ABOUT THE AWARDS:

How long have the Golden Awards existed?

The Golden Awards first began in 1979 with the introduction of the Golden Bell Award, which has been going strong for 44 years. In 2018, CSBA launched the Golden Gavel: Board Member of the Year Award and in 2019, the Golden Quill Award was introduced. Most recently, the Golden Gavel: Governance Team of the Year Award was launched in 2022.

How many Golden Award programs are there?

CSBA offers four award programs, each highlighting the different roles that improve and support public schools in California.

What is the Golden Bell Award?

The oldest and most popular award program is the Golden Bell. This award program promotes excellence in education and school board governance by recognizing outstanding programs and governance practices of school boards in districts and county offices of education throughout California. Golden Bell Awards reflect the depth and breadth of education programs and governance decisions supporting these programs that are necessary to address students’ changing needs.

What is the Golden Quill Award?

The Golden Quill highlights the essential role that journalists play in increasing understanding of the objectives, operations, accomplishments, challenges, and opportunities related to public schools. The Golden Quill is given in recognition of fair, insightful and accurate reporting on public school news by individual print, broadcast, and online news media representatives.

What is the Golden Gavel Award and what is the relation to Board Member of the Year and Governance Team of the Year?

The Golden Gavel is split into two separate awards, Board Member of the Year and Governance Team of the Year. The Board Member of the Year is given to an individual board member who exemplifies best practices in effective governance and boardsmanship. The Governance Team of the Year is given to a governance team that exemplifies best practices in effective governance and boardsmanship.

APPLICATION PROCESS:

Is there a fee to nominate or apply?

No, there are no fees associated with the application/nomination process.

Where can I find a sample application for the Golden Bell Awards?

The sample application will be made available when we start accepting applications on April 1, 2024. Once applications open you can find the sample application by going to the Golden Awards website here.

Click on the gold link, “SUBMIT YOUR NOMINATION HERE,” you will be taken to the application form. The sample application will be highlighted in gold in the first paragraph. Once you click on the sample application, you will be taken to the PDF form.

When is the deadline to submit an application/nomination?

The deadline to submit applications/nominations for 2024 is midnight, June 28, 2024. Please note this date is subject to change each year; check the website for the most accurate deadlines.

What does the decision-making process look like and how are the winners chosen?

Golden Bell: Once the application process closes, CSBA reviews the applications to make sure all meet the eligibility criteria, which can be found on the Golden Awards website here. Eligible applications are assigned to a panel of three judges selected by CSBA. These judges thoroughly review all of the attachments and documents and submit their scores. The applications are ranked based upon an average of the judges’ scores. The top scoring applications move forward as finalists. The finalists are assigned to validators in their region who conduct a review of the programs and submit their findings to CSBA. If their findings match the application, the finalists officially move forward as winners.

Golden Gavel – Once the application process closes, the program coordinator reviews the nominations to make sure all meet the eligibility criteria, which can be found on the Golden Awards website here. Eligible applications are assigned to a panel of three judges selected by CSBA. These judges thoroughly review all of the attachments and documents and submit their scores. The applications are ranked based upon an average of the judges’ scores. The top scoring nomination wins the award.

Golden Quill – All eligible applicants automatically become winners.

Do I need to submit videos or photos with my application/nomination?

We do not accept video submissions. Each Golden Bell application is required to submit three full-color, high-quality photos of the program. Please visit the Golden Bell page here to review the photo requirements.

There are no photo or video requirements for the Golden Quill and Golden Gavel awards.

What constitutes evidence of board support?

Evidence of board support can be any document that clearly indicates that the board is aware of the program’s existence and supports the program that is applying for a Golden Bell. Typically, applicants submit a board agenda and/or meeting minutes.

When are the finalists notified?

The Golden Bell Awards finalists are notified by CSBA via email in August.

When are the winners notified?

Golden Bell: Notice will be sent via email in September.

Golden Gavel: Notice will be sent by phone and email in August.

Golden Quill: Notice will be sent via email in August.

Can I request to see the scores given to my application?

No, we do not provide applicants with the scores or names of the judges. All judge’s decisions are final. However, an applicant can reach out to the goldenawards@csba.org and request to see the rubric and feedback left on their application. We cannot guarantee that all the applications will have feedback from the judges. Although we highly encourage the judges to leave comments, that is not always the case.

Please note that if you wish to obtain feedback for your application, you must request it before the new award cycle begins.

Can a nominee and/or application be disqualified?

Yes, CSBA reserves the right to disqualify a nominee or application in the case that they are found, during the year of designation, to be in violation of the attributes of the award.

Where can I view the past winners?

Past winners dating back to 2019 can be found on the Golden Awards website. If you wish to access winners dating earlier than 2018, please reach out to goldenawards@csba.org.

GOLDEN BELL AWARDS CEREMONY:

When and how are the winners awarded?

Golden Bell: Winners will be celebrated during the Golden Bell Award Ceremony at the 2024 Annual Education Conference and Trade Show in Anaheim. Details will be made available in October.

Golden Gavel: During conference programming, the Board Member of the Year and Governance Team of the Year winners will be announced and awarded at the First General Session and Second General Session.

Golden Quill: Winners will be recognized during the Second General Session.

What do the winners receive?

Golden Bell: Winners are invited to attend the Golden Bell Awards Ceremony. They are gifted a single complementary ticket to attend the ceremony and a Golden Bell trophy. Their program is included in the online Golden Bell Winners Program on the Golden Awards website and announced in various CSBA publications and online.

Golden Gavel: Winners are notified by CSBA and are awarded a plaque at AEC. The winners are also inducted into the Golden Gavel Hall of Fame and announced in various CSBA publications and online.

Golden Quill: Winners are presented with a Certificate of Excellence in Journalism by local boards. The winners are announced in the winter edition of the California Schools magazine and on the CSBA website.

Who can attend the Golden Bell Awards Ceremony?

All CSBA members are welcome to attend the Golden Bell Award Ceremony as long as they register. Please note that ticket numbers are limited, make sure to register as soon as possible to ensure your spot.

When does registration for the event open?

Registration for the Golden Bell Awards Ceremony opens in October.

Do I have to register to attend AEC if I only wish to attend the Golden Bell Awards Ceremony?

No, you do not need to register for the Conference if you just wish to attend the Golden Bell Awards Ceremony. Please contact goldenawards@csba.org if you wish to register for the Ceremony only.

Do I have to pay to attend the Golden Bell Awards Ceremony?

If you participated as a judge or validator in the current award cycle, you are entitled to a complimentary ticket which will be provided to you by CSBA.

If you are a current Golden Bell Review Committee member, you are entitled to a complimentary ticket which will be provided to you by CSBA.

If you are a current winner, your district or COE is entitled to a single complimentary ticket which will be provided to you by CSBA. Any other individuals from your District or COE who wish to attend will need to purchase a ticket.

Anyone else who wishes to attend the Golden Bell Awards Ceremony and is not a winner, judge, validator, or Golden Bell Review Committee member, must purchase a ticket to attend.

What is the dress code for the Golden Bell Awards Ceremony?

Business attire is acceptable, while some attendees choose to dress in cocktail reception attire for this special event.

Will dinner be served at the Golden Bell Awards Ceremony?

No, there is no dinner served at the Ceremony. However, a no-host bar, appetizers, and dessert are provided.

Please contact the Golden Awards Program Coordinator, Rimma Cotton via email at goldenawards@csba.org or by phone at (916) 669-2591 with any further questions.