Transforming school culture is focus of December 13th mini-conference

There is broad agreement among educators, policymakers and the public that educational systems should graduate students who are proficient in core academic subjects, able to work well with others from diverse backgrounds in socially and emotionally skilled ways, practice healthy behaviors, and behave responsibly and respectfully (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2007; Greenberg et al., 2003). In other words, schools must also attend to their students’ social-emotional learning (SEL).



To help meet this need, the UMKC Regional Professional Development Center, affiliated with the UMKC School of Education, is partnering with CharacterPlus of St. Louis to offer a one-day mini-conference, Transform Your School Culture, on December 13 at the Unity Village Conference Center (1901 NW Blue Parkway, Unity Village, Mo. 64065).


At the mini-conference, school administrators, education practitioners, school counselors, and business community stakeholders in the Kansas City metropolitan area will:

  • Learn best practices strategies available to transform school culture
  • Hear “lessons from the field” from local experts
  • Obtain best practice strategies to foster leadership development, service learning, digital citizenship and character development for students
  • Select strategies to explore for future training and implementation
  • Commit to working together to transform school culture
  • Secure resources to further school transformation

Specific breakout sessions will cover topics of restorative justice, trauma-informed educators, the journey to National School of Character designation, and positive behavior intervention supports/character braiding.  Learn, too, how to facilitate respectful and effective student summits.


Marvin W. Berkowitz, Ph.D., Sanford N. McDonnell Endowed Professor in Character Education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, will serve as keynote presenter.


Register today!  The cost is $125 per participant; $100 per participant for members of the Regional Professional Development Center or CharacterPlus.


Direct questions to 816-235-2446 or



CharacterPlus®, a resource of EducationPlus®, is committed to building strong school communities where students feel valued and can succeed.  To do this, CharacterPlus helps educators instill positive character traits in students—such as responsibility and respect—through teaching, encouraging and living these values in every aspect of school life.  When character education is integrated into curriculum and throughout the school, academic performance increases and disciplinary problems like bullying decrease.  (A brief video from Busch Middle School in St. Louis Public Schools demonstrates how character development has helped create a culture of self-discipline.)


The UMKC Regional Professional Development Center (RPDC) serves in collaborative partnership with PK-12 teachers and administrators in addressing challenging issues and achieving positive learning outcomes for all students. A part of the School of Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, RPDC provides training and support to urban, suburban and rural schools in the Kansas City metropolitan area based upon the unique needs of each school.