EC-Header_October 2015
Schools of Character  
Apply to Become a School of Character

It’s time to apply to become a 2016 School of Character. The Schools of Character application provides you with an opportunity for deep reflection on your school’s strengths and weaknesses and provides professional feedback to guide your journey. 

Because of the overwhelming response to our webinar "Four Strategies to Writing an Awesome Application," we will be hosting a repeat of the live webinar Nov. 4 at 4 pm ET.

Register now >>  See tips on applying >> 
Watch an archived version on how to apply >>

Becky sm 
Bullying Prevention Month
By Becky Sipos, President & CEO

I wanted to write my column to fit in with that theme. But I am no bullying expert. I’ve learned a lot about bullying since I’ve been working at, but for real expertise, you should turn to our own board member expert Michele Borba, or our Education Advisory Council expert, Jonathan Cohen of the National School Climate Center, or students themselves.  In fact, so much has been written about bullying that I fear that the topic doesn’t generate the concern it once did. And all 50 states have now enacted anti-bullying laws, so every school has mandates to do something on bullying. But what works best? Continue reading >>

Exciting News Live Streaming from the Forum
Just announced--live streaming from the Forum.  Are you unable to attend the National Forum this year? Don’t worry. Sign up for our first-ever live streaming registration. You will be able to see all keynotes and special breakout sessions that are held in the ballroom. Register >>
beyond measure film 

New Film Screening at the Forum: “Beyond Measure”

The film is about:
  • Transforming education through creativity
  • Challenging assumptions about the purpose of education
  • Empowering educators to create change from the ground up

Every day we hear stories about America’s troubled education system. And we’re told that in order to fix what’s broken, we need to narrow our curricula, standardize our classrooms, and find news ways to measure students and teachers. But what if these “fixes” are making our schools worse? Learn more >>

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2015 Forum on Character Education Final Details

We’re excited to see you next week for a weekend full of networking, learning, and fun! But before you get there, here are some reminder details for your reference.

Getting There--From the Airport to the Hotel
MARTA, Atlanta’s metro system, is a direct link between the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport  and the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Exit in the direction of Ground Transportation and follow the MARTA signs. The Marriott Marquis is located at the Peachtree Center stop, about 20 minutes away.

More travel information
Promising Practices will honor 229 Promising
Practices on Friday at the Forum. These practices represent schools, districts, and youth-serving organizations from across the United States --- as well as from Canada, China, India, Mexico, Colombia, and the United Kingdom.

“These great ideas really highlight the creative efforts of outstanding teachers across the world,” said Dr. Dave Keller, Program Director. “It’s great to recognize what’s going well in the classroom. These practices represent practical, effective ways to develop empathy, conflict resolution skills, and good citizenship.” 


Professional Development Opportunities

Upcoming Webinars from
Digital Citizenship: Ethics During Times of Extreme Change
-- Nov. 12
We'll take an in-depth look at its connections with character education, and how character education should be used to provide a foundational approach to the many issues associated with digital citizenship.

You're in Charge: Helping students, educators, anyone think ethically about technology -- Dec. 3
Tell students what to do with their tech, and they'll game the system. Involve them in making rules about using their technology, and they'll frame the system.

Learn more >>

A Webinar for Character-Based Decision Making -- Oct.7 & 8
The sessions provide K-12 teachers a decision making strategy they can teach to students for use when confronted with social challenges or ethical dilemmas. Learn more >>

Webinars and blogging for National Bullying Prevention Month
The Tony Blair Faith Foundation and the National School Climate Center are asking students and teachers to use social media for positive reasons during National Bullying Prevention Month.
Learn more >>

Character in the News
Recommended Reading

It All Begins at the Top
By board member emeritus Dick Pieper
Tens of billions of dollars down the drain will be the result of Martin Winterkorn's lapse at Volkswagen. The company's chief executive supposedly was unaware that his company attempted to cheat its way to success in the United States and around the world. What can educators learn from this screaming headline story?

