Boards of Distinction Awards
The Boards of Distinction recognition program awards school boards that demonstrate alignment with the Washington School Board Standards. Any board that applies is eligible to become a Board of Distinction if they meet certain scoring criteria. The top scoring boards in small, medium and large sized school districts may be honored as Boards of the Year.
The Boards of Distinction holds rigorous standards. Judges—including past or present state board members and superintendents—attend a pre-review norming meeting to calibrate their scores. To ensure they are rating the board’s actions and results, not the writing, they reference the standards and ask the questions below.
- What decisions did the board make?
- What is the evidence of the results?
- How does this evidence fit the standards?
Applicants frequently express the value to their team and to the district through remarks like:
“It was only when we did the reflection necessary to complete the application that we realized how much we had accomplished.”
“Winning a Board of Distinction award was a great way to share our work and successes with the community.”
A self-selection component allows boards to apply based on what is most relevant to the work they have done throughout the year. This year’s options for written sections and supporting evidence reference:
- Ensuring non-negotiable goals for student achievement are in place
- Providing for learning essentials, including rigorous curriculum, technology and high-quality facilities.
- Evaluating the superintendent on clear and focused expectations.
A required component, which remains constant year to year and shows up across the standards, is the opportunity gap.
Application & Resources
The 2018 awards program accepts applications July 9 - September 20. Older Documents, below, are for review only, and are subject to change.
About the Awards
Boards of the Year: This prestigious award goes only to the highest rated boards from among the applicants. One district from each of three district enrollment sizes (small, medium, large) may receive this accolade. Board of the Year recipients are featured in WSSDA Direct.
Boards of Distinction: This award recognizes each board that shows evidence of applying the Washington School Board Standards. Our hope is that every school board in Washington will eventually meet the criteria for this tribute that reflects their commitment to effective governance.
Special Merit Award: Five-Year Board of Distinction: This special award honors boards that have demonstrated a continued focus on and breadth of alignment to the Washington School Board Standards. It is given to boards that have received five Board of Distinction awards.
Past Award Recipients