Original Date: 08/08/1994
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : The Recognition Process
The Stafford County Public Schools' recognition program is comprehensive, encourages innovative techniques, and is an important part of the total education package. "Accentuate the positive" is the driving theme adopted by school administrators, teachers, students, and the community. The program is designed for all to participate, either as a receiver, or as a giver, and often as both.
Where most schools recognize high academic and athletic achievements for their students, the Stafford County Public Schools additionally recognize behavior and special achievement, and encompass all K-12 students, as well as teachers, administrators, and the community. Common in most schools are the recognition of academic achievement through Honor Rolls, scholarships, and Student of the Month; the athletic achievements through Team awards, Athlete of the Month, and Scholarships; and teacher recognition through Outstanding Teacher nomination, Teacher of the Month Club, and Teacher's Week. The practice in most public school divisions is to place the total burden of carrying out and managing the recognition process at each school site on the administrative staff and teachers.
Unique to the Stafford County Public Schools recognition program approach is the involvement of the total school population, as well as the community, the media, and the local businesses which has lead to some innovative recognition processes. An important part of the School Board's bi-monthly meetings is to begin with an awards program that recognizes the winners of the Outstanding Teachers Program, Outstanding Principal Program, Student Achievement winners, awards for special teachers, staff, and support groups, special recognition of community businesses, retirees recognition, and length-of-service awards. The Superintendent distributes "You're Good" certificates, sends out letters of commendation to employees and outside support groups, letters to speakers and special support groups, and notes to employees experiencing lengthy illnesses or deaths in the family.
Advertisements are purchased in the local and community newspapers to salute outstanding teachers, students, and support groups. Weekly news articles are provided to local newspapers and radio stations that identify recent award winners. The school system has a partnership with the Washington Post to run a national feature recognizing several of the recipients of Stafford's Outstanding Teacher recognition awards.
Also unique in the recognition process is the Positive Phone Calls Home program with teachers and principals calling the parents of students and offering praise and recognition for their son's or daughter's recent achievements. An honor roll has been established for recognizing students not for their academic achievement, but for their academic improvement and continuous hard effort. While most high schools use their newsletter to recognize recipients of awards, one high school airs a special achievement program for the entire student body on their in-house TV station.
Positive reinforcement of all the students, faculty, and community is the goal of the Stafford County Public Schools. The comprehensive recognition program of this magnitude has placed the Stafford County Public Schools' recognition efforts far beyond the norm, and with effective results that are embraced by everyone affiliated with the school.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.