What is the J. Russell Kent Award Program which honored our schools?

South San Francisco, CA       April 9, 2014

Our school district, through the PR firm Bonilla and Ford, sent out a press release today announcing three of our elementary schools have received the prestigious J. Russell Kent Award. And while we are proud for the award being offered to the three of our elementary school, we wondered what exactly is this award.  Martin Elementary School was acknowledged for their  School Safety Patrol ProgramSunshine Gardens Elementary was chosen due to the GENE Academy Program. And Skyline Elementary  was awarded for their glee club program.

We found more information on the Kent Award Program from the San Mateo County School Boards Association Website and we hope this helps bridge some of the information. Congratulations to our teachers, parents, school officials and mostly our students for bringing this honor to our city. At the bottom we have also included the full list of honorees in our county.

The San Mateo County School Boards Association (SMCSBA), representing 22 school districts, the San Mateo Community College District, and the San Mateo County Office of Education, today announced the 2014 winners of the J. Russell Kent Awards.

The awards are given to outstanding and innovative programs either in the classroom or outside the classroom as well as district-wide programs.  Applicants must demonstrate their programs promote student success, employ a high degree of creativity, and demonstrate transferability.   Named after the past San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools, J. Russell Kent, SMCSBA initiated the J. Russell Kent Award Program in the 1980-81 school year.

The 2014 Kent Award winners include programs that focus on innovation in the areas of 21st century learning, community engagement and creative partnerships, professional development, the arts, and academic support.

The San Mateo County School Boards Association initiated the J. Russell Kent Award Program in the 1980-81 school year. These awards are given to programs that are being implemented in a school district, county office of education, or in the community college district in San Mateo County.

These awards are named after the past County Superintendent of Schools for San Mateo County, J. Russell Kent. The Kent Awards process begins in the fall when districts submit applications to the San Mateo County School Boards Association. The applications are screened and evaluated by the Screening Committee using rubrics adopted by the Rubric Review Committee. The programs that successfully pass the screening are then visited by the Visitation Committee to verify the findings of the screening Committee.

The San Mateo County School Boards Association is pleased to be able to acknowledge and publicize the outstanding teachers and programs in San Mateo County. We encourage school board members and district staff to visit these programs in other districts. We believe they will come away, not only convinced of the high quality of the programs , but as enthusiastic about our school districts and staff throughout the county as we have been.

This year’s reception will be held on May 19, 2014 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City.

The Guidelines for the J. Russell Kent Award are as follows:

The J. Russell Kent Awards recognize outstanding programs in San Mateo County public schools. The awards provide an opportunity for districts to share and learn from unique and excellent programs across the County.


 To be considered, programs must meet the following conditions

  • Member district must have paid their dues to the San Mateo County School Boards Association by December 13, 2013.
  • Nominated programs must have been implemented and be fully operational (planning time excluded) for two full years. Long-standing programs may also be considered.
  • No purchased programs allowed.

1 Applications must be received and/or postmarked by JANUARY 20, 2014.

1 Categories:

Classroom Programs: Each district with enrollment under 2000 may submit one (1) application. A district with enrollment over 2000 may submit two (2) applications. The San Mateo County Community College District and the San Mateo County Office of Education shall each be considered a single district.

  • Innovative/unique Non-classroom Programs. Each district may submit one application.
  • Joint District Programs. Each district may submit one application. Participating districts must submit applications jointly. This application is separate and does not count in either of the above two categories.
  •  Programs must be open to site visits during the months of February and March 2014.

1. Award categories: There is one award level. Please see the evaluation procedure #1 below and the enclosed scoring form regarding qualification for the award.


1. Each application must be submitted on the attached application form (or a copy of same) and must include:

  • A description of the program with the program name as a heading. Please address the enclosed criteria/scoring rubrics in your description/application.
  • A paragraph of 100 words or less describing the program as you would like to see printed in the Kent Award brochure should it qualify.  (Must be submitted electronically in a WORD document.)

2.  All applications must be reviewed and signed by the superintendent and board president.

1. Send 2 paper copies of the completed applications to: Margi Power at 15 Pear Court, Hillsborough, CA 94010. Please also send the application via email to margi.b.power@gmail.com.


1 Entries will be scored according to the enclosed rubric. A committee selected by the Executive Board will do the paper evaluation screening.

2 Site visits during February and March 2013 will verify the information submitted.

3 The SMCSBA Executive Board will make a final review and applicants will be notified by email whether or not they have received an award. The superintendent will be notified by email of the status of his/her district’s application(s).

Kent AwardScreening-Rubric-2014-page-002 


Kent AwardScreening-Rubric-2014-page-001




Kent AwardScreening-Rubric-2014-page-003


  • Jefferson Elementary School District: Data Dialogues-Principal Professional Learning Communities
  • Jefferson Elementary School District: John F. Kennedy Elementary School – John F. Kennedy School Academic Center
  • Menlo Park City School District: Laurel School – The Life Skills Program
  • PacificaSchool District: Sunset Ridge Elementary School – Sanchez Goes to School
  • Portola Valley School District – Inclusion Education Initiative (EMILY GARFIELD AWARD)
  • Redwood City School District: Adelante Immersion School – Two-way Spanish Immersion
  • Redwood City School District: Hoover Community School – Community Mobilization Team
  • Redwood City School District: Roosevelt School – Pencil Box News
  • San Bruno Park School District: Belle Air Elementary – Belle Air-Notre Dame de Namur University
  • San Mateo-Foster City School District: Abbott Middle School – School Climate Change Initiative
  • San Mateo-Foster City School District: Various Preschools – Parent Involvement Project
  • San Mateo Union High School District – Guided Studies
  • Sequoia Union High School District: Sequoia District Adult School – Sequoia Adult School Scholars (SASS)
  • South San Francisco Unified School District: Sunshine Gardens Elementary School -GENE Academy Program
  • South San Francisco Unified School District: Martin Elementary School – School Safety Patrol Program
  • South San Francisco Unified School District: Skyline Elementary School – Skyline Glee Club

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