Tagged “Elementary”

Caring and Inclusive Climate at a Small New Jersey Elementary School

Alan B. Shepard Jr. Elementary School, Old Bridge, N.J.

This small elementary school has had a big influence within its walls and in its larger community. Kathleen Hoeker, the former principal, started her journey as school leader in 2001 by focusing on ways to combat bullying. From there, the school underwent a districtwide redistribution of students and in 2004 adopted the Character Counts six pillars as the foundation of its character initiative. Today, all students are involved in creating the caring climate that permeates the building. An inclusive school, Shepard has a mission to provide the same education opportunities to children with disabilities as they do to their able-bodied peers.

School Develops Dignity and Pride in Everything Students Do

Salt Brook Elementary School, New Providence, N.J.

Salt Brook strives to bring the Golden Rule to life by encouraging students to develop dignity and pride in everything they do. Salt Brook students see themselves not merely as classmates, but also as citizens of the world. Teachers view character education not as an additional element to their classroom practice but as a comprehensive, pedagogical approach to education. Collaboration and creativity work hand-in-hand, as staff, students, parents, and community members are all involved in conversation, reflection, and choice of annual character themes. Teacher teams work to link daily instruction to weekly events, monthly programs, and annual themes. Salt Brook encourages a “Pass It On!” approach to service. Students participate in service projects that are both personal and community-based. They understand at a very personal and profound level the powerful adage, “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

Character Education gives School Curriculum Meaning

Mockingbird Elementary, Coppell, T.X.

Mockingbird Elementary is located in an affluent community near the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. Because of the district’s proximity to the airport and its excellent academic reputation, a number of families relocate to Coppell, T.X., and specifically Mockingbird (MKB). Mockingbird works hard to welcome all families and embrace its changing demographics. School leaders became aware of the gap between the “trait of the month” and what was actually happening during unstructured times and began to target specific issues. The staff realized that character must be embedded in the curriculum to have meaning. MKB has implemented several initiatives since 2004.

“Educating Every Student, Every Day in Every Way”

North Boulevard Elementary, Pompton Plains, N.J.

North Boulevard (NB) School’s mission statement is “Educating Every Student, Every Day in Every Way (E3).” E3 embodies our key character education concepts. The NB character initiative is highlighted by a developmental approach to conflict resolution (Peace Bridge, Peacemakers, and Heart Club). NB students learn and apply these core values through our version of the Bucket Filling Program. Our students learn and use the vocabulary of Bucket Filling combined with anti-bullying concepts through frequent CE lessons. The values of caring and empathy extend beyond the boundaries of the school through grade-level service learning projects and our School Ambassadors Club.

School Environment Creates Loving Community where Students, Teachers, and Parents Feel Like Family

Plattin Primary School, Festus, M.O.


Plattin Primary School’s goal is to create a loving community where students, teachers, and parents feel like family. Families and teachers desire to be there and work to build a culture that they can be proud of. They build the foundation in academics and have carried forward that same theme for character development. PPS hopes to build a strong foundation of character that the children will carry with them throughout their lifetime. Plattin staff realizes that character education is not something new that has been added to their plate, but rather the plate upon which all else is placed.

School Celebrates All Voices as Children, Parents, and Staff Unite.

Stockton Elementary School, Cherry Hill, N.J.

Richard Stockton Elementary School celebrates all voices as children, parents, and staff unite. SES plans together, shares sorrows, respects one another, celebrates differences, and experiences amazing daily adventures. The staff broke into groups to create an ideal school and presented to each other their team vision. Trust, respect, a collaborative work environment that was welcoming and safe to students, staff, and parents were common threads. Today what stands out at Richard Stockton is the comprehensive approach to character education, the opportunities for student and staff voices to be heard, and the goal of providing genuine opportunities for moral growth.

MIssouri School Empowers Students to be Confident, Curious, Creative, and Collaborative Problem Solvers

Ross Elementary, St. Louis, M.O.

Ross students are empowered to be confident, curious, creative, and collaborative problem solvers. They exhibit character, celebrate diversity, and honor individuality in a safe and nurturing learning environment. The goal is to build a positive and safe environment where children and staff can take risks, challenge themselves, and solve problems in an ever-changing world. Character education at Ross is not a program for everyone to follow, but is a way of doing. It is who Ross is. The core Ross Guiding Lights (honesty, perseverance, responsibility, respect, compassion) penetrate the culture of the school.

School Community Provides Wonderful and Challenging Journey

Shades Cahaba Elementary School, Homewood, AL

Living and learning at Shades Cahaba Elementary School is a wonderful and challenging journey. Staff there know that the power of any program is through common language. When everyone speaks the same phrases, true understanding occurs. SCES developed the Shades Cahaba Way, standards by which the school lives and learns daily. The first five are typical school rules; the sixth is unique: Have fun, life is a gift! These statements influence learning as well as the social and disciplinary interactions in the school.

Character Education helps Students become better Learners, Classmates, and Citizens

Trautwein Accelerated Elementary School, St. Louis, M.O.

In education today, there is the concern that we put too much on our teachers’ plates. Trautwein Accelerated Elementary School believes that character education is the plate. It supports everything they do. With character education support, students become better learners, classmates, and citizens; staff become better colleagues and models for students; and parents are more involved. TAES develops students who are successful academically and socially. Student involvement is an integral part of the school’s efforts as it strives to create a sense of belonging.

Rural School Teaches Value of Compassion, Friendship, Respect, and Self-Discipline

Berkeley Elementary School, Moncks Corner, S.C.


This rural Title I school serves 670 students from four-year-old preschool through second grade. For students with diverse ethnicities (52 percent minority) and a wide socioeconomic range, Berkeley Elementary School strives to provide a character education program that teaches the values of acceptance, compassion, friendship, respect, and self-discipline. They want their students to be able to get along and work together in groups that reflect the diversity that exists in society today. The school realizes that a child that cares for all humanity will reach his or her full potential. Learning is more than reading and math. It is about educating the whole child.

Share |

Fast, Free, Online: The ASCD School Improvement Tool

Designed for use in schools and districts, the free ASCD School Improvement Tool offers educators a comprehensive and completely online needs assessment.