2018 Boards of the Year!
South Bend (small district)
This board exhibits the willingness to listen to staff, review data and make decisions in order to bring about positive change. For example, their annual review of data raised a concern regarding program effectiveness for English Language learners. The board asked the elementary staff to review new ELA curriculum and make a recommendation to the board. The board approved the recommendation and authorized the purchase of the first ELA curriculum adoption in 15 years.
In the first year of implementation, there was a 30% increase in the number of students exiting bilingual services. The elementary principal provides ongoing reports to the board using student demographics data, achievement scores, discipline and other data points to identify barriers to educating all students. As a result, the board authorized hiring a school social worker who works to implement evidence-based programming to reduce barriers. The social worker collaborates with teachers, administrators, parents and students.
Video coming soon
John Tienhaara, Andy Seaman, Steve Rogers, Todd Strozyk
Chehalis (medium district)
This board is focused on all students being college and career ready. They developed a student achievement initiative: Improve, Modernize, Prepare. To close opportunity gaps, programs were developed and offered at no cost. These included Kindergarten Jump Start for English Language Learners, Summer Ready Camp, Math Academy for middle school students and a STEM Academy at the high school level. Career and college advisors, mental health counselors and instructional coaches were also added as part of these initiatives. The results for 2017-2018 say 90% of eligible students registered for College Bound, graduation rates increased to 92.5% and there was a 15% increase in the number of graduates meeting requirements for admission to a Washington 4-year college.
Brennan Bailey, Vicki Daniels
Northshore (large district)
This board formed an Equity Task Force and eventually adopted an Equity Policy. As a result, the board directed that the district identify and remove any and all barriers to equity in education. One barrier - access to preschool programs for low-income students - was addressed with resources allocated to create more pre-school programs. Those resources opened up 97 more ECEAP spots for low-income preschoolers representing a 62% increase! Also, Highly Capable assessment was extended to all students in grades K-8. This resulted in an increase of assessment rates across federally recognized sub-groups, such as English Language Learners, low-income students and those students eligible for Special Education Services or a 504 plan.
Jacqueline McGourty, Michelle Reid, Sandy Hayes, Bob Swain, Amy Cast, David Cogan
2018 Boards of Distinction
Evergreen (Clark County)
Accepting applications through September 20, 2018
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?
The Focus for 2018
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