MILLSTONE – The Millstone Township Middle School has been recognized by an international network as a school with a dedicated focus on character development.
In a press release dated Jan. 25, Character.org announced that the Millstone Township Middle School has been designated as a State School of Character for 2022.
The middle school, which is part of the Millstone Township K-8 School District, was one of 67 schools in the United States to receive the designation and one of 15 schools in New Jersey to be recognized.
According to the press release, Character.org is an international network that has advocated for character since 1993. The press release states the Character.org Schools of Character program has positively impacted nearly three million students, staff members, parents and other community members.
To receive the School of Character designation, a school must demonstrate a dedicated focus on character development that has a positive effect on academic achievement, student behavior and school climate, according to the press release.
The criteria to receive the designation is based on the Character.org “11 Principles Framework for Schools: A Guide to Cultivating a Culture of Character.” According to Character.org, the 11 principles are:
• Core values are defined, implemented and embedded into school culture;
• The school defines “character” comprehensively to include thinking, feeling and doing;
• The school uses a comprehensive, intentional and proactive approach to develop character;
• The school creates a caring community;
• The school provides students with opportunities for moral action;
• The school offers a meaningful and challenging academic curriculum that respects all learners, develops their character and helps them succeed;
• The school fosters students’ self-motivation;
• All staff members share the responsibility for developing, implementing and modeling ethical character;
• The school’s character initiative has shared leadership and long-range support for continuous improvement;
• The school engages families and community members as partners in the character initiative;
• The school assesses its implementation of character education, its culture and climate, and the character growth of students on a regular basis.
The Millstone Township Middle School and the other schools that received the State School of Character designation this year will be considered for the National School of Character designation, according to the press release. The 2022 National Schools of Character will be announced in May.
Superintendent of Schools Christopher Huss said, “I think our middle school being recognized as a School of Character is a wonderful achievement. It’s a testament to, and acknowledgement of, several years of work and commitment to create a culture and climate where students are supported, their voices are heard and they feel comfortable coming to school each day.
“Thanks to this environment, our students have increased potential to succeed in academics, extracurricular activities, sports and more. This is because once everyone’s basic needs are met, they are able to focus more on higher-level goals and aspirations.
“I am thankful to our middle school administrative team, the guidance department and the entire staff who have collaborated to make this goal a reality and provide a wonderful atmosphere for the students,” Huss said.