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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Red, White, & Blue Schools program?
Created in 2016, Red, White, & Blue Schools is a partnership between the Office of the Secretary of the State, the Connecticut State Department of Education, and the Connecticut Democracy Center in residence at Connecticut’s Old State House. Its purpose is to recognize schools that are going above and beyond in their delivery of civic education. By participating in this program, schools promote being active and engaged members of their communities.   

2. Why is this program important?
Research shows that the more students are exposed to civic education throughout their academic careers, the better the chance they will be engaged and active members of their communities throughout their lives.  

3. What are the requirements for program participation?
The Red, White & Blue Schools Rubrics outline the participation requirements and are used to evaluate submissions and determine awards. There is a rubric for grades K-5 and a rubric for grades 6-12.  Although similar, there are some differences between the two grade level rubrics.

The grades K-5 rubric recommends that teachers and administrators direct Red, White & Blue Schools projects while allowing for some student involvement in the planning process. Community connections can be made by inviting community groups and individuals into the school to talk or work with students.

The grades 6-12 rubric recommends that teachers and students work together to plan their Red, White & Blue Schools projects. If possible, students should go out into the community to make community connections.

Download the Rubrics for the complete requirements and criteria. 

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 theme and rubrics require the connection of communities within a single school such as different classes, grade levels, or content areas. There must also be a connection to the local community. Download the Rubrics for the complete requirements and criteria.

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 students and educators through its website and partnerships. Resources include lesson plan ideas, field trip opportunities, interactive games, and informative videos. Our partnerships with scholarly sources provide a wide range of content suitable for all ages and grade levels.  

We want to support your school’s Red, White & Blue projects! If you need help locating resources, navigating the rubrics, or identifying community partners, visit our Contact Us page and reach out to one of our three partner organizations. We will work with individual educators to help you meet the criteria for recognition. 

6. What is an example of a successful Red, White & Blue Schools project?
Click here to read submission for 2022-2023 Outstanding Red, White & Blue School Chippens Hill Elementary School in Bristol. 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.

If you have further questions about successful projects or additional resources, visit our Contact Us page and reach out to one of our three partner organizations.

7. What are some incentives for program participation?
Schools that meet the Rubrics’ minimum criteria will be honored as Red, White & Blue Schools, recognizing their outstanding commitment and dedication to civic education and engagement. They will receive official certificates and can display on their websites and materials that they are recognized as a Red, White, & Blue School.

Up to three submissions will be recognized as Outstanding Schools and honored at an end-of-year ceremony. Students and teachers will present their projects, receive special plaques to display in their schools, and receive a cash prize thanks to sponsorship funding from CT Humanities!

Recognized schools will be announced at the end of the school year in an official press release that is often covered by the media.

8. Where can I find more information if I am interested in participating? 
Explore this website to learn more about this year’s program theme, lesson-planning materials, and potential community partners. Sign up for our mailing list for the latest program updates and news throughout the school year. 

9. How do I submit my project?
Click here to download the application form! Applications must be submitted via email to by Friday, April 26, 2024.

10. There is a rubric for grades K-5 and a rubric for grades 6-12. If my school serves students in both grade ranges, do I need to submit two applications?
No, no need to apply twice! The two rubrics are very similar. The primary difference is that we give consideration for younger students who may require more teacher/administrator guidance than older students. If your school serves students in both grade ranges (e.g. K-8, 5-8, 8-12, etc.), please apply to whichever age is most appropriate or check off both the “K-5” and “6-12” boxes on the application.