Birmingham Schools Named Finalists for National Character Education Award
Birmingham's Quarton Elementary and West Maple Elementary have been named finalists for a 2013 National Schools of Character Award.
Two Birmingham elementary schools are basking in some well-deserved spotlight this weekend.
Birmingham's West Maple Elementary and Quarton Elementary were recently named finalists for the 2013 National Schools of Character awards, which recognizes high-impact programs that develop respect, honesty, compassion and other ethical values.
Quarton and West Maple are two of 28 public schools, two charter schools and five school districts nationwide to be recognized as finalists by the Character Education Partnership (CEP), part of the National Schools of Character program.
Besides being in the same school district, Quarton and West Maple were also the only two finalists from Michigan.
"The development of good character in our students is a priority for our school district," said Birmingham Superintendent Daniel Nerad. "Knowing we have Quarton and West maple named as a finalist for the National Schools of Character award speaks volumes regarding the commitment of these two schools, and for that matter others in the district, to focus on these critical life skills. We are very proud of this work."
The 35 national finalists were selected from an applicant pool of 131 schools and districts across the country. In March and April, finalists will undergo an intensive screening process that will analyze the effect of their character-related efforts on academics, student behavior and school culture.
The 2013 National Schools of Character will be announced in early May.
"These schools are safe places that have developed cultures of respect and trust," said CEP president Mark Hyatt in a recent statement. "They show us how an intentional emphasis on character and climate translates into creating the conditions necessary for learning, safety and success."
Birmingham is no stranger to the Schools of Character program. Pembroke, Pierce and Bingham Farms elementary schools were named 2011 National Schools of Character.
Character education at Birmingham Public Schools is even more important than ever, Superintendent Daniel Nerad said at Tuesday's board of education meeting. As part of the district's Safe Schools plan, Birmingham will be taking a hard look at its character educaton program to ensure the district is fostering a culture of respect among students.
"At the end of the day, it has to be our collective commitment to make sure we have good culture in our schools, and good behavior in our schools," Nerad said.