Students in schools of character feel safe, respected, and connected to those around them, allowing them to thrive academically and socially and be motivated to give back to their communities. 3 Schools of Character: Purpose Positive results: Academics Behavior Culture/climate OUR GOAL: To bring these dramatic improvements to as many schools as possible.
CEP’s State and National Schools of Character program offers K-12 public, private, and charter schools and districts across the U.S. a path to school improvement and excellence through high-quality character education. When schools engage in the schools of character process and seek to implement CEP’s framework for success (11 Principles), they: Bring stakeholders together to identify a common set of core values and a unite around a common purpose Go through a process of reflection and self-assessment that helps the school community identify strengths and next steps Receive free professional feedback on their programs as well as suggestions for growth 4 Schools of Character: Benefits
Summary of NSOC Program Changes NSOC 1998 - 2010NSOC 2011 and beyond Awards programSchool improvement process 3+ years of character edNo eligibility requirements CompetitiveNon-competitive Approx. 20 diverse FinalistsAll who meet the standard Approx. 10 distinctive modelsAll who meet the standard Quality StandardsRevised 11 Principles All Finalists receive site visitsSite visits not required for all Blue Ribbon PanelNational evaluation process “Winners”“National Schools of Character” One time awardRe-apply after 5 years SSOC NSOC
The organizations that sponsor the SSOC program differ in each state. Sometimes several organizations will partner to sponsor the program. In other cases, networks of volunteers create alliances that manage the program and support schools. State coordinators serve as the point of contact for the sponsoring organization or group of partner organizations within each state. 6 State Affiliates
7 SSOC serve as models within the state and are available for mentoring. SSOC automatically become nominees for the NSOC award. Beginning in 2011, SSOC hold their status for three years. During those three years, SSOC are eligible for national review. SSOC sponsors will do a quick review and forward to CEP. SSOC sponsors provide technical assistance and feedback to applicants and/or refer them to CEP resources.. Guidelines for State Schools of Character
8 Both SSOC and NSOC are expected to serve as models to others. Outreach menu of options: Contributing to CEP’s website and annual publication Creating a short video to be posted on the CEP website Posting lesson plans and other best practices on CEP website Presenting at CEP’s National Forum Conducting outreach session, workshop, conference, or in-service in home state or district Developing a mentoring relationship with another school or district Contributing to CEP online community: CEP blog, Facebook, Twitter, electronic newsletter, and/or webinars SSOC/NSOC Outreach
All information is entered online at www.character.org. www.character.org The 2013 application opened Summer 2012. The deadline is December 3, 2012. 10 2013 Online Application NOTE: If you applied last year, your account has not changed. You will see your previous drafts and applications. If you have never applied before, you will create an account with your e-mail and a password that you choose.
11 What the application will look like The application will contain the following sections. Basic contact and demographic information (will appear online if you are selected as a Finalist) Overview: brief overview of school and CE journey; advice from principal; photo (will appear online if you are selected as a Finalist) Implementation of 11 Principles: 2000 characters of narrative per principle (including spaces) 1 page of portfolio evidence per principle uploaded separately. NOTE: More characters/pages for Principles 3 & 11; more for districts Self-assessment scores; information about changes made since last application
CEP offers a wide range of resources for applicants at www.character.org. These include:www.character.org CEP’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education (free download) This is the scoring rubric used to evaluate applications. Use it as a guide when compiling your application.11 Principles of Effective Character Education 11 Principles Score Sheet (Excel sheet that calculates scores automatically) Use this score sheet to enter the scores from your stakeholder self-assessment. 11 Principles Score Sheet 2013 NSOC Application (PDF) This document includes all the questions asked in the online application, character limits, and tips for applicants. 2013 NSOC Application Webinar on the 2012 online application process (pre-recorded, approx. 40 minutes) Check back in September for updated recorded webinars and in November for live webinars! Webinar on the 2012 online application process Sample applications: Public Elementary School, Public Middle School, Public High School, Private School, Charter School, Public School DistrictPublic Elementary SchoolPublic Middle SchoolPublic High SchoolPrivate SchoolCharter SchoolPublic School District 2013 Application TimelineApplication Timeline Key Indicators for Districts (PDF) This document lists the items that apply specially to district applicants. Key Indicators for Districts Climate Surveys Climate Surveys This PowerPoint 12 Resources for Applicants
13 The Scoring Rubric Reviewers look for evidence of each key indicator and assign a score of 1 to 4 for each scoring item based on the evidence they find.
