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Welcome back to the new school year! We hope that your year has had a smooth start and is filled with every indication that the new school year will be your best yet. As we look to the 16-17 year, CharacterPlus begins a journey of transformation to better meet the ever-changing needs of our students, our teachers, and our schools.
Fueled with “What Next?” input gathered (last spring and this fall) from our District Leaders, CharacterPlus will be focused on creating new programming and additional support services. We will extend our offerings of innovative and timely practices to meet your needs today and tomorrow. We look forward to our continued partnership as we create even stronger school cultures where students grow and thrive.
Our rebuilding focus this year is about creating coherence. Michael Fullan says coherence is, “a shared depth of understanding about the purpose and nature of the work in the minds and actions individually and especially collectively.” What this says to me is – MINDSET and VISION. If we are all working towards the same goal, we can achieve success by focusing on the right work. Leadership around the making of coherence connects focus with collaborative cultures so that we deepen the learning in measurable and visible outputs.
The CharacterPlus team will work diligently to bring coherence and clear focus to our work in your schools. We want to measure our impact by your successes. Please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we may begin creating the plan for success in your school culture.
Here’s to an amazing school year!
Dr. Julie Sperry
Executive Director of CharacterPlus
Director of Leadership
Committing To The Journey
Thank you to all of our member districts and schools who have resoundingly said, “YES” and recommitted to be a partner with CharacterPlus. It is through the membership in CharacterPlus that we are able to provide National Speakers, Certification Courses, Student Summits and other advanced coursed in Character Education. We look forward to receiving recommitment from all of our former C+ districts and schools.
I encourage you all to make a goal to complete the State School of Character Application. This process can be daunting, but can serve as an excellent audit of your school culture and climate. I encourage every school to go through this. You will be better for it! We can help you every step of the way. On September 27, we offer the first in a series of SSOC workshops to help you understand the process and its intended outcomes. It is a free workshop for our members.
Are You Certified, Yet? If you have new staff, or staff who hasn’t completed their journey, now is the time to sign them up to become certified in Character Education. The necessary three courses are offered two times throughout the school year: Character Development and Education; Essentials of the CharacterPlus Process; and Effective Methods of Character Ed.
These three courses help deepen understanding, develop a like mindset and build capacity for creating an amazing culture of learning for our students. See the CharacterPlus Calendar of Events for our member schools. Sign up by going to the EdPlus website or call Erin Lee at 314.692.1252.
CharacterPlus National Conference Builds a Foundation of Character
The CharacterPlus National Conference, held at Westminster Christian Academy on July 27 and 28, was an inspiring and impactful learning experience. The keynote speakers, breakout sessions and State and National School of Character Recognition Ceremony reinforced how being intentional about character education shapes the culture and climate of schools for staff and student success. In the words of Dr. Terrell Strayhorn, “there’s a bright side somewhere." Thank you to all who made our 22nd conference “the bright side!"
Character Day 2016
JOIN OVER 28,000 GROUPS FOR CHARACTER DAY!
Let’s make September 22 a special day in our region! It is time to come together and celebrate who we are as people. CharacterDay can be our platform of bringing about positive change in our communities.
If you did not get a chance to hear about Character Day at the CharacterPlus National Conference, we want to make sure you are in the know and to sign up. On September 22, 2016, join hundreds of thousands of people around the globe for the third annual Character Day. This is a free day and global initiative where school districts, organizations, families and congregations of all sizes screen films on the science of character development from different perspectives, dive into free printed discussion materials catered to different ages, and join an online global conversation around the importance of developing character strengths (resilience, grit, empathy, courage, kindness)--all rooted in evidence-based research. Character Day is one day, but the resources are available year-round. Learn more and sign up here (takes 2 min).
If you don’t want to view one of the films, it doesn’t matter. Just build some time into September 22 to do something focused and relevant around what it means to be a good person, good neighbor, good citizen or good student. Hold courageous conversations during class meetings around the events that are happening around us every day in the news. Provide opportunity for the students to voice their opinions. Give them time to suggest ideas to make a difference and start a movement for CHANGE. September 22 is just one day – but it could be Day 1 of a journey toward healing and positive change. We hope you join us!
Calling All CharacterPlus Leaders!
Tuesday, September 6 is the Superintendent/District Leader Kick-Off. This year we have secured a really COOL venue for the event - City Museum! The museum is closed to the public and open just for us. The program will include activities that allow some time to explore the amazing facility.
Our theme for the meeting is Mission Possible: Building Coherence. This event will include a powerful lunch conversation focused on “What Next?”. We encourage all of our superintendents to step away from work and step into the CharacterPlus lunch experience. It is great time to reflect on the first days of school and get reminded of the awesome responsibility we have to create students of character.
For more information, contact Julie Sperry at email@example.com
CharacterPlus Leads the Gateway2change Movement
Gateway2change Student Summits on Race inspire and motivate young people to become leaders for positive change in their local community. This unique approach helps students engage in purposeful conversations about the social and cultural differences that exist within the St. Louis region.
In less than two years, Gateway2change has served more than 400 students representing 35 high schools throughout the St. Louis region. Annual cohorts of students participate in summits facilitated by program staff and community partners. Students learn from local and national experts to explore how social and cultural differences influence individual life experiences and perspectives. Students apply problem-solving models to develop solutions for regional issues related to social and cultural difference, diversity and equity.
Registration is now open and limited to 30 high schools. Register here to ensure your spot for the 2016-17 Gateway2change Movement.
For more information about Gateway2change and the Student Summits on Race, contact Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Jennifer Tiller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314.692.1264.
The Connected Classroom
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