WSSDA Conference
Thank you for your passion for creating safer schools and focusing on teaching the whole child! 

Join us at one of our upcoming 1 or 2-Day CharacterStrong Trainings!

Staff Dares Template - Cover - Final.jpg

As promised, here is the 40 Week Staff CharacterDare!

CharacterStrong Curricula

Professional Development

CharacterStrong PD
1-6 hour professional development focusing on our signature CharacterStrong Culture model - a working foundation of clear and common purpose for this work, building and clarifying the competencies necessary for staff and student success, and giving practical and consistent opportunities for the practice of this content so it becomes a part of the daily fabric of your school.

Fast-paced, interactive, and filled with ideas and resources that your staff can put into action RIGHT NOW - it will be a PD day that your campus or district won’t forget!

Advisory Curriculum


Our Advisory Curriculum is vertically-aligned grades 6-12 with over 200 powerful, 30-minute lessons focusing on social-emotional skills, character development, and community building.

Advisory Curriculum (6-8) - Samples
Grade 6, L11: Growth Mindset – Part One
Grade 7, L03: Introduce the CharacterDare
Grade 8, L17: Empathy – Part One

Advisory Curriculum (9-12) - Samples
Grade 9, L03: Personality vs Character
Grade 10, L09: Emotional Intelligence – Motivation
Grade 11, L11: Civil Discourse – Types of Communication
Grade 12, L22: Life List Introduction

Leadership Curriculum


Our Leadership Curriculum was built in the trenches by a former activities advisor with a focus on character and servant-leadership. 90, 60-minute lessons.

Leadership Curriculum - Samples

Unit 2, L07: My Life of Selfishness
Unit 3, L01: Leadership Defined
Unit 3, L02: Active Listening – Part One
Unit 4, L06: Power vs Influence

WSSDA Recaps & Resources

@CAREACTER: Student Well-Being and Safety

Quick Recap

  1. At the core of our work it is all about relationships.

  2. When anxiety goes up, empathy goes down. This connects to school safety.

  3. “The average teenager today has as much anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the 1950s.” -Dr. Tim Elmore

  4. “Culture goes much deeper than a mission statement. It is how group members actually behave, repeatedly and habitually.” -James Hunter

  5. Culture exists in three circles: Clarity, Competence, and Consistency. Oftentimes, campuses have 2 of the 3, but that leaves us with a few problems:

    • A Culture of No How: We know what is important and we see/talk about it often, but the staff or students don’t have the skills to bring the vision to life. It is a culture that is busy, but not productive.

    • A Culture of No Why: We teach a lot of skills, we talk about our culture often, but there is no deep buy-in or clear, unifying purpose. It is a culture that is busy, but not passionate.

    • A Culture with No When: Inspiration doesn’t mean application. A big message with little follow through is like going the gym ONCE. It is a culture of inconsistency - a culture of good ideas, but no habits.

  6. How do you want your students, staff, and school to feel each day?

  7. When we expect we affect. We need to move our expectations beyond basic classroom rules.

  8. The problem: “80% of youth say that their parents care more about them achieving then whether they are caring toward others, even though parents say they believe the opposite.”

  9. A CharacterStrong Culture is when all three intentionally intersect. We do this by creating deep purpose in students and staff, teaching the competencies required for compassion and connection, and creating simple, practical ways to consistently weave these SEL and character conversations & skills into the daily fabric of our classrooms and campuses.

  10. The work of social emotional learning and character development is the plate! If we don’t believe this and act on it, we will continue to pile things on broken plates.


-Presentation Slides

@JOHNNORLIN: Infusing Social-Emotional Learning and Character into Your School’s Daily Fabric

Quick Recap

  1. “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” -Peter Drucker

  2. We need to teach each other to switch our thumbs:

    • Breakthrough conditioned responses

    • Take what is not normal and make it normal

    • Make kindness normal

  3. As anxiety increases, empathy decreases. We have to explicitly, more than ever teach the competencies of connection! To keep these engaging at the secondary level, we have to teach social-emotional skills alongside character development

  4. Real Definition of School Spirit - To get all students and staff to want to come to school vs feel like they have to come to school.

  5. True Tier 1 - (Universal Supports)

    • School to Student Focus

    • Staff to Student Focus

    • Student to Student Focus

    • Student to Staff Focus

    • Student to Family Focus

  6. Who Needs Character Development? A: Everyone

  7. We have “Fragile Thoroughbreds” with even our highest achieving students crumbling when faced with adversity.

  8. We can infuse Social Emotional Learning and Character into the daily fabric by implementing the S.E.R.V.E. Model

    • Start Intentionally - 4 at the Door + 1 More

    • Engage Relationally - High Leverage practices throughout the staff.

    • Respond with Empathy - PROMPT Method

    • Values Practiced Daily - Ask the question that is not getting asked through intentional characterdares for students and staff.

    • Exit Intentionally - Each day, each class, each year.

  9. CharacterStrong lessons intentionally bring these together by focuses on the soft skills of SEL that support the hard, relational work of character practice.

  10. Trust the Process


-Presentation Slides

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