14 The 11 Principles as the Scoring Rubri c Principle #1: The school community promotes core ethical and performance values as the foundation of good character. Each Principle has 2 to 4 numbered Scoring Items. 1.1 Stakeholders in the school community select or assent to a set of core values Key Indicators of exemplary implementation: A highly inclusive representative group of stakeholders (professional and other staff, parents, students, and community members) have had input into or at least assented to the school’s core ethical and performance values. If the district selected the values or if the values have been in place for some time, current stakeholders have been involved in ongoing reflection on the values. Staff understand how and why the school selected its core values. Each Scoring Item lists:
“Applicant Tips” are available to applicants during the online process. Narrative tips will give applicants questions drawn from the key indicators to consider – in order to help applicants determine if they have addressed all the key indicators. Evidence tips will give applicants examples of supporting evidence they might include for each of the Principles. 15 Applicant Tips
17 Promotes core ethical and performance values 1.1: Stakeholders select core values 1.2: Core values guide everything 1.3: Core values are visible NEW in 2010 Revision: Observable behaviors moved from 1.2 to 1.3 1.2 is now about core values guiding all (common language, staff ownership, hiring) Principle 1 Core Values Shape EVERYTHING.
18 Defines “character” comprehensively to include thinking, feeling, and doing. 2.1: Thinking (understanding) 2.2: Feeling (reflection, appreciation) 2.3: Doing (behavior, students practice) NEW: Principle 2 was simply clarified and specific examples were added. Principle 2
19 Uses a comprehensive, intentional, and proactive approach 3.1: Intentional at all grade levels 3.2: Integrated into academic content 3.3: Integrated into classroom routines 3.4: Integrated throughout total program NEW: 3.1: Should have a CE plan 3.2: Can demonstrate integration with lessons 3.3: Academic integrity added 3.4: Artifacts should demonstrate Principle 3
20 Creates a caring community. 4.1: Student – staff relationships 4.2: Student – student relationships 4.3: Peer cruelty prevention 4.4: Adult relationships NEW: 4.3 is stronger: students report bullying is infrequent, all students participate in programs 4.4: Applies to all adults, including parents Principle 4
21 Provides students with opportunities for moral action. 5.1: Clear expectations 5.2: Moral action within school; tied to the curriculum 5.3: Moral action in community; tied to the curriculum NEW: Overall: Moral action is more broadly defined and service learning is clearly defined and expected 5.1: Artifacts demonstrate expectations; moral action includes conflict resolution, academic integrity, sportsmanship; school has service learning expectations 5.2: Service tied to curriculum and core values 5.3: All students given opportunities and time to identify community needs and plan projects; service tied to curriculum and core values Principle 5
22 Offers a meaningful and challenging academic curriculum that respects all learners 6.1: Challenging curriculum 6.2: Meeting diverse student needs 6.3: Addresses performance character NEW: 6.1: Students are challenged and have voice and choice 6.2: Teachers identify needs and differentiate; schools work to close achievement gap 6.3: Performance character clarified; academic integrity added Principle 6
23 Fosters students’ self-motivation 7.1: Students intrinsically NOT extrinsically motivated. 7.2: Behavior management and discipline tied to core values; academic integrity stressed. NEW: Old 7.1 is gone and folded into 7.2, creating a new 7.1 and 7.2 7.1 now focuses on intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation and use of material rewards and more clearly explains expected outcomes 7.2 now focuses on behavior management and discipline, academic integrity added Principle 7
24 Staff is an ethical learning community that shares responsibility for character education and adheres to core values 8.1: Staff modeling 8.2: Staff development for ALL; staff is ethical learning community 8.3: Staff planning and reflection; enough time for character education. NEW: Old 8.1 and 8.2 were switched so that staff modeling now comes first 8.2: Ethical learning community created through staff development Principle 8
25 Fosters shared leadership and long-range support of the character initiative. 9.1: Leaders champion effort 9.2: Leadership group plans 9.3: Student leadership NEW: Clarified overall Must be able to show artifacts Principle 9
26 Engages families and community members as partners in the character- building effort 10.1: Engages families 10.2: Communicates with families 10:3: Involves community NEW: Clarified overall 10.2: Survey parents Principle 10
27 Assesses school culture/climate, staff’s functioning, and students’ character 11.1: Assesses culture/climate 11.2: Staff report on progress 11.3: Assesses student progress / behavior NEW: 11.1: New emphasis on culture/climate, ethical learning community, and using data to make changes 11.2: More concrete examples of reflection given 11.3: Changes attributed to data collected Principle 11
