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Reflections Coordinator

Basic Job Description:

Coordinate Reflections contest.  Inform students of theme, coordinate collection of projects, judging, school awards and submission of winning entries to district.

The theme for reflections usually gets posted in May on the utahpta.org site or sometimes you have to look for it on the national pta website.

In 2017/2018 we have swapped judging with Sunrise elementary. This has worked really well in that the judges are not judging artwork of kids they know so they can judge without bias. If you are swapping judges, contact their president early summer and find out their reflection chairs name and email.

You will contact them back and forth to decide (with the pta president and principals help):

  • Dates for judging at our school (with their judges) and their school (with our judges). These dates will be based on the reflections timeline. Once you know when the district deadline is for turning local school entries in to the district, then you will plan your deadlines and calendar (with help from the principal…..who has the school calendar).
    • **if you do not want to swap with the other school you can find your own judges for each category. Either people who are knowledgeable in that category or anyone interested in helping. Just do not allow parents to judge if their child is in that category.
  • Usually 2 judges per category (and you will want 2 for 2-d and 2 for 3-d visual arts….even though they are the same category, there are enough of them to need separate judges)

Basic timeline for the last couple years:

  • Announce theme in May/June Register your school online through utahpta.org
  • Send info email before school starts in August.
  • Kick off assembly 2nd or 3rd Friday of school (sometimes we join with the dragon dash/ fundraiser for this assembly so you don’t have to take the whole hour)
  • Provide hard copy of rules/entry form near main office. Also send info link of where to find this online (utahpta.org under the reflections tab)
  • Three days of gathering entries in the morning before school. On the final deadline date go after school to collect any up to 2:00 pm.
  • Sort all entries
    •  Prep for judging at our school.  
    • Judging at the other school
    • Calculate scores and decide award of excellence and award of merit winners
    • Order trophies/ribbons/prizes/ make certificates for all who entered Get winners entries ready to move to the next level…..deliver them to whoever is in charge of the next level by their due date
    • Awards assembly to recognize all
    • Once it moves to the upper levels you will receive emailed info if any of our students receive awards at the district, state, national levels all the way through April (national is usually in April). If students did receive awards you will contact the parent and give them the info so that they can attend the awards ceremony (or you can go pick it up and deliver it to them at school)
    • Recognize students that do move on….post on social media or ask the principal to put it in weekly email or announce on loud speaker during announcements.

Break down of timeline:

Announce theme in May/June:

Once you know the new theme, send an email/social media post or even a flier to every student before the end of the school year so that they can work on entries over the summer. Then send an email through the principal with the theme, deadline and where to find the rules and forms needed.

Kick off assembly: The whole idea is to introduce the theme and rules and get kids excited to enter. 2016 Dewey was at the assembly and handed in an entry for every category and there was a power point presentation with info on the screen that the volunteer went through the rules, etc. 2017 we made a video of kids from our school saying different things about reflections (the theme, rules, due date, etc). We showed the video and then basically asked who was going to enter. 2018 we had another video, but this time it was still pictures with someone talking about each category and basic rules (copyright rules since the theme was hero related).

Provide hard copies: Usually easiest to create a poster and staple it to a wall by the office. Put Manila folders as pockets to the the papers can go into the pocket on the wall. I would print the entry form with the official rules on the back side. You’ll need to keep checking to refill the papers until the due date (most will take them the week of the due date). Also send home links to find the entries online. Be sure they know that consent forms need to be signed and turned in also if another person is in their entry in any way (photo, dance, film, music).

Gathering entries: Have volunteers sit in the main hallway a couple mornings before the due date. We usually did Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Mornings 8-9 to collect entries and take a photo of the student holding their entry (or holding a sign that says the category literature, film, dance, music…..since you can’t show those categories like photography and visual arts) Plan on coming at the end of the day on the last day to gather any that come in during the school day (pm kindergarten etc.). Make a list of kids to get photographs of (if you plan on using them in a slide show) Prep entries: You will want to sort the entries into category as well as age level (primary k-2 or intermediate 3-5). Color in the circle in the top right corner (red or yellow….it says in the middle of the form) we found it easier not to worry about filling out all the pta info at the top on all the forms……wait until you know the ones moving on and only fill those ones out. Look through the entries….do they have parent signature? Do they have an artist statement? (The artist statement is half of the score) did they follow the guidelines for their category? Size requirements, length for song or film or dance, do you see any copyright violations? If it is photography……are they photos that they took themselves and not someone else took of them? Once you have reviewed all entries you will need to fill out the judging score sheet. This is basically a spreadsheet with the title of the entry and space for them to score 3 things: the artist statement, following the theme, skill/creativity.

