Character Development

"Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of a true education.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Character Education in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is a partnership with parents and the community to foster honest, responsible and caring students. It is an intentional and proactive effort to help students understand, care about, and act upon basic values that we all share. Character Education promotes a positive school climate where students are more polite, honest and respectful, enhances student achievement by improving school attendance and reducing classroom conflicts, and encourages community involvement and a lifelong commitment to helping others.

Each school integrates character education into three main areas:

  1. Academic Environment: Established rules and procedures promote a productive, civil and safe school.
  2. Curriculum and Instruction: Character traits are integrated into the classroom lessons to promote understanding and decision making skills.
  3. Service Learning: Students are involved in acts of service to help them develop a sense of responsibility and concern for the well being of others. It is through these "hands on" academic experiences that students reflect and learn how their actions can make a difference.

CMS focuses on a different trait each month, however all character traits are highlighted and modeled throughout the year. The character traits include:

  • Respect: Show high regard for self, others and property
  • Responsibility: Be accountable for your own behavior
  • Honesty: Be truthful in word and action
  • Caring: Show concern for the well being of others
  • Justice and Fairness: Demonstrate impartial, unbiased and equitable treatment for all
  • Citizenship: Be an informed, responsible and caring participant in your community
  • Courage: Do the right thing in the face of difficulty.  Follow your conscience instead of the crowd
  • Perseverance: Stay with a task and not give up
  • Hope: Believe you will be successful

Character Education in the Home

As part of our partnership, CMS provides information to parents about character education issues. Parents are encouraged to be positive role models and to take an active role in their child's character development.

“The emphasis on character education at my child’s school creates a wonderful learning and caring environment…it feels like family here.”
CMS parent

Faith and Business Community Involvement
Faith organizations participate by promoting character education on marquees and sharing materials with their members. The faith and business community assist the character education initiative by volunteering at schools to mentor or tutor, assisting with service learning activities and by providing financial support.

“I enjoy helping the children with the character lessons because I feel like I am touching the future of America.”
CMS volunteer

National Schools of Character:

  • Cotswold Elementary: 2001
  • Cornelius Elementary: 2005
  • McKee Road Elementary: 2006
  • Beverly Woods Elementary: 2009