The Ohio Boards of Distinction Award honors school boards that have engaged in activities and modeled behaviors that lead to excellence in local school district governance in support of quality education. The qualifications include requirements for each member of the board to participate in training or service as well as a commitment by the full board to engage in activities such as strategic planning and board self-assessment to help guide the direction of the district. 

Timeline

The cycle for the Ohio Boards of Distinction Award begins every two years in the January immediately following board of education elections as school boards form new leadership teams. The current cycle began January 2020 and culminates at the 2021 OSBA Capital Conference. The award will be presented at the end of the cycle and districts may receive the award only once during the period.

Application process

The board must complete the Ohio Boards of Distinction Application Form and return it to OSBA by Oct. 10, 2021 to be reviewed for acknowledgment at the 2021 OSBA Capital Conference. The completed form can be emailed to Gwen Samet at gsamet@ohioschoolboards.org or mailed to the Ohio School Boards Association, 8050 N. High St., Ste. 100, Columbus, OH 43235.

Requirements

Collectively, a board of education must earn 600 points in an approximately two-year cycle (as described above) to earn the Ohio Boards of Distinction Award. Although individual board members may earn more, each board member must contribute a minimum of 100 points to the total.

Points are earned through mandatory as well as optional activities.

Mandatory activities (all of the following must be accomplished):

  • Board members create and maintain a formalized orientation process for new board members (5 points per person)
  • Board members create and/or participate in an annual board self-assessment (10 points per person)
  • Board members create and/or participate in an active strategic plan (10 points per person)
  • Board members create and/or maintain a board handbook (5 points per person)
  • Board members are involved in reviewing and/or updating the district’s policy manual (5 points per person)
  • Board members attend an OSBA regional spring and/or fall conference sponsored by a region (5 points per person per event)
  • Board members attend an OSBA-, district-, community- or social services-sponsored event focused on diversity and equity (10 points per person)

Additional/optional activities (any of the following may be completed to meet the point requirements):

  • Board members complete at least one annual OSBA Book Club offering (5 points per person)
  • The board endorses the creation and implementation of a formal community engagement survey (10 points per person)
  • Board members attend State Legislative Conference (10 points per person)
  • Board members attend the Board Leadership Institute (20 points per person)
  • Board members attend the OSBA Capital Conference (25 points per person)
  • Board members earn the Service Award (5 points per person)
  • Board members earn the Training Award (5 points per person)
  • Board members earn the Aptitude Award (10 points per person)
  • Board members earn the Master Board Member Award (20 points per person)
  • Board members attend an ESC Leadership Academy workshop (5 points per person)