There is a judging rubric to follow, print this and along with the rules for judging for each judge. You will need two copies of the judging score sheet (one for each judge in each age level in each category). So if someone is judging photography they will have the rubric and rules, a score sheet for k-2 and a score sheet for 3-5. Once they judge them all you can total the scores and find the average of the two judges scores. Top two scores get award of excellence. 3rd and 4th scores get award of merit.

On judging day we usually provide bagels and juice as a gift to the judges. You could also have a goodie in a bag for them to take home, whatever you want to do for them….but they have volunteered their time so I wouldn’t put too much money into thanking them.

Find out what spaces in the school you can use for the judges…..we usually have most of the judges in the faculty room (as long as you aren’t there during teacher lunches) and have the 3-d entries on top of the book shelves in the library (easier if there is not library that day so the kids won’t touch them). The judges for music, film, dance will all need laptops to watch/listen…..it’s also nice for them to have ear phones. If you are swapping judges the other school provides judges for you and you provide judges for them. I just sent a signup genius out via the principal to get judges (and you might have to beg a few people to signup). If you have only 1 or 2 entries in a category (like film or dance) they do not need to be judged. If you have 3 entries in the same age level then you need a judge to decide the 2 that move on.

Trophies and awards are up to you. We have done trophies for the 2 award of excellence winners the last several years. Award of merit gets a ribbon. All entrants get a certificate that shows their category entered on it. We also have done small prizes for all entrants…this is up to you. 2016 the pta theme was superhero’s and the gift for reflections was a bag with a superhero notebook. 2017 the pta theme was around the world in 180 days and the gift for reflections was a blow up globe….we attached a note that said “earth without art is just eh” 2018 the pta theme was kindness so we had the kindness theme printed on color changing cups and inside the cup added a superhero mask (to go with the reflections theme) and a rock candy with a note that said “kindness is like kryptonite” **it is up to you if you want to do a prize or not.

Get winners entries ready for next level: You will need to fill out the pta section at the top of all the forms (get some of the info from the pta president) Make sure that all the forms are filled out…..in the details section literature must have word count, 2-d and photography must have size dimensions, dance and music and film must have info about song or instruments and length. 3-d need to have photographs of the entry from different angles….the 3-d entries do not physically move on to the next level. You need to keep the entries to see if they move on again, the next level might want to see the actual entry.

Entries all need to be in a Manila envelope with the form in a sheet protector. The sheet protector needs to be taped to the Manila envelope. Most of them you can just tape the envelope to the back of the entry……or the entry can go inside the envelope if it fits (literature, and smaller photography and 2-d can go inside). Larger items should be on sturdy backing. If you are worried about a piece, you can wrap it in clear wrap to protect it. I usually fix up the entries if they student didn’t, but you can also call their parent and tell them that items need to be fixed for them to move on. Follow the rules for each category, as sometimes they change year to year.

Once the entries are ready you also need to fill out forms. These can be found in the local leaders guide on utahpta.org. In the guide you will find a whole bunch of information, just scroll to find the forms that move on to the next level, print them off and fill out the info…..they will ask for some pta info again, as well as the students name, age, primary or intermediate level, email address and home address and cell phone for parent. You will fill them out for every category. Make a copy to keep for your records as well as how many copies the guide asks you to make.

Take all the winners entries and these forms to the council level reflections person (they should send emails to you about their due date….2018 the due date was November 1) Awards assembly: The awards assembly is pretty easy. We would call each student up in category groups and have them stand on the stage then clap for them. Hand the certificate to them as they come up (and the trophies and ribbons), then as they leave the stage they can take their prize. Some kids enter several times, we usually have some alternate prizes for them like a box full of art supplies for them to choose one item….that way they don’t get 4 of the same prize. We usually make a slide show of all entrants and have it showing when they come in and when they are leaving, just so students get to see some of the art and see who entered. In the past we keep all the entries until after the assembly so that kids don’t know who won or not. Then after the assembly you can ask kids to come to the library to get their entry…..any not there that day you can take them to their teachers room. Winners entries move on so they will not get them back until they stop moving on.

After this point, the only thing you will watch for is if a student moves forward to the next level. Usually emails will go to the pta president with that info and they will send it to you. Look through the list, if any are moving on they will need info about the awards night that may be put on in the council, state, national levels. If they cannot attend those awards nights i try to get a volunteer to go so they can grab their awards…..you can go into their class to present it to them the next day. Make a big deal out of those who move on. Take them their awards with a couple balloons, take a photo of them to post on social media, have the principal put it in their weekly email, have someone announce it over the speaker. We have had a student go to nationals before, and usually have someone go to state as well. Keep copies of receipts, forms etc. for the next year just to see. 2017 and 2018 we have done everything on google docs, list of kids in each category with basic info on them, the budget and what we spent, the winners with all their info etc. all this info will be copied and put in the reflections file folder to be passed down.

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