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Orange County Public Schools is excited to continue the partnership with Character Lab for the 2021-22 school year. OCPS is a founding district partner of Character Lab, starting in the 2017-18 school year, and now has 75 participating middle and high schools. OCPS and Character Lab are working together to ensure that all participating students grades 6-12 from various learning environments will have the opportunity to contribute to Character Lab research activities. 


What is Character Lab?

Character Lab is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing scientific insights that help kids thrive. They do this by connecting students and schools to researchers with shared interests, like Dr. Angela Duckworth, so that they can design research activities that help educators better understand how to develop character strengths in students. Character Lab seeks to create greater knowledge about the conditions that lead to social, emotional, academic, and physical well-being for young people.

Why does OCPS partner with Character Lab?

OCPS and Character Lab believe that character strengths are critically important to social and emotional well-being, physical health, and academic achievement. We know that character development enhances classroom learning so that students are more academically successful. However, even though we know that character is important and malleable, insights that tell us how to develop character in kids are scarce. OCPS’ partnership with Character Lab helps OCPS staff learn more about their own students’ development, so that OCPS schools can use the results to inform actionable strategies to develop character strengths in students. 

Is participation voluntary? Yes, you and your child may opt out of participation at any time. There is no penalty if your child elects not to participate. If he or she elects not to participate, an alternative activity will be made available. 

To remove your child from participation, please complete the
Character Lab Opt-Out Form

How will my child’s information remain safe and secure? Character Lab is committed to protecting student privacy. To learn more, review the Character Lab Student Privacy Policy at  https://www.characterlab.org/student-privacy

What will my child do?

Your student will have the opportunity to participate in activities that support motivation and learning. These web-based activities take no more than 30 minutes, three times per year (fall, winter, spring). Students typically complete these activities on their school laptops. These activities will not conflict with any special school activities or interrupt valuable learning time. 

How is Character Lab connected to social-emotional learning (SEL)?

Character Lab supports students’ SEL needs by providing insights like Character Lab Playbooks and Tips that are designed to support all aspects of student thriving: social, emotional, academic, and physical. Character Lab also helps staff learn more about their own students’ SEL development, so that schools can use the results from Character Lab activities to inform actionable strategies to develop character strengths in students.

How are Character Lab activities reviewed prior to students' participation?

OCPS District staff reviews all studies, question by question, before they are ever put in front of students. OCPS Character Lab high school student ambassadors also review each study to give feedback and help researchers adapt them to their schools’ contexts.



Key Dates and Events

Research Activity Windows for 2021-22

Students at participating schools will participate on selected dates during the following research activity windows. Make ups occur during each window.

Fall 2021

Winter 2022

Spring 2022

Research Activity Window

Oct 25 – Nov 5

Jan 10 – Jan 21

Mar 21 – Apr 1

 

Virtual Parent Academy - Dr. Angela Duckworth

To learn more about Character Lab, we invite you to watch the August 27, 2020 Virtual Parent Academy event with guest speaker Dr. Angela Duckworth, renowned scientist, professor, author, and Founder and CEO of Character Lab. The theme for this Virtual Parent Academy event is “What Builds Character?” 

During this 60-minute virtual session, Dr. Duckworth shares how families can foster the mindsets, skills, and environments that support the social-emotional well-being of all students. This event is presented in both English and Spanish.



Participating Schools

More questions? You may contact your school’s Character Lab Research Lead, who is serving as a liaison between the school and Character Lab.

More information about Character Lab can be found on their website https://www.characterlab.org
Character Lab Website

Orange County Public Schools

445 W. Amelia Street Orlando, FL 32801 407.317.3200