Policy Making in the area of Character Education

School-wide Character Education

Having the whole school work together brings a momentum to character education that is easier to sustain. All it takes is one person committed to character education. If you are that one person and you would like to see character education in your school, follow these steps:

1. Learn about character education. (Books, articles, workshops, organizations; Learn what policies are already in place)

2. Contact key groups for recruitment.

3. Set up a small team, council, task force or steering committee. Include on it: parent, teacher, student, recent graduate, administration, guidance counselor, support staff (secretary, custodian, etc.), community member.

4. Develop premises (beliefs) about moral values.

5. Identify target values

    a. Draft a target statement and logo. Boil it down into something sharp and clear, a target likely to inspire enthusiasm and commitment ("Character Counts" or "Albuquerque: The City where Character Counts").

    b. Share the target statement widely and get reactions.
    c. Needs analysis: Survey school staff, parents, students, community leaders (political, business, clergy, heads of youth services).

    d. Assess how your school already teaches values.

    e. Decide on core values.

    f. Define each value and terms.

    g. Write or revise mission statement.

    h. Write goals/outcomes.

    i. Form a resolution or position paper.

6. Develop a plan
a) short range (one year) and b) long range

Here is an example of a First Year Plan


Goal 1
Steps to take:



(1) Raise awareness of the target: stationary, bulletins, bulletin boards, target cards.

(2) Training: Set up workshops for teachers, staff, parents and students. Include all staff: aides, secretaries, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers. Administrators should attend. This should be required. There should be homework and regular follow up meetings.

(3) Have a Kick Off Event such as Character Counts Week in October. Give it media attention.

(4) Have teachers work as partners or in teams. Have sharing sessions.

(5) Use Team Planning for curriculum development of character education. Teachers at each grade level meet to identify developmentally appropriate values to emphasize, to define educational objectives for each value and to develop corresponding classroom activities. Keep a Values Curriculum/Activities File Box in the Resource Center.

(6) Plan Projects with maximum involvement and visibility.

(7) Start a Resource Center with books, magazines, and other materials.

(8) Start a reward system for people who give ideas for "hitting the target" or who themselves score dramatic hits.

(9) Keep the press and publicity high.


7. Get feedback on the plan. Present it to staff, parents and others. Incorporate suggestions for improvement. Disseminate the revised plan.

8. Set up a parent committee which keeps parents informed, organizes parent participation and encourages parents to foster values at home. Ask parents to aim for the target.

9. Create special focus subcommittees for high priority issues: school-wide discipline, cafeteria, playground, athletics, assemblies, community service, school government. See shared spaces.

10. Evaluate the program. Have regular review and revision.


More School Planning

School-wide Ideas


School request

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