WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A Kansas school has won a prestigious national honor. Beloit Junior-Senior High School in Mitchell County has been selected as a 2023 National School of Character.

Character.org chooses schools and school districts that make character development a priority. This year, only 39 schools and two school districts across the United States won the title. Beloit was the only school in Kansas to get the honor.

“Each of these schools has put in place a comprehensive approach to help students understand, care about and consistently practice the character strengths that will help them flourish in schools, in relationships, in the workplace, and as citizens,” said Dr. Arthur Schwartz, president of Character.org.

The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) says Beloit Elementary School earned the title in 2022, and Beloit Junior-Senior High School won it previously in 2018.

PRIDE is the key part of Beloit Junior-Senior High School’s success. The letters stand for Positive, Responsible, Integrity, Determination and Excellence. KSDE says the school infuses PRIDE into academics, athletics, policies and procedures.

KSDE and Smoky Hill Education Service Center said students begin and end their school day with PRIDE time. They focus on things like character trait of the month, habits of the week, social-emotional and character development skill lessons and service learning.

Advisers stay with their PRIDE groups for all six junior/senior high school years. Smoky Hill Service Center says that helps build strong relationships and mentoring opportunities.

According to KSDE, school lunches are phone-free, allowing students to build relationships.

KSDE says Beloit USD 273 and the school also listen to students’ suggestions. Based on some of those suggestions, the school has added 30 new courses over the last five years.

The Kansas State Schools of Character Recognition Program also honors schools.

Remington Elementary School, in USD 206, was recognized as an Honorable Mention School of Character.

Also, Bickerdyke Elementary School, Russell USD 407, was designated as an Emerging School of Character.

KSDE says the national award selection is based on Character.org’s ​11 Principles of Character, including providing students with opportunities for moral action, fostering shared leadership and engaging families and communities as partners in the character-building effort.

Click here to learn more about Kansas’ Social, Emotional and Character Development Standards.