Long named National School of Character

Long Elementary School has been named a National School of Character by the Character Education Partnership, or CEP, which is based in Washington, D.C.

“In a region and district known for strong character education programs, Long stands out as a leader. The school is held in high esteem not only by parents, but also by the local community and surrounding school districts,” stated a report from the visiting team of judges at Long Elementary.

CEP Executive Director Joe Mazzola stated in a news release, “CEP set a new record this year for the number of schools applying for our national recognition. The overall quality of applicants continues to get stronger, too. Of course, this makes the competition extremely tough.”

Long Principal Brian McKenney stated, “This recognition is a wonderful affirmation of Long School’s ongoing commitment to character education. Our character education leadership team spent more than a year working on the NSOC application. I am grateful to all who have helped us gain this prestigious recognition.

“It is great to have CEP recognize the important character initiatives in place at Long School. We see valuable results with character education, through positive student behavior and stronger academic performance and leadership.”

Long Elementary School’s new mark of distinction supports the theory that school transformation is possible through low-cost, high-quality character education initiatives, according to the release.

Teachers and staff members at Long have closed the achievement gap and raised academic expectations for all students, built strong relationships and partnerships between parents, teachers and students, and given their students opportunities to serve their communities.

The visiting judges also stated in their report, “Long teachers frequently model best practices in presentations to other schools. Through modeling, effective lesson planning and consistency of purpose, all staff members at Long have integrated character into every corner of the school. Students learn conflict resolution and empathy through the use of ‘I Care Language.’

“Through a schoolwide focus on service learning, students learn to identify needs and develop projects to meet those needs.”

The Long Character Education Committee is chaired by teacher Stacey Cervantes, counselor Kim Maddock and McKenney.

Amy Richards, district coordinator for character education, will travel with Long Elementary to receive an award and grant at the CEP’s 16th National Forum in October outside of Washington, D.C.