Criteria for Selection

Programs will be judged on a scoring rubric, based on descriptors for each program category. In order to receive a Golden Bell Award, applicants must demonstrate that the program:
Data driven decision making is an important feature for the creation, implementation and sustainability of award winning programs. School boards and site level practitioners can use data to pinpoint issues of importance to the district and school site. Golden Bell Award winners will display how they used data to come to conclusions about student needs, program creation, implementation and sustainability.
Examples include: student evaluations or feedback demonstrating student satisfaction; surveys of parents, staff or community; degree of participation in program; all students who can benefit from the program are empowered to participate; data demonstrating program has undergone a rigorous evaluation and shows evidence of statistically significant improvements in student achievement, school environment or other desired outcomes; significant improvements for participants, including clearly articulated program goals, identification of measurable outcomes and evidence that demonstrates the program has generated cost savings that have released resources to provide greater services to students; and effective outreach to students who can benefit from the program.
Examples include: exemplary implementation of a program; uniqueness throughout the state; creative approach to solving a problem or presenting a curriculum; use of new methods or technology to teach a needed skill or enhance the student experience; creative funding; etc. If a program has been replicated from another program, examples of how the program has been implemented in a unique or innovative manner.
Examples include: linkage between the program and the district’s or county office’s vision statement, goals or strategic plan, evidence of program presentation and discussion at board meetings, evidence of board member program visitation and evidence of consideration during budget hearings
Examples include: demonstrating that the school board helped create the conditions for success to support award winning programming; board members fulfill the five major responsibilities of their role (setting direction, establishing structure, providing support, ensuring accountability, acting as a community leader) in the service of supporting this award winning program; evidence that the Golden Bell Awards program (entry information, district or school participation, etc.) has been a part of the standing, regular or periodic school board agenda.
Examples include: length of time in operation; stable source of funding; high participation from students; sufficient staff knowledge and commitment to maintain the program; strong support from students, parents, educators, the community and the board; a broad base of support and a strong structure in place to support the program; flexibility to meet changing needs; and expansion to serve more students or school sites.
Examples include: evidence that the program has already been or could be replicated; written goals and procedures; availability of staff to discuss the program and demonstrate effective strategies; evidence that the district and county office actively reaches out to other districts and county offices of education to assist them in replicating the program; appropriateness for a different student population or staff; minimal needs for special facilities or equipment; and reasonable costs for initial implementation and training.


All eligible entries will be considered, and the decision of the judges is final. In cases where none of the eligible programs in a given program category meets or exceeds the total score set by CSBA, no award will be given. While many valuable programs may meet basic scoring criteria, the total score needed for an award is intentionally set high to select the most innovative or exemplary programs, which have made a demonstrated difference for students, are sustainable and are connected to other district/county office vision efforts.
Timeline for Judging
June 28 Entries due
June/July Review applications to determine whether qualifications are met
July/August Judging/scoring by prominent educators with specific expertise relative to the category being judged
August All districts or county offices will be notified if they will or will not be moving to an on-site visitation in September
September Evaluation of potential award winners through an on-site visitation
October Announcement of award winners
November Awards Event

Mark your calendar

Application Deadline: Friday, June 28, 2019
CSBA Golden Bell Awards Reception and Ceremony: Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019 from 5 - 7 p.m.

Contact us

Lisa Hutson, Program Coordinator
(800) 266-3382, ext. 3358