Exemplary School Designation

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Photo by: Philip Dembinski Photography

 ASN designates Exemplary Schools in recognition of outstanding efforts in strategically evaluating their purpose, operations, plans, and educational programs. The Exemplary School application process provides a framework for comprehensive review through a series of questions that explore the entire range of a school’s purpose and operations. Completing the application enables you to develop comprehensive information for planning for improvement and determining the technical and tactical resources your organization needs.

Those schools that submit an application for recognition and meet ASN’s criteria for exemplary practice are awarded an Exemplary School designation, symbolizing their commitment to excellence. A designated ASN Exemplary School obtains the following benefits or rights:

  • Recognition on the ASN website, in the national ASN conference program, and at the conference Awards Program
  • Engraved award and printed certificate
  • Prepared news release
  • ASN Exemplary School Logo for school use
  • ASN e-news feature story

To achieve and maintain Exemplary School status through ASN, the school must be a member in good standing (current membership dues paid and timely renewal received). Designations last for five years. After five years, designated schools must submit a full application to be considered again.

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"The ASN Exemplary Schools Designation is a wonderful way to show our community that the work our teachers and students do every day is being recognized. It validates our efforts in providing an engaging, challenging, and rewarding arts program to our students and lets prospective students and parents know that there is a small but mighty school that can help them get one step closer to their dreams!" ~Anne Maschler, Principal, Art Theater Entertainment School (ArTES), San Fernando, California  


“I think the ASN Exemplary School process serves many purposes. It is a helpful tool to gather information in a format that can be used for accreditation, grants, publicity materials, District reports and annual reports, just to name a few. It can also, if used correctly, energize your community around key issues like fund-raising, event production and especially in crafting a new mission and vision statement. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, as a living document, the Exemplary School write-ups can become a powerful vehicle for comprehensive school improvement and continuous growth.” ~Donn K. Harris, Former Executive Director of the Institute for Creativity and the Arts, San Francisco Unified School District, CA; Chairman, California Arts Council 

 “The [ASN Exemplary School application] exercise was incredibly productive. I would encourage every school to go through the process. It raised more relevant questions and caused us to re-evaluate our approaches. Interestingly, I received some push-back about the need for change given our successes … your self-assessment made the team realize that we owed it to our faculty, students, and community to always keep moving and changing.” ~Scott Walker, Principal, Las Vegas Academy for the Arts 


"Exemplary Schools Award status is a testimony that Booker Middle School not only sustains and executes an exemplary plan for its Visual Performing Arts (VPA) programs but also involves the entire school in ASN’s core practices. This is an impressive achievement, especially given the disruptions of a global pandemic. Our school community found ways to overcome the obstacles that were forced upon us, allowing our students and teachers to continue making great strides towards this achievement." ~LaShawn Frost, Principal, Booker Middle School, Sarasota, Florida