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National School of Character

What it means to be a National School of Character

From the website of recognizes schools and districts that implement the rigorous standards of our 11 Principles Framework for Schools: A Guide to Cultivating a Culture of Character. Schools of Character serve as an exemplary model for all schools across the United States and around the world.

The schools and districts that apply must meet the rigorous standards articulated in’s 11 Principles Framework for Schools. Each school is assessed by a team of trained evaluators.


More than 3 million educators, students, parents and community members across the country and internationally have been positively impacted by being involved with a School of Character. Over the years, school and community stakeholders have shared with us 3 significant benefits:

  • A palpable “ethic of caring” defines the school culture

    Staff members use the word “family” to describe the culture of their school. Students perceive their teachers and staff as caring. Discipline reflects the positive attachments between all members of the school community.

  • Shared core values guides every aspect of the school

    At the heart of each National School of Character is a set of shared “core values” that express and articulate what the school stands for. All teachers, staff, students and parents describe the school’s core values as the “beating heart” that guides every aspect of school life.

  • The core values guide behaviors in the school, home, and community

    Schools of Character foster in their students a commitment to be honest and trustworthy, to volunteer their time and talents to the common good, and when necessary, to show the courage to stand up for what is right.


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