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West Virginia Department of Education Abstract

Contact: Lisa Burton-Sites
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East B-057
Charleston, WV 25305-0330
(304) 558-2546
lgburton@access.k12.wv.us

Integrating Character Development in West Virginia

Grant Number: R215V010009
Project Period: 5/15/01–5/14/05
FY 2001 Award: $113,220
FY 2002 Award: $312,260
FY 2003 Award: $312,260
FY 2004 Award: $262,260

Integrating character development in West Virginia is a comprehensive character development program designed to develop in all students of West Virginia the core character traits that are necessary in order to become productive and successful citizens. This K12 initiative is designed to increase student achievement by implementing an integrated and comprehensive approach in the delivery of character development.

PROJECT MISSION

All students in West Virginia will exhibit core character traits that are necessary in order to become productive and successful citizens.

PROJECT GOALS

Goal 1: Provide extensive professional development in order to develop and strengthen the knowledge of both administrators and teachers regarding the content and integration of character development (as it relates to caring, citizenship, justice and fairness, respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, and other elements agreed upon by individual school communities).

Goal 2: Create and sustain partnerships between schools in order to provide a support network.

Goal 3: Provide technical assistance to allow entire school communities to plan, implement, and assess character development in relation to the National and West Virginia Education goals.

Goal 4: Implement an effective State and Local Education Agency evaluation system.

A character development initiative has become a priority for education in West Virginia largely due to the new leadership of the State Superintendent and newly elected governor. Through statewide educational "forums" the public has communicated the importance of including character education within the public schools. Lastly, the state legislature is currently addressing a senate bill to mandate the integration of character development into the curriculum of all schools in West Virginia.

A Character Development Partnership will oversee the statewide initiative to provide extensive professional development through a sustained state effort. Professional development will be conducted through yearly summer academies and follow up trainings. Twenty pilot schools within the eligible regions, represented by currently established Local School Improvement Councils and School Curriculum Teams, will be the driving force behind planning, implementation, and evaluation of a quality character development program. A mentor teacher who will be responsible for providing direction to plan and implement each school's plan will represent each participating school community. Each of the mentors will receive extensive professional development through state and regional initiatives. The mentors will then provide on-site, on-going, professional development for all teachers in their schools. Mentors will also provide assistance to the School's Curriculum Team in order to develop a character development plan based on the needs of the individual school.

"Integrating character developed in West Virginia" stresses the inclusion of entire school communities (administrators, teachers, parents, students, businesses, and community members) as vital to the state's overall strategy to ensure learning for all students. With special emphasis given to professional development; creating and sustaining partnerships; and providing technical assistance to plan, implement, and assess character development, this project will ensure that all students will exhibit the common core character traits that are necessary in order to become productive and successful citizens.

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Last Modified: 11/08/2011