Featured School: Heritage Hill Elementary School

by | Apr 20, 2021 | Character Education Practices | 0 comments

Resilience Curriculum Connection - Science

School: Heritage Hill Elementary School

Grades: Kindergarten to Fifth Grade

District: Princeton City Schools

Website: www.princetonschools.net

Submitted by: Shari Hoskins, Principal

Questions to: Shari Hoskins, 513-864-1401 or shoskins@vikingmail.org

Heritage Hill Elementary School

In our role as the State Coordinator for Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana for Character.org’s State School of Character award, we provide evaluators to review applications based on their 11 Principles of Character Education which can be found here. We are highlighting the following school for a Character Education practice that demonstrates one or more of these principles.

Heritage Hill Elementary of Princeton City Schools serves students in kindergarten through fifth grade and has shared with us a Character Education Practice that they are proud of. Shari Hoskins, the Principal, submitted this practice.

The mission statement of Heritage Hill Elementary is ‘Empowering each student for college, career, and life success.” The core values chosen are based on their ‘Getting Along Together’ program, which is the practice that is highlighted in this article. Students practice teamwork, wisdom, leadership, and diversity as a basis for their success.

“Our Getting Along Together is a schoolwide program designed to build student’s ability to focus thinking, understand and deal with feelings, manage their own behaviors, and build positive relationships,” writes Hoskins. “Our daily cooperative learning structures and teams allow for real discussions, social groups, team celebrations and team points for cooperative structures and character building.” These practices have shown to increase their overall culture with high levels of attendance where students feel safe and engaged, creating a supportive school environment that engages student learning and the development of positive social-emotional leadership skills, and uses that student engagement to enhance student academic performance and engagement. The school promotes a growth mindset skill development to provide leadership. Parents partner with the school to enhance home-school connections while bringing about the whole child. “We are a school that promotes togetherness and unity while continuing a school with no out-of-school suspensions. Our data indicate that our team approach of building character through leadership and care is shown from each student to classroom to school to home,” writes Hoskins.

To further support this program, Heritage Hill is very proud to partner with the Anthony Munoz Foundation as they connect their school and participate in the yearly Hispanic Character Camps and Impact for Eternity Camps. Heritage Hill students experience life-changing opportunities full of character education and culturally inclusive and enriching activities. Students learn the importance of leadership and character, team-building skills, and the fundamentals of life. Hoskins writes, “Our children and families always show excitement when they return from the camp. Muñoz and his team have brought so much light to our school while enhancing our pride of family, character, and diversity.”

“Our camp’s mission is to build character. I have immense pride in my heritage and I want these children to feel that pride and be a role model for their peers and in their communities, no matter their situations.” – Anthony Muñoz

This practice best relates to Principle 2 in which the school defines “character” comprehensively to include thinking, feeling, and doing. The practice submitted supports all three key indicators in this Principle which include that staff teach and provide opportunities for students to understand core values, ethical decision-making, and applications to life situations; the school provides experiences and time for students to reflect on and internalize the core values; the school provides opportunities for students to practice the core values, so they become habitual patterns of behavior.

We hope that by highlighting Character Education practices like this one, they not only inspire schools to enact these or similar programs but also to understand the evaluation process for the awards and make it easier for schools to apply. If you are interested in more information on applying for the State School of Character Award or would like to become an evaluator for the awards, please contact Jacqueline Schmucki at 513-973-6984 or jschmucki@charactercincinnati.org.

Would you like to be the next featured school? Apply by clicking here. Each school chosen to become a featured school will receive a set of Biggest and Brightest Light books and the curriculum guide or a pair of Doug Coates books, depending on the age group. The Character Council will also work with local media to highlight the practices of the school.

If you have any questions about this practice, the other practices mentioned, or Heritage Hill Elementary School, please direct them to Shari Hoskins, Principal at 513-864-1401 or shoskins@vikingmail.org.

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What do you think of the Character Education practice above? Do you have any similar programs at your school? How are they the same or different? Comment below!