Kenwood Elementary named 2019 state School of Character

School is only one in Kentucky to earn the distinction

Kenwood Elementary School has been recognized as a 2019 State School of Character for its use of character development to drive a positive impact on academics, student behavior and school climate.  Kenwood is the only school in Kentucky to be honored with the recognition in 2019 – and the first Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) to ever receive the distinction.

“We have heard time and time again that Kenwood just has that certain feeling when you walk into the doors,” said Kenwood Assistant Principal Katie Williams, who helped coordinate the application process for, which awarded the distinction. “Our students not only know and understand what gratitude, courage and love look and feel like, but they can explain and teach it to others.” 

Two elementary school girls sitting at a table at school, looking at school work together

To be considered for the honor, schools must submit an extensive application that outlines how they incorporate character building into their everyday activities, and host an on-site review and assessment by 

“Three years ago we started an honest self-assessment by looking at our school from the inside out and determined we needed a cohesive character education curriculum, common language and norms throughout the building that we could name and own as ours,” Williams said.  “After the implementation of several systems we have achieved that pillar of character education excellence, and are thrilled to be receiving this great honor.”

Since its inception, has recognized more than 565 schools with the distinction of State School of Character. Criteria for the designation are based on’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education, which include providing students with opportunities for moral action, fostering shared leadership; and engaging families and communities as partners in character-building efforts.

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