Stars of Distinction

Projects are reviewed in each of the six areas below, along with a Special Area of Distinction that emphasizes a timely topic to maintain currency and relevancy. School Transformation will repeat as this year’s Special Area of Distinction.

Design—Star of Distinction Scale and relationship of spaces, use of materials, building organization and flow, adaptability and flexibility, instructional function supporting a variety of learning and teaching styles, and educational appropriateness are all elements of design excellence. Show examples of where the educational program and design goals informed the site development and facility design with an enhanced student learning experience.
Value—Star of Distinction Describe how the design and/or the design process resulted in a project of improved efficiency, flexibility, adaptability, and enhance value to the campus, district, and/or the community at large. Identify specific project considerations as they relate to the cost of ownership, life cycle costs, long-term cost control to preserve district funds, materials selected, construction methods used, and alternative design choices that provided enhanced project value and success.
Wellness—Star of Distinction Wellness is an approach that focuses on supporting the whole child. School design impacts student behavior, development, and academic performance. Share examples of how wellness strategies have been incorporated in the design of the new or renovated campus, including diverse scales and styles of learning environments, flexible furnishings, views of nature, opportunities for movement and activity, access to nourishment, safety considerations, technology-rich spaces, outdoor learning spaces, equity, and inclusive design features, and overall awe-inspiring features that can help activate learning, play, and reflection for children, inside and outside, during the school day. Explain how these inclusions relate to the overall educational goals of the project.
Community—Star of Distinction Describe how the project enhances or embraces the community’s culture and diversity giving consideration to its identity, community context, sense of place, and/or overall purpose and importance of the facility to the community at large. Describe how the project /site exhibits a clear identity and inspires a sense of belonging for the direct users and the community. (Planning process and committee references to be submitted under the Planning Star of Distinction)
Planning—Star of Distinction Planning is both a process and the articulation of design concepts. Describe how the project’s mission, goals, educational program, and implementation strategies informed the planning and design outcome. Share specifics of the planning process, including participants and how the project is to achieve the educational goals of the campus, district, and community.
Transformation—Star of Distinction School Transformation, redefines the learning place in its nature, shape, character, and/or form in new or renovated facilities. At this intersection of learning and space, described by examples how this project inspires, motivates, and transforms the learning and teaching experience for students and staff.