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This Month's Best Practice

Each Month the Maryland Center for Character Education at Stevenson University (MCCE@SU) picks one of the Best Practices from a Character Education award winning school to share with you.

MARCH

This month's Best Practices is from an award winning school from 2016 - 2017.

 

BEST CHARACTER EDUCATION PRACTICES

 

School: Cascade Elementary

Address: 14519 Pennersville Road, Cascade, MD 21719
Principal: Laura Barnes
E-Mail: barnelau@wcps.k12.md.us

Phone: 301-766-8066

 

Character Ed. Contact: Nancy Kell

E-Mail: kellnan@wcps.k12.md.us

 

Primary Principles Emphasized: 1, 2, and 3

 

Objective(s): Students will be able to define, demonstrate, and support a school climate that embraces the six ethical values of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship.

 

Narrative:

 

Cascade Elementary School implements the following three principles:

 

Principle 1 - Promotes core ethical values as a basis of good character.
Principle 2 - Defines “character” comprehensively to include thinking, feeling, and doing.
Principle 3 - Uses a comprehensive, intentional, proactive, and effective approach to character development.

 

Our school uses the “Character Counts” program as a guide to implementing these principles.

 

The principles are taught and encouraged through:

Highlighting a character trait (such as respect) through a theme for nine months of the school year. During that month, the school:

  • Provides morning announcements that define the term and illustrate ways students can demonstrate the trait and encourage others to emonstrate/support the use of the trait in our school and community.
  • Recognizes students who demonstrate the trait through an event called the “Golden Table”. Nominees receive a certificate, a teacher’s statement about what the student did to demonstrate the trait, and a restaurant certificate for a free meal. Their photo and teacher statement are displayed on a school bulletin board.

Provision of school counselor classroom lessons that are connected to the theme. Lessons incorporate academic, personal, and/or college/career content. For example, during the responsibility month, the classroom lesson highlights developing goals.

Provision of school counselor classroom lessons that are connected to the theme. Lessons incorporate academic, personal, and/or college/career content. For example, during the responsibility month, the classroom lesson highlights developing goals.

 

Coordination of “Character Day”. This activity includes announcements and a school-wide “Chain Reaction “ activity. Each grade is assigned a character trait. Each student completes a link that was the color of their trait. They complete a statement that read “I can demonstrate (their grade’s trait) by: ________. The links are connected and the chain is displayed in prominent area for the entire school year.

 

Coordination of “Character Counts” awareness week. This activity includes announcements and activities for students to participate in each day of that week.

 

Coordination of “Red Ribbon” awareness week. This “say no to drugs” event incorporates daily activities to encourage students to use good judgement.

 

Coordination of a food drive for the state food bank and a phone book recycling event.

 

All families, school personnel, and many community members are informed of the above activities and, where appropriate, assist with supporting those activities.

Artifacts:

 

Character Counts morning announcement:

As a person with good self-control, you:

  • Know to do things for reasons other than getting approval
  • Understand cause and effect
  • Accept consequences of bad choices (without blaming others)
  • Know how to make good decisions
  • Define a problem as an opportunity
  • Refuse to bend to peer pressure
  • Take the initiative; and don’t wait until you are asked to do something
  • Resolve conflict without aggression
  • Seek a win win solution to problem
  • Make decisions based on what you think is fair even if your friends disagree
  • Set goals and work toward accomplishing them

“Golden Table” teacher comments:

 

 

Responsible

 

GOLDEN TABLE STUDENT!

 

Madison,

 

Madison you are always showing responsibility by completing your homework and having your planner signed every day. I can always count on you to have your materials out and ready to start the day. You are always willing to help others.

 

From,

Mrs. Doe

 


 

 


The Maryland Center for Character Education at Stevenson University
School of Education, 1525 Greenspring Valley Road, Stevenson, MD 21153


E-Mail: MCCEcharacter@aol.com