Meet Our 2017-18 "Fans of Dr. Bob"

1st MidAmerica Credit Union

Blake Roberson State Farm Insurance

East Alton Community of Christ

Eastern Independence Rotary Club

First Federal Bank

Grace Christian Church

Graceland University

Great Plains SPCA

Metropolitan Com College - Blue River

South Crysler Community of Christ

Stewardship Capital

Ted's Trash Service

Three Trails Animal Hospital

Trinity Church of the Nazarene



Students Recognized for RESPONSIBILITY in September!



Bryant | Blake Tripp




Little Blue | Gabriel Huffman

Luff | Julia Schultz


Mill Creek

Ott | Lillyan Boeninghaus

Procter | Noni Rodgers

Randall | Ameriah Brown

Santa Fe Trail | Emma WhiteCalf-Bear

Spring Branch

William Southern | Carter Redman

Sugar Creek


Three Trails | Conner Heegan


Sunshine Center | Braxton Rock

Independence Academy | Keefe Cochran -Elementary; Jesse Thompson - Middle School; Charles Brower - High School

Bridger | Angelika Garciano


Nowlin | Israel Vargas

Pioneer Ridge | Ayden Smith

Truman | Reagan Siebert

William Chrisman

Van Horn


Traits of the Month

January:  RESPECT – to show consideration to self and others

February:  COOPERATION – to respectfully play and work with others

March:  INITIATIVE – to act and make decisions on your own

April:  PERSEVERANCE – to continue trying in spite of difficulties

May:  SELF-CONTROL – to express your feelings in an appropriate manner

June:  COURAGE – to remain strong when faced with difficulty

July:  LOYALTY – to be faithful to a person, a team or an idea

August:  AMBITION – to have strong determination to accomplish goals

September:  RESPONSIBILITY – to be accountable for your actions

October:  INTEGRITY – to do the right thing

November:  CITIZENSHIP – to be a productive and responsible resident

December:  COMPASSION – to understand the challenges of others and to want to do something about it


Student Honors and School News Appears Monthly!



Benton Elementary students and staff are working on showing their PAWSitivity, which stands for Practice safety, Act respectfully, make Wise choices at School every day!  We are exploring and learning about new and different character strengths that include: curiosity, grit, gratitude, growth mindset, optimism, purpose, self-control, social/emotional intelligence, and zest. Benton celebrated a student from each classroom who demonstrated positive traits throughout the month of September, a writer of the month, and someone with perfect attendance.

Blackburn Elementary is working to build a positive school environment. Our school year has started out strong with many of our clubs up and running. Running club and Fitness Fun have our students on a journey to healthy bodies. The recycling club and student council help to keep our school environment a place we all love!!!!

Bryant Elementary students have been working on developing the character trait of responsibility in the month of September. Students have been reading the book “A Day's Work” which highlights the importance of showing responsibility in one's life. During book week, students in each classroom had the opportunity to enter a drawing, one student from each classroom won a book about responsibility. Kudos to Title One teacher Paula Erdel for facilitating Book Week for students. During Spirit Week, Bryant students demonstrated responsibility by donating money in support of United Way.  Everyone loved the opportunity to support their community through donations.  Bryant Staff Honoree: Patty Baker

Glendale Elementary is working toward combining Character Plus with PBIS. We have worked on being Safe, Respectful, and Responsible in all areas of our school. At an all school assembly, students witnessed unacceptable behavior, then had a fifth grade leader share how to properly act in those situations. We have seen how perseverance is needed to make it to high school, when Truman cheerleaders and band members came to encourage students at an all school assembly. Each classroom teacher nominated a student from their classroom for the character trait of responsibility. Nominees are pictured on a bulletin board in the front of our building. We started a Glendale Student Council, older grades held nominations, speeches and voted for their president.  Glendale Staff Honoree: Jacquie Whisenhunt

Little Blue Elementary is combining CharacterPlus and PBIS this school year … instead of using character traits, teachers will select 5 students each month to represent our SHARK acronym of Safe, Honest, Accountable, Respectful and Kind. From all nominations, one student and one staff Super Shark will be chosen!  Little Blue Staff Honoree: Liz Ferron

Luff Elementary Staff Honoree: Marla Asberry

Mallinson Elementary students are showing their Cardinal PRIDE by wearing red on Fridays. The class with the most red gets to hang the "You Can't Hide that Cardinal Pride" spirit banner outside their door for the week. Students are recognized as being "Cardinals of Characters" by staff members in the building. We focus on students demonstrating safe, respectful and responsible behavior.

Mill Creek Elementary students are working on being Safe, Respectful, and Responsible Mustangs. During our morning meeting, each class is learning the expected behaviors for all common areas.

