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All Honorees

Use search features below to find honorees by district name, program category, or award cycle.

July 2017

Honoree: Clarksville-Montgomery County School System Category Community/family partnerships

When Clarksville-Montgomery County schools’ AP enrollment was declining and exam pass rates were stagnant, district leaders reached out to community members to create a program that would encourage and reward students who enrolled in AP courses and passed the final test.

Honoree: Kiamichi Technology Centers Category College/career readiness

Thanks in part to a federal grant and local innovation, southeastern Oklahoma has a better chance to graduate more high school students with career goals and get more qualified health workers in the region.

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma was among five “Promise Zones” that President Obama named in 2014 to receive funding. The Choctaw Nation works with community groups, businesses and schools to focus on specific education and economic development goals.

Honoree: Ayersville Local Schools Category Data-driven decision-making

The Ayersville Local Schools needed to change after receiving an F on the Gap Closing indicator, a component on all Ohio districts’ report cards for which they’re graded on closing equity academic achievement gaps.

With a growing diverse student population—of which 32 percent is economically disadvantaged—the district started training teachers so they could learn new strategies to meet the needs of every student.

Honoree: The School District of Philadelphia Category Data-driven decision-making

In the 2015-16 school year, the School District of Philadelphia kicked off its Facilities Condition Assessment to determine the state of school grounds, athletic fields, and more than 300 school buildings and related building systems.

A comprehensive assessment hadn’t been completed since 2003-04. And for the first time, the data collected was made public.

Honoree: Berkeley Township School District Category At-risk/ELL

Targeted programs that address academics, homeless issues and special education, among other concerns, are what make Project Reach so valuable at Berkeley Township School District. It’s designed for at-risk and ELL students.

Included in Project Reach are:

Honoree: Encinitas Union School District Category College/career readiness

Encinitas Union School District knew career readiness rarely applied to elementary students but wanted to ensure that its learners were ready for future careers.

The heart of the program, which began in 2014-15, involves grouping students with similar interests and connecting them to real-world changes.

Honoree: Kankakee School District 111 Category College/career readiness

Like in many small towns, Kankakee businesses couldn’t find the workers to fill local jobs, and the high-performing students in the school district had to seek careers away from home—and sometimes in another state.

In Kankakee County, local business and industry leaders had over 3,000 jobs available without the proper workforce to fill them due to low graduation rates at Kankakee School District 111.

Honoree: Steilacoom Historical School District Category Community/family partnerships

The stressors for military students are many, starting with parents being deployed to active duty. Military families also move frequently, forcing students to say goodbye to old friends, make new friends, and adjust to new curricula.

Nearly half the students at Steilacoom Historical School District in Washington come from military families. So leaders developed a multifaceted program to support those needs.

Honoree: Bellevue School District Category Social-emotional learning

Bellevue School District wanted a comprehensive initiative to ensure they addressed the “whole child.” So in fall 2011, Bellevue adopted a social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum by teaching self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.

The district expanded the curriculum to ensure that graduates possessed interpersonal skills.

Honoree: Downey USD Category STEM

Administrators at Downey USD faced a challenge: How could they create sustainable professional learning communities with 500 elementary school teachers and nearly 23,000 students? Their solution was STEAM Team, a core group of 15 Downey Unified elementary teachers with an average of 20 years of teaching experience.

Honoree: West Valley School District Category College/career readiness

West Valley High School has been honored previously as a DA District of Distinction for its Five Steps to Student Success. The fifth step—creating pathways to lead students to their career and educational goals—has earned recognition on its own.  

In 2013-14, the district created a comprehensive plan—the West Valley Programs of Study—that forged new industry partnerships to introduce students to career possibilities.

Honoree: Arlington Public Schools Category Summer school

To close an equity gap at Arlington Public Schools, the district’s office of minority achievement collaborated with the English Language Arts department to modify an existing summer program to fit the needs of black middle school students.

In 2013-14, the APS Summer Literacy Academy was born. Middle school principals and minority achievement coordinators identified students they felt would benefit.

Honoree: Fairfax County Public Schools Category Data-driven decision-making

At Fairfax County Public Schools, 28 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. So district leaders wanted to develop a dynamic enterprise tool to identify students in need of immediate intervention.

In 2014 they transformed their data warehouse, Education Decision Support Library, into a responsive instruction tool, a multitiered system that supports instructional decision-making at the division, school and classroom level for all students.

Honoree: Pomona USD Category School safety

Pomona USD faced a citywide gang problem. So the Southern California district sought and won a state grant to open The Learning Connection, an after-school safe haven for students.

Students receive intervention during the day and, in the after-school program, participate in multidisciplinary enrichment initiatives that connect back to classroom instruction. Teachers model lessons for after-school staff, and a district wide teacher specialist focuses on specific learners.

Honoree: Pickerington Local School District Category CIO/Blended learning

The newest generation of K12 students had not been testing up to par at the Pickerington Local School District in Ohio. And local businesses and colleges stressed that students needed to be better prepared for their futures.

So a task force considered how technology could engage students more deeply in learning, and produced the “Tradigital Learning Plan” last fall.

Honoree: Hayward USD Category Community/family partnerships

A two-generational program at Hayward USD encouraged parents to engage more in their children’s education. The research-based approach focuses on serving parents and students together through fun educational activities, such as storytelling, creating drones and robots, and various forms of dancing, from ballet to hip hop.

Previously, parent and student programs were separate. Workshops were primarily informational, rather than hands-on, and were offered only on weekday evenings.

Honoree: Orange County Public Schools Category Professional Development

When Orange County Public Schools in Florida launched a 1-to-1 program five years ago, leaders knew they had to ensure teachers used the 74,000 devices to their fullest potential.

The district implemented a scalable, blended professional development program that uses face-to-face, online, recorded and live PD sessions that incorporate videoconferences and other technologies. And PD recordings that are curated within a district learning-on-demand course are available.

Honoree: Coffeyville Public Schools Category At-risk/ELL

Coffeyville Public Schools, a high-poverty district with diverse needs, formed the Coffeyville Coalition of Early Education to change the cycle of poverty. Designed to sustain and improve early childhood in the district, the coalition is led by Superintendent Craig Correll as chairman and includes representatives from a community college and a local bank.

Honoree: MSD of Lawrence Township Category Early ed

When Indianapolis families said they wanted a “place where young kids can be young,” leaders of the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township designed their now nationally recognized Early Learning Centers.

The district wanted to create public options that compete with the highly accredited, private kindergarten and preschools that many middle- and upper-class children attended.

July 2016

Honoree: Alabaster City Schools Category Graduation rate

In 2013, Alabaster City Schools separated from Shelby County Schools to become its own district with 6,000 students—including 9 percent who need special education services, 1,000 who speak English as a second language, and nearly 40 percent who qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Prior to separation the graduation rate had been near 89 percent, but in the new district, there was a higher percentage of students at risk of not graduating.