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CWA Named National School of Character

Milwaukee, WI (5/16/14) — CWA has been named a National School of Character by the Character Education Partnership, a national advocate for the character education movement.

This prestigious honor recognizes schools that have demonstrated through a rigorous evaluation process that character development has had an impact on academics student behavior and school climate.

National School of Character

“We are thrilled to have been named a National School of Character, particularly in our landmark, 10th-anniversary year,” said Donna Niccolai-Weber, CWA’s executive director. “This award recognizes all the hard work, cooperation and dedication put forth by our students, teachers, staff and parents. This is a team effort, and I am extremely proud of everyone involved.”

CWA was one of 44 finalists in the country for this award, which required a site visit and an analysis of the impact its character-related efforts have had at the school. Since character education was implemented, the school’s climate is more inviting, classroom management is easier, and students spend more time on learning, Mrs. Niccolai-Weber said.

The award is based on how a school implements the partnership’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education (see below). National Schools of Character hold their designation for five years.

“Becoming a National School of Character is quite an accomplishment, and we at the Character Education Partnership are incredibly impressed with your focus on creating a positive school climate, where students are inspired, motivated, and taught to be both smart and good. Great job!” said Dr. Russ Sojourner, director, Schools of Character, Character Education Partnership.

This is not the first award for character CWA has received. The Character Education Partnership named CWA a national promising practices winner in 2010 and 2012. And the Wisconsin Character Education Partnership gave the school promising practices awards in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.

The Character Education Partnership will honor CWA at a national forum to be held in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 30. CWA will celebrate the honor at its annual back-to-school picnic/10th-anniversary celebration on Aug. 21.

11 principles of character education

1: The school community promotes core ethical and performance values as the foundation of good character.

2: The school defines “character” comprehensively to include thinking, feeling, and doing.

3: The school uses a comprehensive, intentional, and proactive approach to character development.

4: The school creates a caring community.

5: The school provides students with opportunities for moral action.

6: The school offers a meaningful and challenging academic curriculum that respects all learners, develops their character, and helps them to succeed.

7: The school fosters students’ self-motivation.

8: The school staff is an ethical learning community that shares responsibility for character education and adheres to the same core values that guide the students.

9: The school fosters shared leadership and long-range support of the character education initiative.

10: The school engages families and community members as partners in the character-building effort.

11: The school regularly assesses its culture and climate, the functioning of its staff as character educators, and the extent to which its students manifest good character.