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Districts of Distinction

Celebrating Excellence & Innovation in K12 Education


DA’s annual Districts of Distinction Program honors home-grown innovations in K12 education – successful projects that were developed by visionary educators to meet the needs of their individual school districts and that have the potential to impact student success in communities nationwide.

If this describes an initiative in your district that is improving student outcomes, streamlining operations or meeting the needs of your community in an innovative way, we would love to consider your district for recognition as a District of Distinction.

The program has been suspended for 2021. 

Category Descriptions for 2020 Districts of Distinction

Ed Tech: Integrating technology to improve student outcomes. 

At Risk Populations: A targeted initiative meeting the needs of kids in at risk populations such as ELL, Special Education, Economically Disadvantaged, or district identified underperforming subgroups. 

Curriculum and Instruction: Strong focus on standards-based core instruction initiatives in the areas of ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies, STEM/STEAM, Project-based learning, and rigorous courses like AICE, IB, and Dual Enrollment.

Social Emotional Learning: District-wide SEL initiatives for adults and/or students.

Career and Technical Education: Increasing or improving industry certifications and providing choice for students to explore different career paths. 

Professional Development: District-wide professional learning initiatives targeted at solving a problem for instructional and non-instructional staff.

Leadership Development: Initiatives to increase capacity of district leaders, create pipelines, and improve school level support and coaching.

Community and Family Engagement/Business Partnerships: Unique partnership opportunities and strategies to increase engagement and support of local schools.

Closing the Achievement Gap: Improving outcomes for underperforming populations.