Location

Savannah

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Safety & Violence Prevention

Relevance

The proposal lines up directly with the Social/Emotional stand, in that the Character Education Partnership (CEP) provides a school with the tools to evaluate its current culture (or that of an entire district) and the resources to help schools improve their cultures in all of the areas listed in this strand. CEP recognizes that this is important in every school, but even more so in schools that have lower socio-economic challenges that includes higher percentages of at-risk youth. Components of the third strand, Safety & Violence Prevention, are also addressed through CEP’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education. All aspects of bullying prevention and establishing a school culture that is safe and caring is embodied in the 11 Principles. As an example of details related to the 11 Principles, Principle 4 deals with the School as a Caring Community in which the third of its four components asks for the following evaluation of the school’s culture: 4.3 – The school effectively deals with prevention/discipline of peer cruelty and violence: a. Students report that bullying (including cyber-bullying), teasing, and acts of cruelty or intolerance are infrequent and are not tolerated by staff. b. All students participate in activities, programs, and processes that promote tolerance, understanding, respect, and peace among students. c. Staff demonstrate ways to identify, constructively address, and discourage peer abuse and increase students’ understanding and respect for personal, economic, and cultural differences.

Brief Program Description

Learn how any school (k-12) can use the Character Education Partnership’s (CEP) 11 Principles of Effective Character Education to transform culture resulting in increased attendance and academic achievement with decreased behavioral problems. Attendees will hear how specific high-risk schools decreased bullying, increased morale, and impacted their communities through the development of a school Touchstone, service learning, and advocate families.

Summary

Participants will be introduced to the Character Education Partnership’s (CEP) 11 Principles Of Effective Character Education, how the pursuit of a culture change based on an intentional emphasis on character development can bring comprehensive positive change to any school, and how they can position their schools to become Schools Of Character. CEP's 11 Principles are the cornerstone of our philosophy of the effective transformation of school culture. Each Principle outlines vital aspects of character development within the school climate and the school’s interaction with its local community. The Principles serve as an excellent outline for program planning and can easily be integrated into staff development and self-evaluation for teachers and administrators. They also serve as a means of determining appropriate actions needed to improve relationships between students, students and staff, and the school and the broader community stakeholders. Applicable to all grade levels, participants will learn about the impact of student voice, the development of a school Touchstone, advocates families, and the building of intrinsic motivation. The session will engage participants in understanding how these things increase: academic achievement (including standardized test scores); service learning; school pride and morale of students, staff, and the community We will also examine how in Schools of Character there are: fewer disciplinary referrals; lower drop-out rates; decreased bullying; and decreased suspensions. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions, interact, and share information of positive things they may already be doing to instill character that could result in receiving Promising Practice Awards for character development. The 11 Principles have been found to have great positive results in all types of schools including those that have high populations of students typically termed as at-risk. During the course of our session certain schools with challenging climates and difficult community environments will be highlighted and the data-driven results showing the improvement of their culture affecting all student indicators including connectedness to school will be discussed.

Evidence

Much, but not all, of the foundational research supporting CEP’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education is rooted in the work of education professor and psychologist Dr. Thomas Lickona. His landmark book, Educating for Character: How Our Schools Can Teach Respect and Responsibility, is based on the research done by Dr. Lickona and the The Center for the 4th and 5th Rs (Respect and Responsibility), which he founded in 1994. Additional research draw on by CEP has come from work like the intensive, Smart & Good High Schools which is a national study of high schools—including site visits to 24 diverse schools, hundreds of interviews, a comprehensive research review, and the input of a National Experts Panel and a National Student Leaders Panel. The report offers a vision of educational excellence and nearly 100 promising practices for building 8 strengths of character that help youth lead productive, ethical, and fulfilling lives. This work is summarized in Education Week: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2007/11/14/12lickona.h27.html

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Sheril Morgan is currently the National Director of the Schools of Character programs for the Character Education Partnership in Washington D.C. She works with public and private schools nationally and internationally by helping them develop cultures of character in which students and faculties can flourish. Sheril has been a public school educator with multiple levels of experience. Earning a BS in Elementary Education she spent four years in the classroom teaching 5th and 6th grades and sponsoring the school’s Character Club. Upon receiving her MS in School Counseling, Sheril spent four years as a Prevention Specialist working at the district level for an Oklahoma school system and she sponsored the largest volunteer student drug and alcohol prevention organization in the State. During this time she helped lead the district’s high school to National School Of Character (NSOC) status by driving character program development. This was followed by two years as a Counselor in a large Oklahoma high school. During this same time Sheril served for three years as a volunteer Co-Coordinator for Oklahoma State Schools of Character (SSOC). While a SSOC Coordinator three more schools were named SSOC and NSOC and a fifth was an Honorary SSOC. Sheril has spoken at numerous State and National conferences, has served as the Director of youth conferences and summits, and built relationships and partnerships with Common and Higher Ed organizations across Oklahoma to further the SSOC initiative.

Madison Tomlinson is State Coordinator for Oklahoma State Schools of Character working with the State Department of Education and school districts in a growing number of areas of the state to develop school cultures that are conducive to academic and behavioral improvement, safety, and the development of core ethical and performance values. Madison is also currently a district administrator for an Oklahoma school system. He has been a classroom teacher, a high school Assistant Principal, and Director of a Federal Grant. He has twice been named as recipient of the Governor’s Student Sponsor of the Year Award in Oklahoma and has presented at numerous state and national conferences.

Keyword Descriptors

Climate, Culture, Caring, Character, Student Leadership, Anti-bullying, Academic/Behavior Improvement

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-4-2015 9:45 AM

End Date

3-4-2015 11:00 AM

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Mar 4th, 9:45 AM Mar 4th, 11:00 AM

Cultural Transformation of Schools With Challenging Environments and At-risk Populations

Savannah

Learn how any school (k-12) can use the Character Education Partnership’s (CEP) 11 Principles of Effective Character Education to transform culture resulting in increased attendance and academic achievement with decreased behavioral problems. Attendees will hear how specific high-risk schools decreased bullying, increased morale, and impacted their communities through the development of a school Touchstone, service learning, and advocate families.