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Minnesota Schools of Character Award Program

The Schools of Character program is a school improvement process offering the opportunity for recognition, self-assessment and professional feedback to schools and districts engaged in character education.
The program honors all schools and districts that demonstrate an exemplary implementation of the 11 Principles of Effective Character Education. Synergy & Leadership Exchange (Synergy) works in partnership with to offer the Schools of Character program in Minnesota.

Participation in the state or national Schools of Character program utilizes the same online application, available at Minnesota applicants reaching a standard of excellence at the state level are named State Schools of Character (for 3 years) by Synergy. Applicants meeting a national standard of excellence are named National Schools of Character (for 5 years) by These schools and districts become part of a state and national network that serve as models and mentors to other educators.
Synergy and offer resources and assistance to help you with your application. Please contact us if you are considering applying to this program: or

 ►Preparing to apply (important tips, tools and more)

Synergy honored the 2016 Minnesota Schools of Character in a ceremony on May 26 at the State Capitol. View 2016 ceremony recap.

Minnesota Schools of Character
  • 2016 – Saint Mark’s Catholic School, St. Paul 
  • 2015 – Waseca Jr. & Sr. High, Waseca
  • 2014 – Community of Peace Academy, St. Paul
  • 2013 – Orono Public Schools, Orono
  • 2012 – Waseca High School, Waseca
  • 2011 – Lakes International Language Academy, Forest Lake
  • 2010 – Horace May Elementary School, Bemidji
  • 2010 - Lakes International Language Academy, Forest Lake
  • 2010 – Phalen Lake Hmong Studies Magnet School, St. Paul
  • 2009 – The Blake School, Hopkins
  • 2009 – Schumann Elementary School, Long Lake
  • 2008 – Orono Public School District, Long Lake
Minnesota District of Character 
  • 2013 – Orono Public Schools, Orono
Honorable Mention Minnesota Schools of Character
  • 2016 – Cologne Academy, Cologne
  • 2015 – Maple Grove Senior High, Maple Grove
  • 2015 – St. Mark's Catholic School, St. Paul
  • 2014 – Maple Grove Senior High, Maple Grove
  • 2011 – Waseca High School, Waseca
Honorable Mention Minnesota District of Character
  • 2017 – Duluth Edison Charter Schools
Emerging Minnesota Schools of Character
  •  2010 – Bamber Valley Elementary School, Rochester
  • 2009 – Waseca High School, Waseca
  • 2009 – SAGE Academy Charter School, Brooklyn Park
  • 2008 – Trailview School, Mora
View Prior Promising Practices

Praise from the U.S. Department of Education
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan offers his congratulations to the 2014 National Schools of Character! Open video in YouTube.

2017 Schools of Character Program Dates:
July 5, 2016
Application Opens
Dec. 5, 2016
Application Closes
Jan. 27, 2017
Minnesota Schools/Districts of Character Announced
Week of May 8, 2017
National Schools/Districts of Character Announced 
May 25, 2017
Character Recognition Awards Ceremony – Minnesota Schools of Character and Promising Practices Awards presented

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