The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Education, in partnership with the Wisconsin Character Education Partnership (WCEP), is pleased to announce the Wisconsin schools recognized in 2018 for their innovative, successful initiatives integrating character education into the curriculum. SOE understands the value of WCEP’s mission to promote the intentional, proactive effort by public and private K-12 schools and school districts to instill in all Wisconsin’s students, core universal ethical values such as integrity, honesty, fairness, responsibility and respect for themselves and for others through character education. SOE congratulates the following schools for their achievement in Promising Practices category. Necedah High School (Necedah), College Park Elementary School (Greendale), Greenwood Elementary School (River Falls), Capitol West Academy (Milwaukee), Rockfield Elementary School (Germantown), Honor Elementary School (Neosho).
Wisconsin schools participating in Character Education (CE) walk the talk. CE is not a program; it is a deliberate, daily, agreed upon practice. CE’s purpose is to improve the emotional, caring environment necessary for terrific academic achievement and opportunities to practice becoming good citizens as students grow up. Dedicated teachers, staff, eager students and their caring families purposefully team up to make their worlds better and better.
Yearly, some schools arrive at exceptional ideas, and they are recognized statewide as Promising Practice Winners. A statewide panel judges their idea so successful they want it shared with others. The schools’ innovative practices exemplify the following basic principles that Schools of Character adhere to. Those principles:
Promote core ethical and performance values as the foundation of good character.
- Define “character” comprehensively to include thinking, feeling and doing.
- Use a comprehensive, intentional and proactive approach to character development.
- Create a caring community.
- Provide students with opportunities for moral action.
- Offer a meaningful and challenging academic curriculum that respects all learners, develops their character and helps them to succeed.
- Foster students’ self-motivation.
- Have an ethical learning community that shares responsibility for character education and adheres to the same core values that guide the students.
- Foster shared leadership and long-range support of the character education initiative.
- Engage families and community members as partners in the character-building effort.
- Assess school culture and climate, the functioning of its staff as character educators, and the extent to which its students manifest good character.
Here’s how winning, resourceful schools around the state responded this year.
Necedah High School (Necedah) “WON80 Club.” Open to all students, the club meets twice a month during advisory time. Club members learn about positive sportsmanship, self-growth and self-improvement. They want to become “difference makers.”
College Park Elementary School (Greendale) “Building a Community of Learners.” A committee of the entire school selects and develops yearly themes around the concept of being good people and taking responsibilities for choices made. Numerous activities reinforce the concept.
Greenwood Elementary School (River Falls) “Pride Groups.” Pride Groups create a situation where every student has an advocate outside their classroom teacher and helps build inter-grade relationships. Pride Groups are made up of about 15 students from every grade level, and they stay together during their entire school years.
Greenwood Elementary School (River Falls) “Greenwood Yearly Character Themes.” Staff creates themes and lessons. The themes incorporate staff, students, families and community. It includes a Character Reflection Journal.
Capitol West Academy (Milwaukee) “Good News Postcards.” Staff looks for and recognizes character traits in their students’ everyday activities. The students who receive them in the mail get positive reinforcement. The recognition is for students who exhibit core values of honor, self-control and responsibility. Parents enjoy reading the postcards as much as the students.
Rockfield Elementary School (Germantown) “Game Leaders.” After some training, fourth- and fifth-graders are given the responsibility to help foster positive play experience for fellow students at recess. The program provides safe and exciting play for the primary-aged students and builds leadership skills. The end result is opportunity for fun.
Honor Elementary School (Neosho) “Elders Program.” Students interact with senior community members on a monthly basis promoting relationships and a caring community. Participants do activities together and learn about each other in a caring, nurturing way.
Wisconsin Character Education schools’ consortium does not hesitate to say that many of these ideas could be gainfully introduced into the entire adult business world.
We are proud to announce their achievements. They will be honored at the Character Education Conference held at Alverno College on June 19-20.
“To Educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” ~ Teddy Roosevelt
“Intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of true education.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
For more information about CE see the Wisconsin Character Education Partnership website.
For information to contact school leaders:
Pam Woodard, Chief Facilitator of WCEP
If you would like to help fund Community Engagement, please visit the Give to UWM webpage.
Or contact Christina Makal McCaffery at (414) 229-4963 or firstname.lastname@example.org to explore opportunities to support students, ensure research excellence and enable ongoing collaborations with community schools and organizations.