of our teachers complete Character Education Certification and six members of our leadership team have either graduated from or are in the process of starting their LACE (Leadership Academy for Character Education) journey led by Dr. Marvin Berkowitz. LACE has guided our building leaders through the process of building a complete, site-specific character education implementation plan. Finally, we have additional faculty members who have taken advantage of professional development opportunities to enhance our Character Education program. Our 2011 recognition did not lead to complacency. We have continued to build upon our solid core values and strive to cultivate the best environment for our kids.
SAPPINGTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – LINDBERGH SCHOOLS11011 Gravois Rd. Sappington, Mo. 631262008 and 2016 NSOC
Suburban K-5 740 Students 14% SPED 14% Minority 38% F&R 3% Mobility 10% ESL
Sappington Elementary School’s (SES’s) formal roots in Character Education (CE) initially began in the late 80’s. Our strong commitment to foster moral & performance excellence in our students led to our recognition as a 2008 NSOC. Our desire to sustain a NSOC has not wavered, yet our challenge has been to maintain the beliefs & expectations that earned our NSOC recognition. A lot can happen in 7 years as SES has become a different school with a 63% change of staff due to redistricting, retirements, & the University of MO Fellowship Program coupled with our unprecedented increase in enrollment from 430 students to 740 students. Our entire SES Community has remained committed to our CE program & creating a caring climate that is safe for learning. Our staff's genuine concern & love for children with their integrity to do what’s right for students, permeates all we do and provides a firm foundation for learning. Our formal program has evolved through the years with various iterations due to enhancing efforts with continued training & implementation of CE strategies such as Characterplus Way and Leader in Me, yet our one constant theme remains that at SES CE is not an added responsibility, but rather embedded in all that we do. Although principal, Dr. Hamby, & current leadership team organize & spearhead our efforts, character development of our students is placed at the forefront of all priorities & is equal, not second to academics by all staff, parents & community.
UTHOFF VALLEY ELEMENTARY – ROCKWOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT1600 Uthoff Dr. Fenton, Mo. 630262011 and 2016 NSOC
Suburban K-5 490 Students 17% SPED 12% Minority 15.5% F&R 2.6% Mobility 2.2% ESL
When students and parents arrive, they are warmly greeted by administrators and staff members opening car doors and greeting them as they exit the bus. The bold letters prominently and proudly displayed on the building show that Uthoff Valley is a National School of Character and that our Viking Virtues are paramount, driving all decisions. Within the past five years, UV has been awarded four additional Promising Practices, implemented student initiated service learning and student leaders, and shown significant growth academically all while welcoming two new building administrators, as well as district leaders. “I was blown away by the embedded character and strong partnership of the UV family. My personal challenge was learning about all the initiatives, programs and activities which are a part of the established culture,” Mrs. Thorne, UV Principal .and Students show respect to others, their buddies, staff members and the campus while taking ownership of their learning. Students have seen what a difference they can make in their school, community and world by their focused commitment and actions. It is not unusual for students to lead initiatives, collect items and donate to local charities because of the spark which was ignited through service learning. UV is a highly desirable school, many Rockwood Staff members choose to send their children to our school because of the warm inviting climate, supportive staff and plethora of growth and leadership opportunities for all.
VALLEY PARK MIDDLE SCHOOL – VALLEY PARK SCHOOL DISTRICT1 Main St. Valley Park, Mo. 630882008 and 2016 NSOC
Suburban 6-8 Students 13% SPED 33 % Minority 64% F&R 3.6 % Mobility 5% ESL
The VPMS journey began in 2006 when we first attended the CEP Forum in Washington D.C. While at the conference we were inspired to strive for a National School of Character award and developed a three year plan to achieve our goal. With the help of CharacterPlus in St. Louis, we were ready to apply for the award a year early and in 2008 we were named a National School of Character. Since that time we've strived to maintain that high level of character education within our school. Sustaining the program has not been easy, however, we have recommitted ourselves over the past two years to reach that level we achieved in 2008. Every single teacher at VPMS has gone through 'Basic Training in Character Education', which is offered by CharacterPlus, and this has helped us keep character education the driving force behind what we have strived to become. Over the past several years teachers have worked together during the summer to develop a theme for the upcoming school year and reflect on character initiatives and practices. This past summer we held our traditional summer meeting, but took it a step further and held a two day retreat for the Character Education Leadership Team. This team, with the blessing of the entire staff, again set a goal to become a recognized State School of Character. The team developed an action plan and returned to school and met with the rest of the staff to put the plan in motion. The theme for 2016-2017 is 'Our House'!
