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Newport Mill MS Is National Schools of Character Finalist

April 19, 2007
Newport Mill Middle School Named National Schools of Character Finalist

If students at Newport Mill Middle School see someone being teased or bullied, they’re likely to stop and try to help.

Each month, teachers from different subject areas teach lessons that focus on “character in action.”

Students who practice “Tiger Pride” character traits are celebrated with monthly awards.

These are only a few of the reasons the school has been selected as a national finalist in the National Schools of Character awards program. The award is given by the Character Education Partnership (CEP), a national advocate for quality character education initiatives.

“Bringing together the academic and social/emotional development through character education is a very effective strategy for supporting student success,” says Principal Nelson McLeod.

Three years ago, the school implemented a Peer Leadership Project to raise students’ awareness of the effects of teasing and bullying. With the help of student input, the endeavor expanded to other areas throughout the school.

Now, says Ellen Turverey, chair of the school’s Character Education Committee, “a sound character education program supports our initiatives and builds on the needs of the entire Newport Mill community.”

Attention to character development occurs in numerous ways at Newport Mill. One way is through the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme curriculum, which incorporates activities in each unit to promote caring, respect, and responsibility for self, others, and the environment/community. “Take a Stand Tuesday” has empowered students to be allies instead of bystanders when they witness teasing and bullying.

In addition, character-based, in-service workshops and presentations educate staff. Periodic parent workshops offer ways character can be developed at home.

CEP is conducting site visits to all finalists through the end of April. CEP’s Blue Ribbon Panel will meet to select 10 winners in late May.

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