Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Red, White, and Blue Schools Initiative?
The Red, White, and Blue Schools Initiative, founded in 2016, is a partnership between the Connecticut Secretary of the State, the Connecticut State Department of Education and the Connecticut Democracy Center at the Old State House. Its purpose is to recognize schools that go above and beyond the minimum requirements when teaching civics. By participating in this program, schools are promoting being active and engaged members of their communities.
2. Why is this program important?
Research has demonstrated that the greater exposure to civic education a student experiences throughout their academic careers the higher the probability of them becoming more engaged and active members of their communities throughout their lives.
3. What are the requirements for program participation?
The requirements for program participation are outlined in the program rubrics. These rubrics are used to evaluate submissions and designate awards. There are two rubrics for grades K-5 and 6-12. Although similar, there are some differences between the two levels. The main differences are that the 6-12 rubric suggests that the planning of RWB activities and projects should be done by teachers and students collectively, while the K-5 rubric suggests that teachers and administrators direct the projects while allowing for some student involvement in the planning process. Additionally, the 6-12 rubric suggests that students, if possible, go out into the community to make community connections. The K-5 rubric suggests that community connections be made by community groups and individuals coming into the school and talking to or working with students. For a more comprehensive overview of each grade level’s requirements, please refer to the Rubrics page located on our website.
4. Is the entire school system or district required to participate?
There is no requirement for entire school districts or systems to participate. This year’s rubrics require the connection of some communities within a single school, such as different classes, grade levels, or content areas. There is also a requirement for some connection to the local community. For further information about requirements, please refer to the Rubrics page on our website.
5. How can I still participate if I have limited instruction time and resources?
The Red, White, and Blue Schools program provides information and resources for educators through its website and partnerships. These sources are available for use throughout the academic year for both students and educators. Our resources include lesson plan ideas, interactive games, and informative videos. Moreover, our partnerships with scholarly sources allow us to have a wide range of content suitable for all ages and grade levels.
We want to recognize your school! If you are having difficulty locating resources, navigating the rubrics or identifying partner organizations, please reach out to us. Our contact us page contains email addresses for each of the three partner organizations. We will work with individual educators to help you meet the criteria for recognition.
6. What are some incentives for program participation?
Schools that meet the rubric’s minimum criteria will be recognized as official Red, White and Blue Schools at the end of the school year for their outstanding commitment and dedication to civic education and engagement. They will receive certificates from the program celebrating their dedication to educating our students. In addition, schools that completed the program can display on their websites and other materials that they are recognized as Red, White, and Blue schools. A press release announces this recognition and is often covered by the media. Outstanding schools are featured in the end-of-year ceremony. Students and teachers give a presentation about their projects and receive special plaques that can be displayed in their schools.
7. Where can I find more information if I am interested in participating?
Please explore our website to learn more about this year’s program theme, as well as available resources for both lesson-planning materials and potential community partners. In addition, by signing up for our mailing list, you will receive additional information about the program throughout the school year as it develops.
8. How do I submit my project?
Send your submission as a Word Document or PDF, containing a list of your projects with dates and descriptions, and any corresponding photos to Civics101@ct.gov by Friday, April 26, 2024.
9. What is an example of a successful RWB project?
Click here to see the 2022-2023 Outstanding RWB School submission from Chippens Hill Elementary in Bristol CT. Their project was selected for its student-led initiatives both inside and outside of the classroom, as well as hands-on experiences that provide students with the tools they’ll need for lifelong community engagement.
For further questions on additional resources, visit our Contact Us page.