WOERNER ELEMENTARY – SAINT LOUIS PUBLIC SCHOOLS6131 Leona St. St. Louis, Mo. 631162016 NSOC
Urban PreK-5 400 Students 12% SPED 45% Minority 100% F&R 37% Mobility 42% ESL
Woerner Elementary is a neighborhood school in the St. Louis Public School District. Our character education journey began 10 years ago. The school administrators and counselor went through the LACE program which sparked a strong interest in character education. At first we began to integrate character slowly into our school culture. As we reviewed our discipline data we knew that we needed to make a change. In 2007 we had 180 suspensions, followed by 210 in 2008. Upon reflection, we realized that we were focusing too much on punishing negative behaviors rather than instilling positive character traits and creating a positive school culture. We decided to be very direct in teaching character to our students. Six years ago we built the foundation of our character program and have been reflecting upon and improving our practices ever since. We have made it a top priority to ensure that we are teaching good character throughout the day, every day. We use every teachable moment to instill character and have seen a genuine change in the attitudes and beliefs of our teachers, staff, and students. Through the SSOC process we have reflected on the feedback and implemented new programs to ensure we are creating the best atmosphere for our students. We include parents and community members in our character program and in all aspects of our school culture. We continue to grow as a school to ensure we are making the biggest positive impact possible in our community.
WOERTHER ELEMENTARY – ROCKWOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT2011 and 2016 NSOC
Suburban K-5 448 Students 11.5% SPED 24% Minority 15.3% F&R 2% Mobility .2% ESL
Woerther Elementary’s character initiative strives to create a warm, caring and nurturing environment for student learning in order to promote the success of all students. WES began its character journey with the adoption of the district's 9 character traits which form a common culture for our school. WES was recognized as a NSOC in 2011. We have not rested on our successes but continue to grow in our character journey infusing in-depth character education into all aspects of the school day. Together, we set goals to infuse student autonomy, belonging and competence. The challenge of increasing student leadership roles has been met through student-led service projects, a collaborative school pledge, “You Against You” and “Take a Stand, Lend a Hand: Stop Bullying.” Our efforts include shared leadership, class meetings, student voice and choice in academics and non-academics and student and family surveys. Our students, staff, families and community members collaborate to create a caring community through school-wide service projects, home-side character activities, buddy activities and student, staff and family “sparks.” As one teacher stated, "We are truly a caring school. I am so blessed to be part of our family." As our beliefs in character education blossom so has the involvement of stakeholders. We are committed to character education by believing in and delivering consistent messages, building strong relationships and providing opportunities to promote character.
Choose ONE Afternoon Session:
BARRETTS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – PARKWAY SCHOOL DISTRICT1780 Carman Rd. Manchester, Mo. 630212016 NSOC
Suburban K-5 360 Students 20% SPED 18% Minority 13.6% F&R 17% Mobility 1%ESL
Our character education journey at Barretts began in 2011. At that time, we had gone through many changes including more than 70% turnover in teaching staff and administration. Our school climate had declined and staff morale was at an all-time low. Under the leadership of two new administrators, a dedicated team of staff members began meeting to discuss our school’s character education needs. The team began by looking at the 11 Principles of Effective Character Education to determine our school’s effectiveness in character education and decided to consider using “Leader in Me” (LIM) based on Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. During 2012-2013, staff, students, and parents were invited to participate in a book study of LIM to collectively decide if it would be a good fit for our school. Multiple teachers were inspired to pilot the program in their classrooms. At the end of the year, a survey was given to the Barretts’ staff and parents, and 98% of our families and staff determined LIM would be a good fit for our school. In 2013, our transformation began as the staff attended a 3 day intensive training and all students began studying the 7 Habits in their classroom. During this time, our community used a collaborative process to adopt core values: Be Respectful, Be Responsible, and Be Safe. The goal of our initiative is to teach and empower our students to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, establish strong values, and inspire future leaders.
BAYLESS ELEMENTARY – BAYLESS SCHOOL DISTRICT4531 Weber Rd. St. Louis, Mo. 631232011 and 2016 NSOC
Suburban PreK-5 825 Students 16% SPED 26% Minority 66% F&R 11% Mobility 28% ESL
Bayless Elementary School (BES) has been evolving and growing our Character Education initiative since before being named a National School of Character (NSOC) in 2011. We continue building our Character Education program because it is vital to the success of our students and community. Bayless School District is one of the most culturally diverse school districts in the state of Missouri with over 21 nationalities and 32 languages represented. Over half of the student body (60.9%) receives free or reduced lunch. In light of our diverse population, it is our wish to create respectful, responsible, and kind adults who will function in a global society. Character Education is a shared value for our staff, students, and families. Our focus is belonging and building relationships with the motto of “Building on Excellence.” In the 2012-2013 school year, we transitioned from separate Elementary and Intermediate schools to one Elementary school. Combining schools provided an opportunity to reflect on practices and develop a plan for growth. To address this we reassessed our core values by surveying all students and staff, a majority of parents, and several community members and businesses to determine what values they viewed to be the most important. We also combined existing Character Education committees, PBIS initiatives and streamlined expectations. Through all the changes BES has undergone, Character Education has been a consistent initiative that has unified two schools to become one.
