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Minnesota Schools of Character 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 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


Synergy recognized the 2018 Minnesota Schools of Character and Promising Practice honorees at the Character Recognition Awards celebration May 10 at the state capitol.  View 2018 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
  • 2018 – Cottage Grove Middle School, Cottage Grove
  • 2010 – Bamber Valley Elementary School, Rochester
  • 2009 – Waseca High School, Waseca
  • 2009 – SAGE Academy Charter School, Brooklyn Park
  • 2008 – Trailview School, Mora
2018-2019 Schools of Character Program Dates:
Sept. 1, 2018
Application Opens
Dec. 7, 2018
Application Closes
Jan. 25, 2019
Minnesota Schools/Districts of Character Announced
May 2019
National Schools/Districts of Character Announced

May 2019
Character Recognition Awards Ceremony

Schools of Character Application Writing Support
Schools or districts that are planning to submit an application can get teamed up with a coach/mentor.
Trainings’s professional training focuses on the 11 Principles and school-wide systemic change.
Contact Tamra Nast at for more information.
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