schools of character

How does my school become a Kansas School of Character?

Kansas Schools of Character is a statewide program that recognizes schools and districts that demonstrate outstanding character development initiatives. These programs yield positive results in:

• Student behavior
• School climate
• Academic performance

The application process is one of self-reflection, documentation and feedback, plus the opportunity to share successful strategies with others. The best applicant(s) will advance to the national level for review as National Schools of Character.

2017 Enhanced Spotlight

The Kansas School of Character Recognition Program announces the ENHANCED Spotlight Recognition for schools implementing the Social, Emotional and Character Development (SECD) Standards and now recognizing the connections within to the 5 R’s, the themes in the Kansas Education System Accreditation (KESA). This is the recognition program aimed at schools beginning to focus on improving the school climate and culture through a whole school implementation of the SECD Standards AND beginning to lay the groundwork for KESA, our new school accreditation model.

For more information and application visit the Enhanced Spotlight page here.

2017 promising practices application

Each year, as part of the Kansas State School of Character Recognition program, the Kansas State Department of Education, and recognize schools in Kansas who have implemented unique, specific, and effective character education strategies. Schools apply for this recognition by completing the one-page application on the website and are eligible for recognition in Kansas, and also nationally through our national partner, Please read about Promising Practices and complete the application here. Schools selected are recognized at our annual Recognition Ceremony that will take place at the Brown v. Board of Education Historical Site in Topeka on Thursday, May 4, 2017. Deadline for submission of your Promising Practice is March 15, 2017.

For more applications, KESA facts, SECD standards and more click here.

Register to attend on our events page here.

why is character education important?


Preparing students for a challenging world means offering more than intellectual stimulation. Character education helps to meet the needs of the business community, for instance, which has called for more focus on skills like reliability, honesty and leadership. It also is a proactive effort by schools, districts and communities to help students develop important core ethical (recognizing what’s right) and performance (doing what’s right) values such as caring, honesty, diligence, fairness, fortitude, responsibility, grit, creativity, critical thinking, and respect for self and others.

“From recent surveys, it is clear that business and industry want employees to be academically prepared for the positions that they are seeking. But, more importantly, they want employees that demonstrate dependability, persistence, and teamwork skills,” said Brad Neuenswander, Deputy Commissioner at the Kansas State Department of Education. “The social, emotional, and character development programs and initiatives prepare our students with the skills necessary for both college and career readiness.”

Topeka City of Character in collaboration with the Kansas State Department of Education and the Brown v. Board of Education Historical Site is pleased to announce the 2016 Kansas Schools of Character Recognition Program in conjunction with the National School of Character Awards Program.

The application process is a done completely on-line through the website, which is the national program's website. It's full of helpful tips, interesting research on character education and other useful resources for schools and districts.

Since this is a school improvement process, your school TEAM should do the reflection and documentation necessary for the application. Excellent materials are available on the website to support the development of the application AND support is also available through our Kansas Character Coaches by contacting Sue Kidd, It is important to put together all of the information and supporting documentation in advance and then upload it directly to the site!

For more information contact:
Sue Kidd, Coordinator for Kansas Character Development Initiative, at

Or contact Kent Reed, School Counseling Consultant, Advanced Placement, Character Education Project Director Academic/Personal-Social/Career Integration Coordinator, at

Each year, as part of the Kansas State School of Character Recognition program, the Kansas State Department of Education, and recognize schools in Kansas that are implementing programs and practices to increase character development and social, emotional learning. Schools selected are recognized at our annual Kansas Schools of Character Recognition Ceremony. 

• May 4th, 9:30 am presentations at 10 am

• Brown v. Board National Historic Site - Topeka, KS

• Afternoon sessions begin at 1:00pm