Parkside Elementary School has been named a 2016 National School of Character by Character.org, a national advocate and leader for the character education movement.
The Schools of Character program recognizes Parkside Elementary as a school that has demonstrated its use of character development to drive a positive impact on academics, student behavior, and school climate.
Parkside was named a state school of character earlier this school year. Once so-named, schools are eligible for the national distinction and must complete a second round of rigorous evaluations.
The probability of a school receiving both the state and national recognition in the same year is rare, ranking as an outstanding achievement by Parkside.
Principal Teri Ford said, “It is a privilege to have our school serve as an exemplary model of character development at the national level. This designation is a testament to the commitment and concerted effort put forth each day here by students, parents and staff to develop character and build a rich learning environment. Parkside Elementary is grateful for the continued support of all stakeholders at the district level and the community level who play a crucial role in our success.”
The Schools of Character program is not a competition, but rather an opportunity to go through a rigorous process of feedback and coaching, as well as recognition for growth and excellence in the area of character development through Character.org’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education framework.
Parkside will hold its designation for five years. Character.org will showcase the school in an annual publication and on its website. They have also earned the right to use the National Schools of Character name and logo.
Since its inception, Character.org has awarded 263 schools with the national distinction. In 2016, 67 additional schools and four districts were named across the United States. Last year, Aston, Coebourn and Pennell elementary schools were all named National Schools of Character.
Parkside’s honor means that every elementary school in the Penn-Delco School district has been nationally recognized for their successful character education programs.
“The news that Parkside has earned, not just state but national recognition for their character-driven practices, is both thrilling and justified,” said Penn-Delco Schools Superintendent George Steinhoff. “The students and staff at Parkside have worked tirelessly to create an environment that acknowledges and rewards effective character development and positive growth. Parkside is fortunate to be part of a school community that regularly demonstrates a commitment to values and positive, caring dispositions. The award acknowledges the great effort by staff to make character development a priority while maintaining high expectations and impressive academic performance.”
Character.org will honor Parkside at the 23rd National Forum on Character Education, to be held the weekend of Oct. 14 in Washington, D.C.