Nomination, Review and Selection Process

Step One – Review of Community Nominations Along With Available School Data

A foundational aspect of selecting the annual award winners are nominations that come directly from the community. Parents, students, teachers, partners, community members—anyone who feels moved — are encouraged to share why they believe their principal deserves Heart of the School recognition. The nomination form can be found here.

However, nominations are not votes. While it is impressive to see multiple nominations for a principal, the Selection Committee (see below for details) is most interested in the content of the nominations. Specifically, they look for evidence that the principal leads a school community that meets the selection criteria (to the right on this page).

In addition to the information gleaned from the nominations, the Selection Committee also reviews publicly available school data. They look for positive trends on the following items:

  • Student achievement

  • Student attendance

  • Student enrollment

  • School survey results

  • Teacher retention

Using nominations and data, the Selection Committee selects a minimum of 10 finalists. We plan to have this complete by February.

 

Step Two – School Visits

Members of the Selection Committee visit each of the finalists at their schools, which includes informal interviews with the principal and staff. They will look and listen for evidence of the selection criteria listed above. These are planned to happen in March.

Step Three – Pulling it All Together

Using information from the site visits, nominations, and publicly available data, the Selection Committee selects Winners and Honorees. Each year our goal is to honor a group of principals who reflect the diversity of individuals, experiences, and contexts that comprise the outstanding leadership talent in Baltimore City. This should be complete by the end of March.

Winners and Honorees will be celebrated at the Heart of the Schools event, held each May.

Characteristics of a Heart of the School Principal 

 

The Heart of the School Awards highlight principals who create school communities where:

 

  • Students are excited to attend school every day, are inspired to learn and grow, and are provided with a wide range of opportunities

  • Teachers are inspired by the vision and direction of the school and are valued, supported, and recognized

  • Parents feel welcome and included in the school community and are seen as critical partners in the education of their children

  • Partnerships advance the vision of the school and provide students with opportunities they might not have otherwise

  • Leadership is distributed and developed among staff and teachers, and, where appropriate, among parents, students and partners as well

  • There are successful initiatives that could be replicated elsewhere

  • Student achievement is on an upward trend

We recognize that each school is unique with distinct challenges and opportunities. Accordingly, we will consider all grade levels, school types (elementary, middle, high; traditional and charter; alternative and specialized), and student populations.

Selection Committee

The Selection Committee for the Heart of the School Awards is reflective of the Community we intend for these awards to be from. The group consists of community members and organizations, representatives from Heart of the School sponsors, and retired City Schools principals and administrators.

 

PROJECT 2

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PROJECT 4

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PROJECT 6

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Any questions can be sent to Kevin Leary at kevinl@ffee.org                       © 2019 by FFEE.org.

The Heart of the Schools is a year-round program that celebrates and supports Baltimore City Public School principals for their exemplary innovation, execution, and leadership, building strong school cultures. Coordinated by the Fund for Educational Excellence, the program is a collaborative of dozens of businesses, foundations, individuals and nonprofits.