During 2002-2003, a local committee met to develop an awards and recognition system for the Washington County Public Schools. The resulting plan, the GRAND Plan, seeks to "Give Recognition to All Noteworthy Deeds." The four components of the GRAND Plan are the SMART Awards, the Golden Apple Awards, the ABCD Award, and Service Awards. Each of these components has specific criteria for consideration, and three of the four components have nominating processes and forms available at this website. Forms and information are also available in schools and departments. Although the Golden Apple Awards were originally available for recognition of staff, the Golden Apple program has expanded to include recognition of students and supporters. For more information about the GRAND Plan components, please check out the links below.
SMART Cost-Savings Program
"Saving Money, Assets, Resources and Time" for Washington County Public Schools
- Provide an opportunity for employees to share new and creative cost savings or revenue generating ideas for improving school system operations.
- Encourage an environment that will motivate employees to submit their ideas and suggestions for improvement.
- Provide an objective review and evaluation of employee suggestions by a Board-approved, independent selection committee, qualified to judge the merits of each suggestion.
- Ensure that appropriate recognition and rewards are provided to employees.
Eligibility – Employees
Any school system employee is eligible. An employee’s eligibility for an award shall be established based on employment status at the time the suggestion is submitted and will be protected for one year from the date of the submission. It will be active until the date of final disposition. If the employee terminates employment before a one-year period after the suggestion is made, the employee is ineligible for the program. The review committee will determine any issues regarding eligibility.
Eligibility – Suggestions
Any suggestion from an employee or team of employees that is useful, practical, and constructive, and is of benefit to the school system is eligible. A committee will analyze a suggestion if the suggestion offers an idea or improvement in one or more of the following areas:
- Instruction/Teaching Methods;
- Cost Reduction/Revenue Enhancement;
- Services to Students;
- Energy Resources;
- Employee Resources or Employee Morale.
Ineligible suggestions include any that are:
- Currently under consideration; or have already been made and awarded, or are already in use
- Complaints and grievances
- Salary/classification related
- Enforcement of existing rules, policies, procedures or regulations
- Routine maintenance matters or requests for supplies and services that should be available through established channels
- Expected as a normal part of an employee’s job duties
- Proposing unclear or non-specific practices
- In violation of Board of Education Policies/Regulations
When a suggestion results in measurable budget savings to the school system, a monetary award of $100 will be granted. The award is subject to committee review.
- The SMART Form WCPS
- The Selection Committee should include:
- Director of Budget and Finance (or designee)
- Chief Operating Officer or Designee
- A Director of Instruction or Designee
- Director of Human Resources or Designee
- ESP Local #1 Representative
- WCTA Representative
- The Selection Process
- A majority of the Selection Committee must vote to submit a recommendation to the Superintendent in order for an idea to be considered for implementation. (The Chair is not a voting member except in a tie.)
How to Submit A Suggestion
- Obtain a SMART form.
- Think your idea through carefully. Make sure facts and figures are correct. Your idea can be a new application of an old idea, but it must be an improvement over the old method.
- Your suggestion should be outlined step by step. For each suggestion include a statement of:
- The present method or practice.
- Your suggestion for improvement and how it can be accomplished.
- The benefits of your idea: summarize the benefits in terms of savings in time, labor, forms, equipment, space, postage, in dollars, etc., and include any improvements to quality of service that might result from the suggestion, if possible. Include drawings or photos if necessary.
- Send all suggestions to the Public Information Office, addressed to the SMART Program. The suggestions will be forwarded to the Selection Committee, which will meet on a quarterly basis to analyze suggestions.
- Multi-media presentations are acceptable with prior approval in cases where written submissions are inadequate or special accommodations are necessary.
Notes and Caveats
- The use of an employee’s suggestions by the school system shall not be a basis for further claims of any kind by the employee, the employee’s heirs or assigns.
- The school system has the right to use all suggestions for which an award has been made. All suggestions or innovations submitted by employees become the property of the school system. The Selection Committee will rule on issues not specifically addressed by this document.
- Decisions regarding the award are final and are not subject to review. Awards may be split among a group of employees when appropriate.
- The school system retains the right to terminate this program at any time without notice.
