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Culture of Character is a comprehensive process by which your school or school district will implement Character Education. Integrating character traits into all aspects of your school's curriculum, daily activities, policies, procedures, and conduct by students and adults will become more intentional and consistent with what others are doing in your school. Using this process will also increase awareness of the importance and benefits of good character. It involves school, home, and community working together.
It is not adding anything else to your already overcrowded day or curriculum. You will discover how to integrate character education into what you already do. Our motto is, "We are not adding to the plate, we are the plate." We stress the importance of including the adults with which your students come into contact. It becomes everyone's job to be part of the character education process, not just the classroom teacher or the counselor.
The first step to becoming a Missouri Character Education Project School* is participation in a two day Culture of Character Ten Essentials Team Training involving a five member School Leadership Team (SLT) from each building. This team includes an administrator (required), a school board member or community leader (required), and three other people such as a teacher, counselor, parent, support staff, other community/business leaders, and/or student. Ample planning time is built into the training so that each SLT returns to their school with an action plan in place. Each school building will receive 4 to 6 hours of on-site staff development arranged to fit your busy schedule. These in-services provide an overview of the Ten Essentials framework and focus on the priorities indicated by the SLT during training. Many SLTs request such items as curriculum integration, adult role modeling, student leadership and experiential learning. On site visits, coaching, consultation, resources and meetings with SLTs are also important components.
As a Culture of Character school, you will have the opportunity to take part in a survey data collection process* which provides information related to the climate of your school. Surveys are taken by 4th, 8th, and 11th graders, their parents, and school staff.
*The Missouri Character Education Project is funded through the Missouri State Legislature. While a small cost recovery fee may apply to the initial training and regional meetings, there is normally no other charge involved. Services such as survey data collection and reports, typically offered at no charge to schools during their first four years of participation, are subject to available funding.