NJDOE News

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    Kathryn Forsyth, Director
    Richard Vespucci
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For Release: August 6, 2008


Cherry Hill School Selected as National School of Character

The Rosa International Middle School in Cherry Hill has been named a 2008 National School of Character by the Character Education Partnership (CEP).  The school was one of only 10 schools chosen nationally for the honor.

“Rosa International Middle School exemplifies what New Jersey hoped to accomplish with the state’s investment in social-emotional and character development,” said Commissioner of Education Lucille E. Davy.  “We are proud to add this prestigious award to the list of character education accomplishments in New Jersey schools.”

Commissioner Davy added that Rosa International successfully fosters a sense of belonging and family “not only to the children who attend the school, but to the staff and all of those who touch the lives of the students there.”

The award-winning school enrolls approximately 780 students in grades six through eight.  It offers the international baccalaureate curriculum featuring high quality courses and studies in international education.  It demonstrates its commitment to character education by devoting two staff development days per year to character education planning.  The school has an Advisory program for students, providing them with daily opportunities to conduct service activities, engage in buddy programs, or get extra academic help.  In addition, a 20-member Character Education Committee consisting of teachers, staff and parents meets monthly.  Rosa International is structured around nine learning communities, creating a sense of small family.

Representatives from the school will join other award winners at CEP’s 15th National Forum on Character Education in Arlington, VA from October 17-19 to receive a $20,000 grant to be used to train and mentor other schools and districts seeking to improve their character education efforts. 

The Character Education Partnership, based in Washington, D.C., is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, non-sectarian coalition of organizations and individuals dedicated to helping schools develop people of good character.  It conducts the national school recognition program to identify exemplary programs that share the organization’s goal of creating a just and compassionate society.

This year’s selection process featured a record-setting number of 149 applications, which were reviewed were narrowed by CEP to a field of 25 finalists.  The organization’s Blue Ribbon Panel of experts in the field of character education reviewed the applications of the finalists to determine the 10 winning schools and one winning school district.

Last year, CEP selected two New Jersey schools:  Radix Elementary School in Williamstown and Memorial Middle School Fair Lawn, for national recognition.

For more information about CEP and the National Schools of Character, visit:

www.character.org