Parents/Students » CharacterStrong


Why Character Strong?


ASD Adopts Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Character Development Curriculum 

During the summer of 2021, community members, educators, administrators, and students in our district worked to develop our current Strategic Plan. This process led to a critical product, which supports the district in our vision — “Portrait of an Armstrong Graduate.” 

Within the plan, four primary goals were established. The second of the four goals is centered on healthy, safe, and supported students and was a result of multiple forms of data, including attendance, achievement, behavioral, and parent/student perceptual survey data. 

View all our goals and the entire ASD Strategic Plan 2022-2027 here.

It was clear to the stakeholder group that there were areas of improvement needed to enhance an environment of respect and rapport where all students belong and can engage in a positive learning and school experience.

CharacterStrong was selected to be a resource to support the stated goal.  CharacterStrong integrates social, emotional, and behavioral supports with academics. ASD shares their belief that every student should have access to a safe, predictable, and inclusive learning environment. Through ChraractarStrong, we strive for healthy, supportive relationships with educators and peers and opportunities to learn skills that enable our students to meet the demands of school and life. 

CharacterStrong is a resource in partnership with families to help support a positive culture and climate that enables students to feel safe and supported and engage in learning. It is centered on the areas of “Be Kind, Be Strong, Be Well.” 

ASD’s CharacterStrong Outline Summary

  • Attributes such as respect, responsibility, gratitude, empathy, perseverance, honesty, cooperation, courage, and creativity make up the 36 grade K-5 lessons.  

  • Grades 6-12 have 25 to 30  sessions on belonging, well-being, engagement, and leadership.

The lessons are viewable in their entirety at the following link:

What is CharacterStrong, and what does it do?

What CharacterStrong is not and does not do?

Support students to explore their character (that is, behaviors they can put into action to be positive co-contributors of their school community).

CharacterStrong does not tell or impose on students who they should be. It does not have any lessons on sexual orientation or gender.

Content is based on scientific research on essential knowledge and skills that are enablers of students’ school success and future readiness for success in life.

CharacterStrong is not grounded in Critical Race Theory (CRT), nor does it teach CRT. Schools across the United States, including rural, suburban, and urban school systems, are implementing CharacterStrong. There are no student lessons related to legal policy or law, nor do we offer content that implies that people or institutions are inherently racist. We believe in serving each school system and its community where they are and not imposing political ideologies or agendas.

Provides community-building relational activities that enable students to create a positive culture and climate that is conducive to engagement and learning.

CharacterStrong does not pit students against one another based on ideologies or beliefs.

Views family as the most important and influential source of influence in the lives of students.

It does not attempt to usurp the role of families.

Evidence-based results from randomized controlled trials show positive effects, including reductions in behavior discipline, improvements in perceptions of school safety, increases in attendance, and gains in improved academic engagement time that results in greater learning.

CharacterStrong is not a non-evidence-based program with no research supporting its effects on meaningful student outcomes.

It focuses on serving each school system and its community where they are at and not imposing political ideologies or agendas. CharacterStrong focuses on skill development to help young people and adults alike develop the necessary skills - individually and communally - to thrive in the 21st century.

CharacterStrong is not rooted in a political ideology. 

Data will be gathered annually to determine overall school improvement using measures that have been used annually over the years:   attendance data, aggregate behavior data (office referrals), and PA Climate Survey Data, administered twice per year.