NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk’s Tracey Elementary School has again been honored.
Character.org, a national advocate and leader for character education, in February named Tracey a 2019 Connecticut School of Character. On Friday, the organization one-upped the honor by designating Tracey a National School of Character.
“Tracey is the only school in the state of Connecticut to earn this title, joining 87 schools and 3 districts in 24 states across the country,” a Norwalk Public Schools statement said.
“Each year, Character.org certifies schools and districts at the state and national level that demonstrate a dedicated focus on character development, which has a positive effect on academic achievement, student behavior, and school climate,” according to a statement on the nonprofit’s website.
The National Schools of Character is the organization’s highest distinction, it states.
“Criteria for selection are based on Character.org’s 11 Principles of Effective Character, which include providing students with opportunities for moral action, fostering shared leadership, and engaging families and communities as partners in the character-building effort,” it states.
“We are honored to have been awarded this prestigious distinction, and look forward to continuing to share our journey and experiences with others,” Tracey Principal Theresa Rangel is quoted as saying in the NPS release. “Character education is part of our school culture, but our students are learning that good character goes well beyond the classroom. Having good character is a way of life.”
The release states:
“Each day, more than 400 K-5 students at Tracey are challenged to leave their ‘PRINT’ on the world by living the core values embedded in the Tracey pledge:
“The school’s character education program has significantly enhanced the climate of the school, and supported academic growth and achievement. Tracey School has become one of the highest performing schools in the district. The school was one of only 14 in Connecticut to earn the ‘Distinction’ moniker this year for both high performance and high growth in ELA and Math, for all students and for high needs students as a separate category.”
Character.org will honor Tracey at the 2019 National Forum to be held Oct. 24-27 in Washington, D.C.
“National character school sounds simple: there are not four words yet the feat takes years to accomplish,” Character.org press contact Sheril Morgan states in a video. “Character.org is extremely proud of the work that has been done around the world, regardless of the designation. The schools that made to national schools and districts of character have not arrived. This is not a destination. It is a call to action to help others join us in making cultures of character.”