Jefferson City Academic Center has been named a National School of Character for the second time in five years.
This distinction is different than another that was reported a couple weeks ago — that JCAC and Southwest Early Childhood Center had been recognized with "Promising Practice" character awards for specific programs.
The status of National School of Character is granted by the same awarding nonprofit organization — the Character.org association in Washington, D.C.
JCAC is one of 73 schools recognized by Character.org as a 2018 National School of Character, along with five districts granted the status of National District of Character. The schools and districts represent 17 states.
"I could not be more proud of my JCAC staff and students," JCAC Principal Deanne Fisher said in a news release.
"This added award and recognition is proof of our ability to sustain success for students — all students — those who have graduated on, those who are with us now and those who will be with us in the future," Fisher said.
JCAC was named a National School of Character for the first time in 2013, and the school was the first alternative school in Missouri to receive the honor.
Character.org and its state affiliates "certify schools and districts that demonstrate a dedicated focus on character development with a positive impact on academic achievement, student behavior, school climate and their communities," according to the news release.
"Through an in-depth and rigorous evaluation process, these schools were found to be exemplary models in character development. Of the (73) schools named today, 17 schools are former National Schools of Character that have re-applied for the national designation," according to the news release, which added selection criteria is based upon Character.org's "11 Principles of Effective Character Education" — described as "a framework to assist schools in providing students with opportunities for moral action, fostering shared leadership and engaging families and communities as partners in the character-building effort."
JCAC and the other nationally designated schools and districts this year will be honored in October at Character.org's 25th National Forum on Character in Washington, D.C.
The other 16 Missouri schools recognized this year are almost exclusively in St. Louis or its greater metropolitan area, with the exception of Farmington Middle School, Kentucky Trail Elementary in Belton and two elementary schools in Imperial.
One 2018 National District of Character is in Michigan, and the other four are in New Jersey.