The Colorado State Schools of Character Awards Program
Examples of National Schools of Character


School/District City State Award
Columbine Elementary
Woodland Park Re-2
Woodland Park CO 2000 Winner
Rocky Mountain School of Expenditionary Learning
Denver County 1
Denver CO 2000 Finalist
2000 Promising Practice
Slavens School
Denver County 1
Denver CO 2001 Winner
Traut Core Knowledge School
Poudre R-1
Fort Collins CO 1999 Winner
The Classical Academy Charter School
Academy 20
Colorado Springs CO 2004 Winner
1Berkowitz, Marvin W., and Melinda C.Bier. What Works in Character Education: A research-driven guide for educators. Character Education Partnership. Washington, DC; Center for Character & Citizenship. University of Missouri-St. Louis, 2005.
Designed by DbK© 2007
1.Ridgewood Middle School, grades 7-8, Arnold, Missouri
Eight years ago, Ridgewood was suffering from low attendance, low academic achievement, and disciplinary problems.  36 % of its students are on free or reduced lunch.  Over the past four years Ridgewood has transformed itself into one of Missouri’s Top Ten Most Improved Schools in science, communication arts, and math. Strong administrative leadership emphasizing effective character education made the difference. Principal Kristen Pelster believes that “character education, if truly implemented as the foundational philosophy that infiltrates every aspect of the school setting, can work miracles.” Ridgewood’s “miracles” include the following: Attendance increased from 90 to 95 percent. Disciplinary referrals decreased 70 percent. The failure rate dropped to 0 meaning no student fails to move forward to the next grade.
The Character Education Partnerships publishes a booklet annually highlighting the ten schools or districts that have won the National School of Character (NSOC) Award.  Copies of the booklet can be obtained by going to the CEP Website.

The following is a brief summary of outcomes achieved by three schools recognized both as State and National Schools of Character in previous years.  All three successfully increased positive student behavior and improved academic achievement.1
2.Newport Mill Middle School, grades 6-8, Kensington, Maryland
Newport has a student population that is 46% Hispanic and 23% African-American with 40% of its students on free or reduced lunchLocated in a poor section of affluent Montgomery County in Maryland, affected by high mobility and language diversity, this school became one of the highest performing schools in the county. Principal Nelson McLeod says, “Character education is a wonderful opportunity to support student achievement and to develop a positive and rewarding school culture.” In the past year, disciplinary referrals decreased 39 percent and suspensions decreased 50 percent. Math scores on the state assessment soared, from 49.6 percent student proficiency in 2004 to 70.5 percent proficiency in 2006. Reading scores also increased, from 60.3 percent proficiency in 2004 to 67.2 percent proficiency in 2006. And 67.3 percent of African-American students scored proficient in math in 2006, up from 34.1 percent in 2004, while 60.3 percent of Hispanic students scored proficient in math in 2006, up from 38.2 percent in 2004.
3.Cranford High School, grades 9-12, Cranford, New Jersey
Cranford High School has created a character education program that integrates service learning and academic achievement. Four interdisciplinary units, each with a service-learning component, are at the heart of the curriculum. In addition, service learning is integrated into all subjects. For example, in mathematics student interested in technology created a service-learning web site, and in geometry students figured out the geometry of Cranford intersections for safety studies. In science, students conducted lessons in local elementary schools and an urban elementary school. When the school began to focus on service and character building, scores on tests of achievement and proficiency began exceeding national averages and SAT scores rose to above state averages. The number of discipline problems plummeted with detentions decreasing by 42 percent and in-school suspensions decreasing by 84 percent.

Award Winning Schools in Colorado
Several Colorado Schools have been recognized by the CEP and serve as resources and exemplars for a SSOC Awards Program. Please see the link on our website highlighting two of them.

Cranford High School
Newport Mill Middle School, Kensington, MD
Classical Academy
“The State School of Character Award Program has challenged us to more critically examine our character education practices against clear standards of excellence.  This cycle of assessment continues to inform our continuous growth as a school, affirming our strengths and helping to reveal specific opportunities to strengthen character education in support of our mission.” - Kurt Tusch, Principal; KIPP Sunshine Peak Academy
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