This is the second part of a series for school Reflections Chairs called, “Ready To Send Your Winners to the Next Level?”
Now that you know which entries to advance, check the Entry Forms. Each entry must have a hard-copy Entry Form. Some schools used an email form; if you’re advancing the entry, we need the paper form! It should look like the one shown here, but must be completed. And it must be an original; we need the actual signatures. (It’s ok to photocopy a form to distribute to students. But the one you advance must have original signatures.)
Are all Entry Forms complete? Some missing items you can add yourself or get from your PTA. The rest will come from the entrant. Let’s go over the form, section by section:
- If you have not filled out the PTA box at the top. do it now. Need the National PTA ID number? We have them here for Alexandria City schools. For schools in any other PTA Council, use the National PTA’s Unit ID Lookup, at this link. For the PTA dates, talk to your PTA president or treasurer.
- Is the student’s contact information and other data complete?
- Did student and parent both sign the form? This is required, except that students who are 18 or older will not need a parent signature.
- Is there a Title for the artwork? “Untitled” is not acceptable.
- Did the entrant provide an Artist Statement? It should be 10-100 words. If it doesn’t fit in the space, it can be written on the back or on a separate sheet stapled to the entry form. If we receive an entry without an Artist Statement, we will not disqualify it, but the entry will be at a disadvantage in the next level of judging, and will not be advanced beyond the city level.
- If details about the entry are missing, you might be able to fill them in yourself; for other items, you’ll have to ask the entrant. For a drawing, painting, or photograph, measure it (including the mat, if the entrant used one). For recorded entries, put in the length, list any performers, and give background music attributions. For Literature, give the word count. (This listing is a summary; check the category rules for specific requirements.) If there isn’t enough space on the form, it can be on a separate sheet, stapled to the form.
This is a good time to make sure each entry you’re advancing actually fits the requirements! For instance, if you see now that your winning Literature entry exceeds the 2000-word limit, go back to the student and get him or her to cut some, or swap it with your 2nd Place winner, and elevate the 2nd Place entry to 1st Place.
DO NOT ADVANCE AN ENTRY IF IT VIOLATES THE RULES. If it’s just missing a bit of information, talk to the person who runs the contest you’re advancing it to about whether you can advance the entry while you seek out the missing info.
HAVE YOU MADE COPIES? You will save yourself a lot of frustration later if you have a copy of every Entry Form that you advance to the next level.
Also in this Six-Part Series on Advancing Your School’s 1st Place Entries: