For 2018, 34 school boards applied to the Boards of Distinction program. Not only is 34 the largest number of applicants ever, it is the fourth year in a row that applications have increased.
“I think it went very, very well,” said Colleen Miller, director of leadership development services at the Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA). “The whole point of the program is to encourage use of the Washington School Board standards, which positively influence student achievement. So, to see more boards applying is wonderful.”
Twenty-nine of the 34 boards were successful with their application. In addition to collecting general information, the application requires two written essays that must be supported by evidence. Examples of evidence include data, portions of board meeting minutes, protocols, policies, evaluation tools or communications.
“Sometimes illustrating a clear alignment between data, a specific board decision, and outcomes resulting from a decision can be tricky,” Miller said. “Successfully demonstrating a link between those three things is really what we’re looking for.”
And reviewing all the applications is no small task either. A panel of seven judges easily spends six to eight hours each not only reviewing, but even before that, working together with WSSDA staff to “calibrate” how applications are evaluated. Judges include former and current Educational Service District superintendents, State Board of Education board members, former school directors, and others who are involved in education leadership on a statewide level.
Out of all the applicants, three were marked for even greater recognition as Board of the Year. Boards of the year are those that demonstrate the strongest alignment in the trifecta of evidence, outcome, and board decision-making. One winner is selected for each category: small, medium and large school districts. The winners of that distinction are…announced at WSSDA’s annual conference in November.
Visit wssda.org/bod to learn more about the Boards of Distinction program.
The 2018 Boards of Distinction:
Chimacum Morton South Bend Toledo
Anacortes Bremerton Camas Chehalis Enumclaw Ferndale Mount Vernon North Kitsap Orting Pullman Quincy Riverview Shelton Walla Walla Wapato
Auburn Bellingham Everett Evergreen (Clark County) Federal Way Issaquah Northshore Pasco Puyallup Tacoma