Partnerships in Character Education Program
District of Columbia Department of Education Abstract
Contact: Karen Skipper
District of Columbia Public Schools
825 North Capitol Street NE, Suite 8116
Washington, DC 20002
Character Education Initiative
Application Number : R215V000011
Project Period : 7/l/00 - 6/30/05
FY 2000 Award : $271,731
FY 2001 Award : $279,814
FY 2002 Award : $179,441
FY 2003 Award : $141,015
FY 2004 Award : $127,635
The Character Education Initiative is a partnership between the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), State Educational Agency (SEA), and the DCPS Local Educational Agency (LEA). Character education is of critical importance in the development of a positive learning environment and the attainment of high student achievement. While a variety of efforts are currently in place that target the needs of individual schools, a more comprehensive approach is needed. The Character Education Initiative will enable DCPS to design a reform model to connect character-building content and instructional strategies with existing curriculum standards, and to improve overall school climate. Integrating character education into the everyday curriculum is expected to improve student achievement, attendance, and family/community involvement in the participating schools and to create a replicable model for use throughout the LEA's 147 schools.
Grant funds will enable 11 DCPS schools, serving 6,926 students, to pilot a model integrated character development program. The consortium consists of six elementary schools, two middle/junior high schools, and three senior high schools located in each of the District of Columbia's eight Wards. The schools will work together to review existing models that offer character-building content. In a process that involves students, families, and community, schools will either select a suitable model or develop a model that will emphasize character education and fit into the DCPS comprehensive reform effort. The SEA will support similar efforts in other LEAs.
The initiative will achieve its goals by: providing training to Local School Coordinators who can teach school staff, students, families, and community, and also serve as a resource in each pilot school; and providing resources for the staff, students, teachers, and families that will increase understanding of the schools' role in character development.