WSSDA’s Boards of Distinction program is about helping school boards govern successfully by aligning their efforts with the Washington School Board Standards. To receive the award, boards must fill out an application, which doubles as an exercise in self-reflection. Here’s how it works:
First, the school board looks at their district’s data to find areas of success and strategies or programs that benefited students.
Next, the board must find connections between those positive outcomes and decisions they made that helped make them happen. Among those successes, the board will identify how their actions bridged opportunity gaps and exemplified one of three Washington School Board Standards.
Finally, the strategies and tactics described by successful applicants will be shared widely to inform and inspire the work of others. All Boards of Distinction are recognized at the WSSDA Annual Conference and their stories are shared via WSSDA’s website and in feature articles in Direct, WSSDA’s quarterly newsmagazine.
Applications are reviewed by a panel of judges that includes former and current educational service district superintendents, State Board of Education board members, former school directors, and other education leaders in Washington state. Scoring is based on how well applicants show alignment with the Washington School Board Standards, support their statements with data, and demonstrate a link between outcomes and decisions made by the board.
All successful applicants will be named a Board of Distinction. Then, within the categories of small, medium and large school districts, a board that demonstrates exemplary actions and outcomes may also be honored as a Board of the Year.