SMART Suggestion Form
Certificate of Appreciation
Recognition for Years of Service with Washington County Public Schools
- Employees retiring with twenty (20) or more years receive a Certificate of Appreciation and a pen and pencil set. Employees retiring with less than twenty (20) years of service receive a Certificate of Appreciation. This recognition occurs at a local restaurant with dinner, pictures and participation by elected Board members.
- Employees not retiring receive a Certificate of Appreciation at five (5) year intervals of service, and/or a pin displaying years of service. These recognitions are awarded at the work site with an appropriate ceremony and pictures by the site administrator/supervisor with light refreshments and with invitations to co-workers, staff and elected Board members as appropriate.
The Superintendent’s ABCD Award
Recognition for service Above and Beyond the Call of Duty
Criteria for an ABCD Award:
- Consistently goes above and beyond what would reasonably be considered normal duties and responsibilities
- Consistently demonstrates an attitude and manner that has a positive effect on other employees and Washington County Public School stakeholders
- Consistently finds new and more efficient ways to accomplish the responsibilities of the position; looks for ways to grow
- Consistently sets an example of superior performance.
The Nomination Process
- Any person may submit a nomination
- Use the ABCD Nominating Form
NOTE – Very Important! Do not tell the nominee of your recommendation! It is possible that your recommendation may not survive the Nomination Process. Wait until you learn the result of your nomination
- Submit the Nomination Form to the Richard Wright, communications officer, at Central Office. The nominee’s immediate supervisor and the director of the department will be invited to comment, always with the direction that the employee not learn of the nomination
- The Nomination Form with the comments of a supervisor or director will go next to the Director of Human Resources for comment after a review of the nominee’s personnel file
- The Nomination Form with comments attached will go to the Superintendent for a decision
The recipient of the Superintendent’s ABCD Award will receive an appropriate award. (This may include certificate recognition, a gift/financial award, or some other award.)
“Golden Apple” Award Recognitions
- Staff Awards for World Class Standard Performers
- Volunteer Awards for World Class Supporters
Eligibility and Criteria:
Any full-time or part-time WCPS associate, including professional educational support personnel, teachers, and administrators, is eligible for a Golden Apple Award for World Class Standards. Other community supporters of Washington County Public Schools are also eligible for Golden Apple Awards.
The Golden Apple should be awarded to staff and other community supporters for demonstrating one or more of the following:
- Organizing an outstanding event or program to benefit students, staff, or the community
- Volunteering to provide additional services to students or the system beyond the ordinary
- Focusing on superior quality customer service to improve stakeholder involvement and satisfaction
- Consistently performing job responsibilities in an exemplary manner that demonstrates a WORLD CLASS STANDARD that supports the vision, mission, goals, and objectives of WCPS
Information and nomination forms for the Golden Apple Award are available at each school and department and may also be accessed on the Public Information Office website at www.wcboe.k12.md.us.
Nomination, Selection, and Award Process:
- Any staff person can nominate a fellow employee for a Golden Apple Award. The nominee should not be told of the nomination, in order to surprise him or her with the recognition if awarded!
- A nomination form must be completed and submitted to the head of the department in which the nominee works(Instruction; Student Services; Elementary or Secondary Education; Finance, Transportation, Technology, Facilities, Food Service, etc.)
- The Golden Apple Awards Committee, chaired by the Public Information Officer, will consider each nominee and consult with administrators and supervisors of employees under consideration. The Golden Apple Awards Committee will recommend the associate to the Superintendent for final award determination
- If the Superintendent deems the Golden Apple Award an appropriate recognition for service, the award certificate will be completed and, along with the Golden Apple pin, be sent to the employee’s administrator/supervisor to be awarded at the department or school level. The Superintendent may also determine if the Golden Apple winner should be considered for further “ABCD Award” recognition by the Board of Education.
- The Golden Apple award should be presented to the staff person or persons at an appropriate time and location selected by the direct supervisor or principal of the employee(s). Suggestions for award times and locations are as follows:
-Regular faculty or staff meetings; or
-Special luncheons or events at the school or department level.
Golden Apple Nomination Form (For Performer - Staff)
Golden Apple Nomination Form (For Supporter)