2014 Conference Highlights

NJASECD Celebrates NJ Schools of Character at Annual Conference

On March 19, 2014, the New Jersey Alliance for Social, Emotional, and Character Development presented its Seventh Annual Conference at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ. The theme of the conference was SUPPORTING STUDENT GROWTH: Building a Nurturing Foundation for Student Success. This theme speaks to the balance between “smart and good,” capturing the importance of focusing on school culture and climate, social emotional learning, and character education as an important part of successful schools and their students.

Press Release
Character Education Partnership Announces 2014 National Schools of Character – 41 schools and 3 districts honored

Conference Documents

2014 New Jersey Schools of Character

Rebecca Sipos

Rebecca Sipos

The conference began with a ceremony honoring the ten 2014 New Jersey Schools of Character. Eight schools and two districts earned this designation based on their implementation of the Eleven Principles of Effective Character Education of the Character Education Partnership in Washington, D.C. These schools demonstrated that they have successfully met the criteria set down by CEP to earn this recognition. The schools are

  • Caroline L. Reutter School
  • Cheesequake Elementary School
  • East Hanover Middle School
  • Eastern Christian School Association
  • Lawrence High School
  • Lawrence Township Public Schools
  • Memorial Elementary School
  • Oxford Central School
  • Raymond E. Voorhees Elementary School
  • Southwood Elementary School

Seven schools were named Honorable Mention Schools including

  • Cedar Hill Elementary School
  • M. Scott Carpenter Elementary School
  • Macopin Middle School
  • Maple Road School
  • The Peck School
  • Walter M. Schirra Elementary School
  • William A. Miller School.

Six Emerging Schools were also named including Bogert Elementary School, Meadowbrook Elementary School, Metuchen Public Schools, Upper Greenwood Lake Elementary School, Virgil I. Grissom Elementary School, and Washington Elementary School.

Rebecca Sipos, Acting CEO and President of CEP participated in the recognition ceremony.
2014 Recognition Ceremony Booklet

2014 Honorees N.J. Schools of Character

2014 Honorees N.J. Schools of Character

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Maurice Elias

Dr. Maurice Elias

Dr. Maurice Elias

Dr. Maurice Elias was the keynote speaker for the conference and he delivered an inspiring message of “How SECD Connects to the Common Core.” He asserted that “how we treat children in all aspect of our contact with them – as parents, teachers, administrators, or staff matters, including many small things that add up to make a big difference.”
Read keynote speech »

Following the keynote, twenty-four breakout sessions provided attendees with a wide range of topics suited to different grade levels and interests connected with the field of SECD. Highlights included presentations by NJ PSA on the role of the School Safety Team, an NJDOE presentation on the Anti-bullying Bill of Rights and the state’s assessment instrument, the Rutgers ISCI Project’s presentation on the importance of positive school climate for special needs students, and school-based presentations on specific approaches that have been successful in building character, climate, and culture in our schools.
See 2014 conference program»

There was also a Poster Session where National Promising Practice winners from New Jersey schools displayed posters describing these practices.
See poster session info»

One appreciative attendee exclaimed, “This was the best conference I attended all year!”