Champion Excellence

Champions of Excellence


Still in its early development stage, the new Champions of Excellence initiative is poised to rethink the way Oklahomans appreciate and support the work happening in schools. The concept is simple: identify excellence, celebrate dedication, and share wisdom

There are pockets of excellence in schools across the state, and work happens day in and day out to ensure students’ academic, social, and emotional needs are met. Our aim is to build a pathway for schools to take stock of what is working in their local context, celebrate it, share it, and help others learn from it. To that effect, we have collaboratively designed rubrics, called Programs of Excellence rubrics, that address aspects of school programs believed to ensure all students have access to a well-rounded education in safe and healthy conditions. 

Schools can use the rubrics to self-identify their distinction as bronze, silver, or gold. School efforts to serve the whole child would be visible on the school accountability dashboard, highlighting strengths and opportunities to create new partnerships and pathways that ensure students’ academic, social, and emotional needs are met. 


While schools will not be able to indicate their distinction as bronze, silver, or gold until the 2020-2021 school year, schools and communities are able to provide feedback on the draft rubrics and identify areas they will prioritize. The following timeline shows the four-year process currently underway.

Timeline showing Prototype and Pilot Rubrics available this year and through next school year.


The OSDE is committed to utilizing the power of all stakeholders to meet students’ academic, social, and emotional needs. The OSDE believes that the work of schools, communities, and the agency should serve the whole child, ensuring all Oklahoma children are safe, healthy, challenged, engaged, and supported. To that end, Well-Rounded Education and Safe and Healthy Schools rubrics were developed. 

Submit feedback on any of the draft Programs of Excellence rubrics here.

Well-Rounded Education

The Well-Rounded Education rubrics are connected to academic disciplines and are designed to communicate the academic experiences that should be provided to all children. While still in draft form, the rubrics address critical issues related to instruction, professional development, equity, meeting the needs of diverse learners, and other aspects of school programs. We believe that the rubrics describe programs that ensure each student is challenged academically and prepared for success in college or further study and for employment and participation in a global environment.

English Language Arts

Fine Arts



Computer Science

Social Studies

World Languages



Safe and Healthy Schools

The emphasis on Safe and Healthy Schools extends well beyond the classroom and is captured in a separate rubric. This rubric is largely inspired by the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model that was originally developed by the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development and the Center for Disease Control. The model is widely accepted as the most innovative, comprehensive tool for engaging all stakeholders to ensure each student enters school healthy and learns in an environment that is physically and emotionally safe for students and adults.

Safe & Healthy Schools

"OSDE’s leadership in elevating health as critical to academic success will inevitably facilitate greater success in creating healthier school environments for Oklahoma students. We wholeheartedly support this comprehensive approach with corresponding rubrics and designation structure."

- Holly Hunt, Chief of School Health at the Center for Disease Control

Self-Identification Process

The responsibility of identifying a school as bronze, silver, or gold is placed on the school and its community. Through local evaluation and verification, the school can simply celebrate its efforts and create strategic initiatives to improve other areas. 

The OSDE will not verify each identification claim. However, an auditing process would randomly select schools to identify strong and weak evidence used for self-identification. Additionally, the visibility of Programs of Excellence on the accountability dashboard may also create opportunities for interested stakeholders and neighboring schools to visit bronze, silver, and gold schools. 

Identification Steps

  1. Review: A school-based advisory committee involving external stakeholders as appropriate, will make recommendations for bronze, silver, or gold status. 
  2. Verification: The recommendation must be signed off by each member of the committee and reviewed by the principal. Upon verification by the principal, the recommendation will be submitted to the district school board and superintendent for review and verification. 
  3. Submission: Only when each layer of review and verification is complete, the final self-identification will be submitted to the OSDE. Levels of distinction will be valid for three years and will be visible on the school’s accountability dashboard.

Submit feedback on the overall Champions of Excellence initiative here.

For more information about the Champions of Excellence Initiative, contact Levi Patrick at
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Last updated on September 28, 2020