29 Assemble a group of knowledgeable stakeholders that includes staff, parents, and students (if appropriate) – an existing group or one formed for this purpose. Assess your character education initiative using the revised 11 Principles of Effective Character Education. Note: The Scoring Guide can be found on the back inside cover of the 11 Principles document. An Excel score sheet that automatically calculates your scores is also available at www.character.org. You will be asked to enter the average scores you’re your self-assessment during the online application process. If your school or district community has not yet selected core values, this group should determine a process for doing so and begin that process. 11 Principles Self-Assessment
30 During the application process, you will be asked how you know that your character education efforts have had an impact on your school culture and climate. The best evidence you can provide is climate survey data. Your school or district may already give climate surveys each year. If not, be sure to conduct a climate survey of students, staff, and parents during the spring or fall prior to submitting your application. Visit “Assessment Tools” at www.character.org for samples and resources. If no climate survey data is available, think about how else you can demonstrate growth in this area. NOTE: CEP continues to explore ways to gather climate data from applicants. Finalists have been asked in recent years to provide data that supports Principle 4. CEP may pilot new data gathering methods in 2013 or offer 2013 applicants the opportunity to participate in a research study. Climate Surveys
31 During the application process, you will be asked to demonstrate the impact of your character initiative on student behavior and academic achievement. Gather data on attendance, disciplinary referrals and infractions, suspensions, state test scores and AYP or other measures of academic achievement, performance of at-risk students, drop-out rates, and graduation rates as well as rates of college attendance (if applicable). Principle 11 is your opportunity to make a persuasive case that your school (or district) has thoughtfully implemented character education. To demonstrate positive and significant results, be prepared to provide specific qualitative and quantitative evidence such as full data and analysis from climate surveys and other measurements. Plan to use numbers, not percentages, when reporting changes in student behavior (such as referrals or suspensions). Your narrative and supporting artifacts should clearly demonstrate that your community has gathered data, reflected upon it, and then acted as needed. Student Impact
32 You will be asked to explain how your character education initiative exemplifies the 11 Principles. Brainstorm responses to the following questions. 1.What are your character education goals? Define your school’s (or district’s) view of character education and the values your school community has agreed upon. Describe your philosophical approach, and explain what your character education initiative is trying to accomplish. Explain why you are doing what you are doing. Citing the texts, publications, or experts that have influenced your initiative helps evaluators understand your philosophy. 2.What is special about your school or district? In what ways is your school or district a model for others? Explain what is special about your accomplishments in character education. What feature of your initiative would CEP want to hold up as a model of exemplary implementation of the 11 Principles? 3.How are you implementing character education? Describe your accomplishments in each of the 11 Principles. Note that each principle has three or four “scoring items.” Include specific, illustrative examples and insert artifacts that address the scoring items. Keep in mind that to receive a score of 4 on an item, you must show evidence of all the key indicators of exemplary practice described under each scoring item. Refer to the 11 Principles document. Student Impact Tip: Many NSOC report that their teams used the following strategy. They put large sheets of newsprint around the room – one for each of the 11 Principles. They then asked each member of their broad stakeholder group to write activities or strategies that they knew were happening in the school that fit under each of the principles. This method of brainstorming gave the application writers a list of possible strategies to write about for each principle.
33 Gather artifacts that will amplify and support your claims. Examples include: Data on positive behavioral or academic change School climate survey results Mission statements and school mottos Examples of student work or student reflections Lesson plans or assignments that integrate character education into the curriculum Documentation of staff development or staff meetings See 2013 Application (PDF) at www.character.org for more applicant tips and suggested evidence.www.character.org Supporting Evidence Tip: Limit the use of photos.
