Read Article by Fran: FMA Article (in pdf form)
In 2003, a document was created that identified the best practices of a high performing maintenance organization. This document, Planning Guide for Maintaining School Facilities, was conceptualized and developed by the School Facilities Maintenance Task Force of the National Forum on Education Statistics. Roger Young headed the committee comprised of over eighty professionals that deal directly or indirectly with the responsibilities of maintaining school facilities. The project was developed through the National Cooperative Education Statistics System and funded by the National Center for Education Statistics of the U.S. Department of Education.
Mr. Young also chaired the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International Facilities Masters Award Advisory Committee that was responsible for recognizing districts that met the standards identified in the Planning Guide. In 2005, ASBO and SchoolDude.com worked together in this endeavor and the Facilities Masters Award became a reality and many school districts were recognized. In 2008, it was announced that ASBO would no longer be able to support the effort. The responsibility was then turned over to each state organization to create and administer their own award program. A decision was made in 2009 that there were tremendous benefits to continuing this program and the board of the Virginia School Plant Managers Association decided to the spearhead an effort to offer the award using the main criteria as identified in the original award established in the Planning Guide. There are slight variations from the original award, but for all practical purposes, the efforts that went into the creation of the guide and used to make the award are intact in this award. Individual states can add additional criteria in section IX that is specific to their needs.
There are seven sections that must be completed when applying for an award. There are three different awards, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
- Silver Award is presented to an applicant that attains a score ranging from 200 to 226 points.
- Gold Award is presented to an applicant who attains a score ranging from 228 to 252.
- Platinum Award is presented to an applicant who attains a score of 254 or above.
These different levels of awards have been established to recognize the efforts of those that apply for the award. The intent is to provide recommendations that can be used to improve the organization so they can reapply in the future.
Applications should be submitted in an electronic format if at all possible. Applications must include a summary response for all sections of the application. Documentation that is required has been identified along with each question and is to be placed in the appendix and referenced back to the appropriate section and question number. All applications must be received by June 30 of each year. A Masters Award Committee will evaluate the applications and submit their recommendations to the organization sponsoring the award by September 1. The awards will be made at a state conference or another official gathering. Those districts recognized at the Platinum level will also be recognized at the annual NSPMA conference.
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