Ott Elementary Staff Honoree: Daphne Barber

Procter Elementary Superheroes kicked off this school year exhibiting great character throughout the school community. During our first PRIDE assembly, many students were given awards for being "Responsible" and for having "Perfect Attendance." Students voted in their new Student Council representatives, who are off to a great start planning for the year. This year, students raised over $350 for the United Way Campaign and were able to have a fun-filled spirit week while doing so.  Procter Staff Honoree: Laura Kilpatrick

Randall Elementary students have been reviewing and practicing their GRR expectations: Go safely, show Respect, be Responsible. We have worked to build our school community by having a Muffins with Moms event and a Bear Buddies Kickball Night with dads. Character Council representatives were selected and have been preparing character videos to show all Randall students. Student Council representatives were voted in and began planning our school entry for the 2nd Annual ISD Parade on September 30.  Randall Staff Honoree: Leah Fitzpatrick

Santa Fe Trail Elementary students are collecting donations for our annual walk-a-thon.  Third, fourth and fifth graders are learning about bicycle safety with BLAST (Bicycle Lessons and Safety Training), and practicing our school procedures daily.  Santa Fe Staff Honoree: Mr. Lane

Spring Branch Elementary students demonstrated the character trait responsibility by supporting the community through donations to United Way. They exercised their responsibility skills by doing the right thing and treating people right. Our counselor supported the development of responsibility through classroom lessons to grades K-5. Both staff and students have worked toward fostering a responsible and respectful environment here at school.

William Southern Elementary is working with PBIS to build positive relationships with students throughout the building. We give PAWS to students who act responsibly. Daily classroom lessons help students understand and implement being a responsible student at William Southern.  William Southern Staff Honoree: Laurie Pitcher

Sycamore Elementary started a New Student Lunch Bunch this month. All new students in each grade have lunch with the Counselor and the FSL once a week for 4 weeks. Students play games to get to know one another and discuss different aspects of being a Sycamore Cougar and living in the surrounding neighborhoods. The Counselor is doing classroom lessons on Responsibility.

Three Trails Elementary launched our new Tiger PRIDE "Brag Tags" in September.  Brag Tags recognizing students with a lanyard and various dog tags for personal and academic accomplishments they achieve throughout the school year!  Each classroom's student of character for the month gets to add a brag tag to their lanyard for that trait. Our Tigers love to collect and wear them proudly throughout the day.  Three Trails Staff Honoree: Lindsey Johnson

Hanthorn Early Education is combining CharacterPlus and PBIS this school year; our school motto is "Be Safe, Kind and Responsible." Students will receive tickets for motto behaviors, the student with the most tickets will be recognized at our monthly assembly. Hanthorn will vote quarterly on a student of character and recognize with a certificate and a t-shirt.

Sunshine Center Early Education staff is talking to students about what it means to be responsible and by setting a good example for our students. Classrooms focused on students cleaning up after themselves and lining up when asked by singing a song called “I am safe, kind and responsible.” Our younger students have been working on letting teachers know when they need to use the bathroom.  Sunshine Center Staff Honoree: Kethon Way

Independence Academy will continue with traditional CharacterPlus traits this year but will integrate them with PBIS. Our schoolwide acronym is SOAR, which stand for Safe, On Time and On Task, Accountable, and Respectful. Since our school mascot is a dragon, we are teaching our students to "soar" like a dragon when faced with difficulty and adversity! Our goal is to teach students character and strategies that will help them not only to succeed in the short term, but carry with them to "soar" to success in the future!

Bridger Middle School Staff Honoree: Kelli Webb

Nowlin Middle School teacher Mrs. Hefta, initiated a service learning project with students to be respectful of our community and school grounds, using the tools available to us. This is just the beginning of extending respect far beyond the school walls.

Pioneer Ridge Middle School is excited to implement a Character Council that will help spread the importance of character throughout their building.  Pioneer Staff Honoree: Kayla Sager

Truman High School Staff Honoree: Becky Greenstreet



What is CHARACTERplus?

CHARACTERplus is a program adopted by the Independence School District in 2008. The purpose of CHARACTERplus is to emphasize positive character traits in all areas of a student's life.

In 2008, parents, community members, teachers and counselors gathered together to determine "traits of the month" that they believe reinforce the positive character traits already being taught in many homes.

The traits are blended into the curriculum, extracurricular activities, and are displayed throughout the community. The Independence School District believes that modeling character traits may be the most effective way of passing them on to students. Studies in schools with similar programs have noted significant positive changes in office referrals, parent relations and school leadership.


The Many Ways Character is Developed

Character is developed every day through our interactions and choices.  Schools within the Independence School District use a wide variety of activities, recognitions, and partnerships as part of comprehensive efforts to support POSITIVE CHARACTER, STUDENT LEADERSHIP, and SERVICE LEARNING. Two of our schools chose to pursue formal recognition for their character development efforts.  

Congratulations to Christian Ott Elementary and William Chrisman High School!  

Both hold National School of Character and Missouri School of Character designation!


How Can I Support CHARACTERplus?

It is easy to sign up as a supporter of CHARACTERplus. You will receive monthly trait signs that you can print out and put in your home or business, get updates on CHARACTERplus in the schools and in the community, and get a copy of the Student of Character logo to print out on your stationery or business correspondence, or set as your screen saver. In addition, parents should feel free to contact their school to see how they can help support CHARACTERplus. If you are a business or organization wanting to display a banner or sponsor a school as a Fan of Dr. Bob, contact the Elementary Education Office (816-521-5300  x10008).


Business, Faith, and Civic Organizations

YOU can Become a Fan of Dr. Bob

Are you a community member, business leader, or an organization that wants to help create a Community of Character? It's easy! You can donate your time, services or dollars to support CHARACTERplus in our schools. CHARACTERplus teaches students of all ages how to be good community members by promoting character in all facets of life!


Community Member of Character Award

Do you know someone in the community who deserves to win the Dr. Bob Community Member of Character Award?

The nominee must live or work in Independence but cannot work for the school district.

You can nominate a community member by contacting the Elementary Education office (816) 521-5300  x10008.