PART 3: How Should You Prepare the Winning Entries?

This is the third part of a series for school Reflections Chairs called, “Ready To Send Your Winners to the Next Level?”

Each entry must have its own Entry Form, completely filled out. (See Part 2 of this series for details.) Last year we asked Council chairs to fold over the Entry Forms to hide student names. This time, PLEASE ADVANCE YOUR ENTRIES WITH ENTRY FORMS UNFOLDED.

We recommend you place each of your advancing entries (your 1st Place winners) in its own 9×12” or 10×13” envelope, with all of its various components. If an entry (usually in Visual Arts) is too large for that, use a bigger envelope. Or consider taping the Entry Form to the back. Better yet, tape a clear page protector to the back and slip the Entry Form inside it. This is a recommendation, not a mandate. We know you may not have an office-supply budget. Just be sure all the pieces of an entry are kept together in some way! These entries get moved around a lot; you don’t want your Entry Form and artwork or flash drive to get separated.

For categories that require an electronic file, each entry’s e-file must be on a separate flash drive. PLEASE DO NOT PUT THEM ALL ON ONE DISC OR DRIVE; they may be sent to different judges. Exception: If entrants did not send a flash drive and you have to use one of your own, I can allow you to put files on the same flash drive IF THEY ARE IN THE SAME ARTS CATEGORY. Please do not mix categories on one drive. See the contest rules sheets for a list of acceptable file formats. Apparently, some school contests accept emailed entries. That’s not allowed at the higher levels; put them on a flash drive before advancing them.

In recent years, the National PTA specified a format for labeling flash drives, paper entries, and envelopes. This year, that rule has been relaxed; you’re not required to use any particular format, but make sure to include the arts category, division, and student’s name, and that everything is clear and legible. Some chairs prefer to stick with last year’s method, and that still works. The rule was to label them with your State Abbreviation, Arts Category, Grade Division, Last Name, and First Name, separated by periods. So if Fred Astaire wins with a Dance Choreography entry, Primary division, you would advance it labeled it like this:

VA.DANCE.PRI.ASTAIRE.FRED

If you have judges’ scores or comments from your school’s contest, DO NOT advance them with the entry. Hang onto them to return to the students eventually.

Also in this Six-Part Series on Advancing Your School’s 1st Place Entries:

PART 1: WHICH ENTRIES WILL YOU ADVANCE?

PART 2: ARE YOUR WINNERS’ ENTRY FORMS READY TO GO?

PART 4: WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED WITH EACH ENTRY?

PART 5: WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO SUBMIT?

PART 6: IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW? A SUGGESTION FOR BEFORE YOU ADVANCE THE ENTRIES.