BUSCH MIDDLE SCHOOL OF CHARACTER – SAINT LOUIS PUBLIC SCHOOLS5910 Clifton Ave. St. Louis, Mo. 631092016 NSOC
Urban 6-8 348 Students 18% SPED 65% Minority 100% F&R .05% Mobility 26% ESL
After almost 7 years of learning about and implementing character education, BMS was named a Missouri School of Character in 2015. It has been a long journey, but the school's future is bright as the staff and students are embracing CE. The journey began in 2008 when the principal, Robert Lescher, attended the LACE program at UMSL, directed by Dr. Marvin Berkowitz. The principal was so inspired by the program that, with the support of staff, he was able to change the school’s theme from athletics to CE. In 2010, the school board officially changed the name of the school from Busch Academic and Athletic Academy to Busch Middle School of Character and Athletics. In 2012, the school’s name became Busch Middle School of Character. In 2014 BMS was awarded a grant from State Farm that was used to make BMS a CHARACTERPLUS Way school. BMS is currently enjoying the benefits of hands-on training and consulting from the members of CP. Every year the school develops a closer working relationship with CP. CE has helped BMS improve in staff relationships, staff/ student relationships, and student/ student relationships. The school has seen gains in academics and attendance since implementing CE. This year’s application will reflect efforts put forth in service learning, CE embedded in the curriculum, and use of data. Our Character Connection course has become a more service oriented program that is still multi-grade level and relationship focused.
CRAIG ELEMENTARY – PARKWAY SCHOOL DISTRICT1492 Craig Rd, St. Louis, MO 631462016 NSOC
Suburban K-5 452 Students 11.7 % SPED 44.8% Minority 30.3% F&R 43.8 % Mobility 17.3 % ESL
Craig is a unique school community who has had its share of struggles. In the fall of 2011, we realized our students did not feel connected, staff morale was low, and discipline referrals were high. The culture of our building was negative and Craig was not a place people desired to work, learn, or grow. Due to weak leadership and poor climate, staff did not feel respected or trusted as educators. They felt overwhelmed with discipline and lack of administrative support and were seeking transfers to other schools. The reputation of our school caused parents to begin enrolling their children in other schools. A core group of teachers decided things needed to change. Our journey towards fostering an environment that is conducive to learning and teaching began with dialogue around character education (CE). Stakeholders came together to have honest conversations about what needed to be changed. Out of these conversations came the foundation of our CE work (our Craig Core Values). With the vision and enthusiasm of new leadership, Craig was able to develop a CE program that focuses on the whole child rather than academics only. Through character education, Craig now sustains an environment where all people value, appreciate and understand the connections that can be created between families, community, staff and students.
GEGGIE ELEMENTARY – ROCKWOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT430 Bald Hill Rd. Eureka, Mo. 630252010 and 2016 NSOC
Suburban K-5 573 Students 13% SPED 9% Minority 11% F&R 6% Mobility 1% ESL
Being recognized as a National School of Character – 2010, Geggie continues the implementation of character building activities to further develop leadership qualities in ALL students. Stephen Covey’s seven habits in combination with the 11 Principles of Character serve as our vehicle in maintaining a vibrant and healthy school climate. By fully integrating core character values into daily school life, students exhibit a strong sense of autonomy, belonging, and competence as they assume meaningful leadership roles. Geggie is championed by passionate and committed staff, parents, and community members who understand the power of “inspiring greatness one child at a time”- assessment data confirms an overall increase in academic, subgroup, and attendance trends as reported on state assessments. District climate and student Gallup survey polls further confirm high levels of student competence. School values (respect, responsibility, caring, perseverance, courage, self-control cooperation, effort and patience) serve as the basis for criteria in both our School Improvement Planning and as part of our School Climate Goal. A conscious effort to reinforce and teach the value of integrity, hard work, and the positive treatment of others continues to attract leading members within our school and outside our local community- where students do not need a “title” to be a leader.
NOTTINGHAM CAJT HIGH SCHOOL – SAINT LOUIS PUBLIC SCHOOLS4915 Donovan Ave, St. Louis, MO 631092016 NSOC
Urban 9-12+ 134 Students 100% SPED 80% Minority 100 % F&R 2 % Mobility 0 % ESL
Nottingham Community Access and Job Training (CAJT) High School is a school to work transition high school providing vocational preparation/occupational guidance and functional academic instructional activities in a school based, community oriented, school-to-work program for students with moderate/severe developmental disabilities ages 14 through 21. Our inner-city school provides education to students with special needs and has a 100% free/reduced lunch rate making our school very special and unique as well as presenting us with many challenges. Because our students come from all over the city and are low socio-economically, one of the greatest challenges we face is involvement of parents/guardians. Most do not have the money or means to attend meetings and functions at school. Our character initiative began during the 2009-2010 school year when Mr. O’Connor, our principal, took part in the LACE program with Dr. Marvin Berkowitz and Mrs. Mary Anne Hoppe at UMSL. Mr. O’Connor encouraged us to form a Character Education committee in order to assist with the development of positive social skills for our special needs students. Our greatest obstacles had been accessing the community, increasing parental involvement, and becoming valued and accepted members of our local neighborhood community, but we have made progress. Our goal and challenge continues to be providing meaningful opportunities for developing good character so our students will be successful adults.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017 9:00 AM - 2:30 PMCentral Time
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