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Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy Honored in Washington, D.C.

The Character Education Partnership (CEP) held its annual national conference Nov. 2 through 4 in Washington, D.C., where Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy was recognized as a 2012 National School of Character (NSOC). The CEP selected 20 public schools, three private schools, one charter school, and one school district as national winners. All demonstrated through a rigorous evaluation process that character development has had a positive impact on academics, student behavior, and school climate.

Simply walking into a NSOC school shows that everyone is on the same page about what matters most: the sense of family that includes every person in the school community. Interviews with children showed they realized that they are surrounded by a circle of caring adults. One third-grade student, when asked what she liked best about her school, responded with, "I like that my school feels safe and comfortable. I like that Ms. Jamie in the cafeteria and Dr. Zissios, the principal, know my name and always say hello to me when they see me."

These schools come together around shared values and shared leadership, demonstrating that they are not just places that feel comfortable and safe, but are places where kids thrive academically and socially, family and community members volunteer regularly and teachers stay, year after year.

Even with an incredibly diverse student body, Lyles-Crouch prizes individuality and innovation. Beth Mensinger, a parent at the school, said, "There's a lot of individuality. Whether it's a star student or a low student, or even a middle-of-the road one, they recognize that not all kids are the same. There's just a certain care they take with the students. They're not just a number." The school, using the Core Knowledge Curriculum, accommodates students with different learning styles and skill levels. The school tries hard to recognize the individuality of each student through fulfilling the motto, "When families are involved in education, everybody learns!"

As a NSOC winner, Lyles-Crouch is expected to serve as role model for other schools. For further information, please contact Principal Patricia Zissios at 703-706-4430.