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 think about the work happening in schools. The concept is simple: 


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. 


Note the timeline shifted one year late due to COVID-19.



The Programs of Excellence rubrics cast a vision for what is possible. They have been drafted with input from Oklahoma educators and experts. The rubrics are designed to be emergent, ambitious and flexible. 


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

*Our Programs of Excellence rubrics are currently undergoing a refresh. Updated rubrics will be released late spring/early summer 2022!

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


Schools who build exemplar programs and meet the ambitious outcomes set forth in the Programs of Excellence rubrics will be publicly celebrated on the Oklahoma School Report Card dashboard.

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. 

  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.


For more information about the Champions of Excellence Initiative, contact Lauren Jenks-Jones at
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Last updated on October 31, 2022