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Partnerships in Character Education Program

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Orange County Office of Education
Institute for Character Education (ICE)

Contact Information: Betsy Arnow, Project Director
Orange County Department of Education
200 Kalmus Drive, P.O. Box 9050
Costa Mesa, CA 92628-9050
Web site:
Grant period: 2006-2010
Amount Requested: $2,849,144 for a four-year project

Program Description
The Institute for Character Education (ICE) theme for 2006-2010 is "Students in Transition: Building Character in Middle School Students." The ICE Professional Development Program (PDP) will fulfill the need for improved school culture for at least 20,000 students in grades 6-8 in 20 middle schools, including a Muslim and an Episcopal private school. Each year, at least 50 middle school teachers and their principals will participate in ongoing professional development to create a Professional Ethical Learning Community (PELC) at each school site and will coach one another for character education implementation. The project will infuse the character elements of respect, responsibility and integrity into classroom instruction and utilize classroom strategies for character-social-emotional development. Also, the project will encourage “student voice” on campuses; and ease the transitions into, and out of, middle school. All teachers throughout the county and regionally will have the opportunity to infuse character education strategies and elements into their academic content and daily routines through a quarterly ICE Workshop Series and Character Educators’ Network

Goals and Objectives

  • To develop and deliver a coherent research-based Professional Development Program for cohorts of middle school teachers and administrators
  • To support participating PDP middle school teachers in the integration of research-based classroom management and pedagogical strategies into standards-based curriculum
  • To support participating middle school administrators in involving the whole school community in character education efforts
  • To increase student engagement in school experiences
  • To facilitate a Character Educators’ Network to sustain K-12 character education efforts
  • To develop, disseminate and market character education professional development training, resources and products to educators, parents and community members
  • To increase character-social-emotional development and academic achievement in students.

Evaluation Design
The ICE quasi-experimental research project will examine the effects of the ICE
PDP on participating teachers. Measurements will include teachers’ knowledge of ICE strategies; teacher efficacy for character education; and students’ achievement, academic self-efficacy, and character-social-moral development. Outcome evaluation will measure schoolwide climate and culture changes, and the effects of school leadership resulting from creation of the PELC.

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Last Modified: 11/08/2011