Ridgecrest Elementary Named ‘School of Character’
Ridgecrest was one of 80 schools in the U.S. to receive the designation.
PINELLAS COUNTY – Largo’s Ridgecrest Elementary was of one of 80 schools across the country to be designated as a State School of Character for 2017.
Each year, Character.org and its state affiliates select schools and districts that demonstrate a dedicated focus on character development that has a true positive impact on academic achievement, student behavior, and school climate.
In schools of character, adults embrace their critical role as models, according to character.org. Teachers work together as professionals—and with parents and community members as partners—to positively shape the social, emotional, and character development of the young people entrusted to them each day. Students in these schools feel safe, respected, and connected to those around them, allowing them to thrive academically and socially and be motivated to give back to their communities.
Schools of character have these traits:
- Bullying is rare
- Cheating and discipline problems decline
- Test scores, grades, and homework completion go up
- Attendance and graduation rates are high
- Dropout rates are low
- Achievement gaps are narrowed
- Teacher retention and satisfaction are high
- Parent satisfaction and engagement rates are high
- Student engagement and involvement is high
Character.org is an organization dedicated to advocating for integrity, honesty, respect, and other core ethical values to be fused into education.
According to Ridgecrest’s website:
“Character education plays a big role in the overall education of our students at Ridgecrest as we strive to cultivate student Leadership, Service, Scholarship, Innovation, and Citizenship. Each month students study a character trait and read our ‘Character Book of the Month,’ which reinforces our core values. Students are taught numerous protocols to establish personal goals, monitor their learning, and to foster a growth mindset.
“Service learning continues to grow as a major school initiative.This year, we are growing our school’s ‘Adopt-A-Spot Program’ where classes commit to keeping our campus clean and shining! Students also participate in many other schoolwide and class service learning opportunities.
“A new initiative is to promote ‘Digital Citizenship’ as we discuss what good character looks like in cyberspace. We are proud of our school’s Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) Club for their work promoting character education across our school.”
Photo of Ridgecrest pupils courtesy of Pinellas County Schools.
Ridgecrest Elementary | Pinellas County Schools | Character Education | Character.org | TB Reporter
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