What is the Five Star School Award?
The Five Star School Award is the highest award given by the Florida Commissioner of Education for exemplary community involvement. As stated on the nomination form: “Both the letter and spirit of the school improvement and accountability legislation are built upon the active involvement of parents, guardians, business people, and other community members in efforts to improve Florida’s schools. The legislative intent is to return the responsibility for education to those closest to the students. That is the schools, teachers, and parents. Recognizing that the involvement of the community is vital to student success, the Commissioner of Education and the former Commissioner’s Community Involvement Council established the Five Star School Award.”
To receive this award a school must meet 100% of the state’s 29 criteria in five community
involvement categories: Business Partnerships, Family Involvement, Volunteers,
Student Community Service, and School Advisory Councils. Schools must achieve these criteria
each year, as evidenced in an annual Five Star School portfolio. The portfolio contains the
documentation proving attainment of each criterion. Schools must also have a grade “C” or
above to qualify for the Five Star School Award.
Five Star is also embedded in many School Improvement Plans. This exemplifies these schools’
belief that increased community and parent involvement enhances student achievement.
Since the award’s inception in 1995, the program has grown dramatically in Volusia County,
with an all time high of 59 schools receiving the honor in the 2012-2013 school year.
The Five Star School Award program is facilitated through the Volunteer/Partnership Programs Department. District-wide workshops are offered early in the school year and individual school assistance is available upon request. Completed portfolios are reviewed in June. Application forms of schools meeting 100% of the criteria are forwarded to the Florida Department of Education each June.
Five Star Schools are recognized at all Volunteer/Partnership Programs’ events and by the Volusia County School Board. The Florida Department of Education provides a certificate to all Five Star Schools each year. The Volusia County School Board awards first year recipients with a Five Star flag, and second year recipients with a Five Star plaque. Each consecutive year recipients receive a date plate to add to their Five Star plaques.