DeRoche Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
From University of San Diego News Center
Edward DeRoche, director of the University of San Diego Character Development Center, has received the Sanford N. McDonnell Award for Lifetime Achievement in Character Education. The award, given out by, is the organization’s highest honor.’s Resource Roundup
Everything You Need for Bullying Prevention Month: Lesson Plans & More.

Upcoming blogs:

  • Fort Settlement Middle School Blog on Mix It Up Day as a Bullying Prevention strategy -- Oct. 21
  • Union Elementary School Blog on how their Eagle Friends program serves as Bullying Prevention -- Oct. 22
Advocacy Update
Bad News for ESEA Reauthorization?

After the Senate and Congress passed bills that moved ESEA discussions forward, hope began to grow for reauthorization. However, Congressman John Boehner’s resignation is expected to have an impact on ESEA negotiations. In the Sept. 25 episode of Federal Flash, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, Bob Wise, did not seem hopeful. He explained that while reauthorization was never going to be easy, Boehner’s resignation will cause alliances to shift. John Kline’s decision to resign as chair of the education committee in 2016 only further complicates the situation. And now Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has announced his departure in December. These departures will likely make it even harder for Congress’ ability to get the necessary votes.

In addition, Boehner, having previously served as the chair of the education committee, was well versed in the details of ESEA. A new speaker will not only have to build new relationships but will also have a lot of catching up to do on the content of the bill. It may become even more important for constituents to let their representatives know how you feel about education reform.

Learn more >>
Coming Soon!
Members Only Podcast
“The Value of Game-based Assessment for Measuring Character Traits and SEL Skills” will be presented by Jessica Berlinski, Chief Impact Officer of Personalized Learning Games (PLG), a new double bottom line company focused on supporting children with Department of Education and National Institutes of Health funded evidence-based social emotional learning (SEL) games. Up until now there has not been an easy, valid way to assess character programming and students’ character development. Berlinski brings over a decade of experience leading and growing organizations dedicated to supporting the “whole child” through academic and character building programs to PLG. Stay tuned for more information.

Not a member of Become a member and benefit more in your quest to strengthen the character education of young people everywhere. Join now >>

News Briefs

$50 Million Contest - School Redesign for Student Engagement
The Super School Project is looking to "create high schools that foster dynamic learning, critical thinking, intellectual thinking and other skills needed for the modern world." Learn more and submit your ideas for redesigning schools to achieve these goals.

The Power of Relationships on High School Graduation
A new study from America’s Promise Alliance offers new insights — from the perspectives of young people themselves — into how support from adults and peers can help to close the remaining gap between those who graduate from high school on time and those who don’t. Don’t Quit on Me: What Young People Who Left School Say About the Power of Relationships answers questions about what kinds and sources of support matter in young people’s decisions to stay in, leave and return to school. Learn more >>

Calendar Items

Oct. 23 - 24
Character Canada Conference

CHARACTER CANADA exists to inspire individuals and strengthen our community. As such, this conference will motivate and equip leaders. Conference Goals:

  • Share stories of successful Canadian character programs & initiatives
  • Inspire attendees towards promoting character in their own communities
  • Establish a national society, Character Canada

Oct. 19-23
Character Counts Week
Every year, the U.S. President, U.S. Senate, state governors, and officials around the world proclaim the third week in October CHARACTER COUNTS! Week. And every year millions of kids in dozens of countries participate. No matter what your political or religious affiliation, this event is about the universal values we share.

Membership Corner small would like to welcome the following new members:
Joseph Warren Staci Raddish
Mary Anne Martin Suzette Bremault-Phillips
Sarah Purkey  Tamara Schroeder 
Serena Deutsch Wendy Barz 
Sherry Argo  San Diego Jewish Academy 
Emerson Elementary School  Harmony Science Academy - Houston 
Burlington High School  Become a Member Now >>
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Frank Keating 

We are excited to announce the 2nd Annual Call to Character, a tribute to Frank Keating, the Vice-Chair of and President of the American Bankers Association. The event will be held at the University Club in Washington, D.C. on November 17th.

For more information, or to purchase a ticket >>

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