This is the first part of a series for school Reflections Chairs called, “Ready To Send Your Winners to the Next Level?”
So, your school’s judging is complete. Now, as Reflections chair, you have to put together the package of entries that will advance to the Alexandria PTA Council contest. How do you know which entries to advance?
You have your school’s winners. In each arts category, you can advance one entry, just the 1st Place (Outstanding Interpretation of Theme, sometimes abbreviated OI) winner for each division.
For example, if you are at a preK-5 elementary school, for each arts category you can advance one entry for Primary (preK-2) and one for Intermediate (3-5). If you have entries in the Special Artists Division (which covers all grades) you can have one Special Artist winner per arts category, too. So for each arts category, you can advance a maximum of three entries, one in each of those divisions.
If your school is K-8, you may have entries in three divisions, Primary, Intermediate, and Middle School, and can advance one entry per arts category in each division.
If you’re at a Fairfax County K-6 elementary school, your 6th-graders will have entered the Middle School division, so you might have one more division, for a maximum of four 1st Place winners in each arts category (one each for Primary, Intermediate, Middle School, and Special Artist).
Some schools, such as a 9-12 high school, will have only one grade-level division, plus the Special Artists Division. If that describes your school, the most you can advance is two entries per category. And you may not have received entries in every category and division, so don’t worry if you have fewer than the maximum. And you may not have received entries in every category and division, so don’t worry if you have fewer than the maximum.
Ties are not allowed at 1st Place. If your judge used the numerical rubric and gave two top entries identical total scores, look at their Interpretation of Theme scores. The entry with the higher one wins. If those scores are identical too, or if your judge did not use a numerical rating system but declared a tie, then you’ll need to make a decision yourself, ask the judge to do so, or find a tie-breaker judge to consider the two entries and choose one. (You can allow ties at 2nd and 3rd Place if you’d like, just not at 1st Place.)