ASTON, PA—Penn-Delco School District is pleased to announce that Parkside Elementary School has recently been named a 2016 Pennsylvania State School of Character by Character.org. State Schools of Character (SSOC) are schools or districts in one of 31 participating states honored for their outstanding work in character education. State sponsors invite SSOC to serve as models of excellence within their states where they share character education best practices as part of a state-wide network of schools. Parkside Elementary is one of only two schools to receive this honor in Pennsylvania this year. They will hold this honor for three years and will receive a banner and celebratory assembly to mark this outstanding achievement. Parkside is also now eligible to be considered for the National School of Character recognition.
“Parkside Elementary School is honored to have been named a Pennsylvania State School of Character,” stated Mrs. Teri Ford, Parkside Elementary School Principal. “This designation is a reflection of the effort put forth every day by students, staff and parents here at Parkside Elementary School to ensure a positive school climate. At Parkside Elementary we are committed to continuous improvement and value the support of all stakeholders in our district and community who are unwavering partners in our daily character education journey.”
Over the summer, a committee comprising of eight Parkside teachers and staff was created to tackle the rigorous SSOC application process. The group spent several months perfecting the application through research, writing and gathering parent and community endorsements. In December, Parkside was notified that they would be visited by a representative of Pennsylvania’s SSOC sponsor, DeSales University. During the visit, Parkside was thoroughly assessed and evaluated based on the 11 Principals of Effective Character Education criteria. The school was notified in January that it had been selected as one of Pennsylvania’s Schools of Character for this year.
The 11 Principles of Effective Character Education are the cornerstone of Character.org’s philosophy on effective character education. Each principle outlines vital aspects of character education, which includes providing students with opportunities for moral action, fostering shared leadership and engaging families and communities as partners in character-building efforts. Parkside has proven to be exceptional in these principles and has maintained the importance of positive character development within their school. This process has allowed Parkside the opportunity to reflect on their practices and programs and assess their level of implementation against a recognized standard of excellence.
Dr. George Steinhoff, Superintendent of Schools noted “The district is thrilled to have yet another elementary school named as a Statewide School of Character. I’m pleased that the Parkside school community received this distinction. We’ve known of the great things happening at Parkside but it is always uplifting to have outside agencies and organizations acknowledge that as well. Congratulation to the entire Parkside school community.”