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Christel House Academy Designated State School of Character

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Christel House Academy South has been recognized by, a national advocate and leader for the character education movement as a 2017 State School of Character, according to Carey Dahncke, Head of Schools. The program recognized Christel House Academy South as a school that has demonstrated its use of character development to positively impact academics, student behavior, and school climate. 

The Schools of Character application process is an opportunity for schools and districts to receive thoughtful feedback for growth and excellence in the area of character development through’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education framework. It is also a method of recognizing exemplary schools and districts in the nation. 

“Christel House Academy South is the only school in Indiana to receive this designation in 2017,” said Mr. Dahncke. “By making character education central to our student’s and staff’s daily routines at Christel House, we’ve managed to create an exceptional school climate for children. We are grateful for’s efforts to create a state and national discussion on the importance of character in education. We hope that our example will lead other schools in Indiana to participate in this program in order to enhance the quality of student development the entire state.” 

Since its inception, has awarded more than 500 schools with the distinction of State School of Character. Criteria for the designation are based on’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education, which includes providing students with opportunities for moral action, fostering shared leadership and engaging families and communities as partners in character-building efforts. 


Founded in 1993,, is a national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. It works with schools and districts to inspire, educate and empower young people to be ethical and engaged citizens. It is led by education leaders who are dedicated to youth learning how to be both smart and good through the advancement of quality character development in all schools. The impact of this is seen through improved academic achievement, decline in behavioral problems such as truancy and an increase in an overall positive school climate. Visit to learn more about the National Forum and the Schools of Character program. 

About Christel House Academy

Established as a public charter school in 2002, Christel House Academy (CHA) today operates four schools in Indianapolis—CHA South, serving at-risk students in grades K-12; CHA West currently serving grades K-4, and two adult high schools, Christel House DORS South and Christel House DORS West. CHA provides a holistic human development approach that focuses on building strong character to complement each child’s rigorous academic foundation.  Through its College & Careers program, CHA continues to support its graduates through post-secondary education and job placement so they become self-sufficient, contributing members of society. 

Christel House Academy South was Indiana’s first charter school to receive the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform’s “School to Watch” designation. Additional recognition includes the Indiana Achievement and Breakthrough Schools Awards. For more information, please visit