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The Character Education Partnership named 28 public schools, 2 charter schools, and 5 school districts as National Finalists in the 2013 National Schools of Character (NSOC) program. The state of Missouri leads again, with 26% of the schools listed, and all are CHARACTERplus members.

  • CHARACTERplus is a program of Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis and is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2013. For information on how to qualify to be a National School of Character, visit CHARACTERplus.org.

Schools that apply for NSOC recognition benefit from self-assessment as well as the expert feedback they receive at no cost. Once they reach a standard of excellence, a process that may take several years, they are recognized as Schools of Character and asked to help other schools transform their school cultures. Describing the program as a path to school improvement through high-quality character education, CEP has offered the NSOC program to K-12 schools and districts in the U.S. since 1998.

According to CEP, the 35 National Finalists were selected from an applicant pool of 131 schools and districts across the United States based on the quality of their written applications. In March & April, they will undergo an intensive screening process that will include site visits and analysis of the impact of their character-related efforts on academics, student behavior, and school culture.

The finalists include 21 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, 3 high schools, 4 mixed-grade schools, and 5 districts that include a high school district and a national charter school district. Finalists represent 16 states, with Missouri having the highest number at 9. Over half of the finalists have student populations where one-quarter or more qualify for free or reduced lunch.

The 2013 National Schools of Character will be announced in early May. CEP will honor these schools & districts at the 20th National Forum on Character Education, to be held October 24-27, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Congratulations to the 2013 NCOS finalists from Missouri:

Francis Howell School District
Independence Elementary School, St. Charles, MO

Jefferson City Public Schools
Jefferson City Academic Center, Jefferson City, MO

Mehlville School District
Beasley Elementary School, St. Louis, MO
Bierbaum Elementary School, St. Louis, MO
Hagemann Elementary School, St. Louis, MO
Mehlville High School, St. Louis, MO

Rockwood School District
Chesterfield Elementary School, Chesterfield, MO
LaSalle Springs Middle School, Wildwood, MO

Wentzville School District
Discovery Ridge Elementary School, O’Fallon, MO

Visit www.character.org to learn more about the NSOC program and see all the 2013 National Finalists.