34 If your school or district has previously applied, include and identify the changes that you have made since the last application in your narrative. If you see your school or district as a leader in helping others schools with their character education efforts or if you have outreach plans, describe your leadership efforts in Principle 9. If you are using a commercial program as part of your initiative, include a brief explanation of the program. Don’t assume evaluators are necessarily familiar with it. Be aware that evaluators may look at your website to see whether it reflects your character education initiative. Additional Information to Gather
36 Complete the application (Application deadline: December 3, 2012) Gather a representative group of stakeholders (administrators, teachers, support staff, parents, community members, and even students, if appropriate) to give input into the application and complete a self-assessment. Prepare your application using CEP resources provided online as well as resources provided by your state sponsor. Enter all contact information, narrative responses, supporting evidence, and self-assessment scores online by December 3. TIMELINE: Stage One
37 Initial review of applications (December – early January) State coordinators in participating states review and score all applications received. Those determined to meet a standard of excellence are named State Schools of Character (SSOC) for a period of 3 years and forwarded to CEP for further consideration. CEP reviews applications from states without sponsors. TIMELINE: Stage Two
38 National review of SSOC applications & selection of National Finalists (January – February) CEP national screeners review and score applications forwarded from the state coordinators. All those determined to meet a standard of excellence are named National Finalists. Finalists are announced in early March and informed about the next stage in the process (more online application questions and possible site visit). TIMELINE: Stage Three
39 Information requested of National Finalists DATA ON ACADEMICS: State test scores, achievement gap, other evidence of academic achievement (grades, failures, honor roll, etc.) DATA ON STUDENT BEHAVIOR: Attendance, suspensions, referrals, graduation / dropout rates DATA ON CULTURE/CLIMATE: Climate survey results that show: bullying rare / students feel safe students respect each other students and teachers respect each other adults respect each other STAKEHOLDER TESTIMONIALS PHOTOS AND CAPTIONS LESSON PLAN The Proof Is in the Data NOTE: This information may appear on CEP’s website or in CEP publications if your school is selected as an NSOC.
40 National Evaluation of Finalists (March – April) Finalists are assigned National Evaluators and asked to provide additional information online. National Evaluators review applications and all available sources of validation. In many cases, National Evaluators will visit the school or district to validate the claims made in the application. CEP may choose not to visit schools or districts whose applications received an exceptionally high score in the national screening process, schools from National Districts of Character, and schools and districts that have received a previous site visit from CEP, a state coordinator, or another character education expert. If the applicant does not receive a site visit, the National Evaluators will consider other sources of information, including phone or skype interviews with stakeholders. Once available sources of data have been considered, National Evaluators send a report to CEP to explain their findings and give feedback to the school. TIMELINE: Stage Four
41 Selection of National Schools of Character (early May) CEP reviews the reports of the National Evaluators and determines if those applicants should be named NSOC. CEP also convenes a Review Panel for expert advice during the selection process. CEP invites state coordinators to inform those selected as NSOC and then posts the NSOC on the CEP website TIMELINE: Stage Five
42 Feedback for all applicants (January – June) All applicants receive feedback in order to encourage continuous improvement. Those that did not go on to the national level screening will receive score sheets including strengths and areas for growth from their state coordinators or CEP. Those that went on to the national level screening but were not named National Finalists will receive score sheets with strengths and areas for growth from CEP. All those that were named National Finalists will receive their National Evaluation reports from CEP, regardless of whether or not they were named NSOC. State coordinators will also receive the reports for those not named NSOC so that they can help applicants improve and re- apply in the interim years of their SSOC designation. TIMELINE: Stage Six
43 Recognition and Outreach (June through following school year) CEP recognizes the NSOC and shares their stories through press releases, the CEP website, and the annual NSOC publication. State sponsors honor SSOC; CEP honor NSOC at the National Forum on Character Education held in October/November. CEP assists the NSOC in planning their outreach efforts and SSOC coordinators may call on SSOC and NSOC to help in their states. TIMELINE: Stage Seven
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