The Pennsbury school board recently announced that the school district as a whole was named a 2020 District of Character and seven of its schools achieved the 2020 State School of Character distinction, bestowed by Character.org, a national advocate for character education, based in Washington, D.C.
These schools include Afton, Edgewood, Fallsington, Oxford Valley and Quarry Hill elementary schools, in addition to Pennwood and William Penn middle schools. All of the schools listed were designated State Schools of Character in 2015 and were re-designated with the same honor this year after a rigorous re-application process. The schools will all now be considered by Character.org for the National School of Character distinction.
Note: Pennsbury’s remaining six schools are on different five-year timetables for renewal as State and National Schools of Character.
The State Schools and Districts of Character program recognizes growth and excellence in the area of student character development through the 11 Principles of Effective Character Education framework:
– Character education promotes core ethical values as the basis of good character
– “Character” must be comprehensively defined to include thinking, feeling and behavior
– Effective character education requires an intentional proactive and comprehensive approach that promotes the core values in all phases of school life
– The school must be a caring community
– To develop character, students need opportunities for moral action
– Effective character education includes a meaningful and challenging academic curriculum that respects all learners and helps them succeed
– Character education should strive to develop students’ intrinsic motivation
– The school staff must become a learning and moral community in which all share responsibility for character education and attempt to adhere to the same core values that guide the education of students
– Character education requires moral leadership from both staff and students
– The school must recruit parents and community members as full partners in the character-building effort
– Evaluation of character education should assess the character of the school, the school staff’s functioning as character educators, and the extent to which the students manifest good character
“We are excited about our district recognition and the individual schools that were also named as State Schools of Character,” said Michele Spack, Director of Elementary Education. “I am proud that all five of our elementary schools and both eligible middle schools received this honor. We know the importance of laying a solid foundation to build students who are strong, caring citizens of our world. Character education is embedded into the very fabric of the Pennsbury School District, and we will continue to strive for excellence in all that we do.”
Theresa Ricci, Pennsbury’s Director of Secondary Education, added, “We are honored to be among only seven school districts in the nation to be named a 2020 State District of Character. As a district, we share a goal for the promotion of character education and we are thrilled to be recognized as a district that has achieved this level of success. We are excited to apply for the National District of Character distinction.”