Forest Park Receives National School of Character Award

NSOC_2020_badge, a national advocate and leader for character development in schools and communities, has named Forest Park Individual Education (I.E.) School is a 2020 National School of Character.  Forest Park is the only school in Illinois and one of only 84 schools and 7 districts in 15 states to receive this honor. 

“We are pleased to announce and celebrate the schools and school districts who have earned this national recognition,” said Dr. Arthur Schwartz, President of “Each of these schools and school districts has put in place a comprehensive approach to help their students understand, care about, and consistently practice the core values that will enable them to flourish in school, in relationships, in the workplace, and as citizens.”

“On behalf of the Joliet Public Schools District 86 Board of School Inspectors and the entire administration, we congratulate Forest Park on this national recognition,” said Joliet Public Schools District 86 Superintendent Dr. Theresa Rouse, “I applaud the students, staff, and parents for working together to make Forest Park a successful school.”

Since its inception, the National Schools of Character program has impacted nearly 3 million students, staff, parents, and community members. The schools and school districts who apply must meet the rigorous standards articulated in’s 11 Principles Framework for Schools. Each school is evaluated by a team of trained educators and includes a site visit to assess how a school’s “shared values” are motivating students to do the right thing.

“These schools serve as an exemplary model for all schools across the nation,” adds Lori Soifer, who directs the Schools of Character program. “The educators at these schools are inspiring their students to treat all people with respect and dignity. They are teaching their students to be honest and trustworthy, to contribute their time and talents to the common good, and when necessary, to show the courage to stand up for what is right.” will honor the 2020 National Schools of Character during its next National Forum. The Forum has currently been postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Forest Park I.E. school is one of two magnet programs offered to Joliet Public Schools District 86 families. The school is the only public elementary magnet school in Illinois that is based on the Adlerian philosophy and is guided by the development of Raymond Corsini’s 4R school concept. The importance of Responsibility, Respectfulness, Resourcefulness, and Responsiveness and focus on a balance of academics, social skills, and creativity are stressed to students. Parents also must commit to the school’s philosophy, including signing a parent contract, and attending four parenting sessions during the school year.  For more information about Forest Park I.E., visit

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