FISD Board reconfirms importance of Character Ed

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Character education is an important part of Friendswood ISD and the seven School Board members reconfirmed their belief in the importance of this program at the Aug. 8 meeting of the board.

Character education has been an integral part of Friendswood schools for many years. In 1987, community representatives cooperatively identified a group of character traits, or values, which are held in common by all members of the Friendswood community.

At that time the members of the School Board adopted the traits as part of an educational path for all students in FISD. They directed that these values be emphasized in FISD schools and integrated into educational programs whenever appropriate.

In 2016, the Board of Education reconfirmed these values, emphasizing that the character traits should provide the following results for students: raises self-esteem, promotes self-discipline and responsible behavior, improves decision making and problem solving skills, and instills positive attitudes and values.

The descriptive character traits which form the basis for the FISD Character Education program include the following: Self-Esteem, Self-Worth, Self-Reliance, Dignity; Responsibility, Accountability, Dependability; Tolerance; Respect for Others; Justice; Work Ethic, Doing One’s Best, Ambition; Honesty, Integrity, Truthfulness; Compassion, Empathy, Forgiveness; Loyalty and Patriotism.

“Character education is well emphasized at each campus,” Board President Rebecca Hillenburg said. Board members shared the many ways they noticed campuses rewarded outstanding displays of good character.

In 2001 FISD adopted the Character Counts Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. These six pillars summed up the program’s outstanding characteristics.

The six pillars are visible everywhere in the district, from bulletin boards, to classroom posters and websites as well as in student handbooks, parent newsletters and counselors’ brochures. Awards are given for good character in action as well as breakfasts, tee shirts displaying the awarded character trait and classroom feedback.

“It is nice to see character education being so longstanding in the district,” Board member Tony Hopkins said.

Superintendent Trish Hanks shared with the Board members that administrators had reviewed the character education program for the new school year at their recent retreat.

”Since this Board continues to believe that character education is an important aspect of the total education of a child, the administration desired to have the Board make a statement in 2016 that these character traits continue to be an integral part of education in Friendswood ISD,” Hanks said.

Story by Karolyn Gephart