Learn, Apply

A district-led and implemented SEL program that includes various stakeholders in its development: CHARACTERplus Way

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CHARACTERplus Way is a district-wide approach to develop students’ social and emotional learning that requires a three-year implementation process. In Year 1, the leadership team (which includes the superintendent, two principals, two teachers, a counselor or social worker, and two parents or community members) gathers to develop a character education policy, identify desired character traits, plan ways for professional development to teach it, and ways to evaluate the success of the implementation. In Year 2, the leadership team introduces the program to teachers in the schools through professional development. In Year 3, the teachers learn classroom and schoolwide strategies from the Caring School Community program.

This St. Louis, Missouri-based program offers consistent support throughout the implementation process. CHARACTERplus Way has been noted as a “Promising program” by CASEL. While most program evaluations show positive effects, outcomes of one study favor the comparison group over the intervention group.