Tri-State Best K-12 Practices is a contest recognizing Best Practices and Innovations in K-12 public schools that impact student achievement and promote effective and efficient use of public resources.
The contest is open to all Alabama, Tennessee, and Louisiana public school systems. School systems may submit up to three entries describing a Best Practice implemented within the last three school years (2014-2015, 2015-2016, or 2016-2017).
Initial rounds will be held in Alabama, Tennessee, and Louisiana. Two finalists will be selected from each state and will each receive $1,000. One overall Tri-State winner will be selected from the state finalists and receive the $4,000 GRAND PRIZE in instructional and/or non-instructional areas.
A best practice is a method or technique used by a school system (or a school within a system) that has consistently shown superior results. This practice can become a standard way of doing things that other school systems can use.
Some examples of best practices include:
- Distinctive instructional practices that enhance student performance
- Unique custodial programs that improve cleanliness and reduce resource use
- Creative solutions for teacher professional development and retention
- Inventive techniques for increasing student attendance or reducing discipline issues
- Effective ways to improve school maintenance or IT programs
- Basically ANY creative solution to a challenge your school system has faced
Click here for brainstorming tips for identifying best practices.
Winners will receive cash prizes for their school or school system. Previous winners have used their prize money to fund activities (e.g., technology professional development for employees, an annual run promoting literacy in the community, etc.) and to purchase items (e.g., equipment for outdoor educational center, inventor kits and other STEM supplies, attire for volunteers, Swivl robotic tripods so teachers can create educational videos, etc.) In addition to the monetary prize, your school system will receive well-deserved recognition. The idea behind best practices is that they can be used or adapted for use by others. Your best practice may be the solution that another school system needs!
Entries will be evaluated based upon the following:
- Creativity– the uniqueness of the practice or its application. Better entries involve an original program that is either school/school system-developed to address an issue or a unique application (i.e., modified-in-a-distinctive-way) of a practice that other schools/school systems are using.
- Sustainability– the practice makes lasting improvements. Better entries involve practices that make lasting improvements. The Practice has measures in place to ensure that it will continue.
- Impact on students – the practice improves student achievement or increases value by improving students’ environment or well-being, increasing the level of service provided to students, reducing costs, or increasing revenue. Better entries provide documentation of improvements (quantitative and/or qualitative) since the implementation of the Best Practice.
- Creativity of the media presentation– the presentation showcases the uniqueness of the school/school system. Better entries cover the who, what, when, how, and why of the Best Practice — who started it; what is special about the practice; when it was implemented; how it is implemented and sustained; why the practice was developed/implemented for the school/school system.