Sign & submit your Seal of Distinction form electronically
Download the Seal of Distinction Certification Form to print and send with your critique entry
The Spartan Critique Seal of Distinction recognizes student media outlets that are free of prior review and censorship. This seal may be awarded to student media recognized at all levels of the Spartan Critique contest.
A seal is placed on the award signifying this honor. To receive the seal, a student media outlet must submit a certification form, signed by the school’s principal, with the Spartan Critique entry form. This form verifies that the student media outlet is not subject to prior review.
Prior review by administrators undermines critical thinking, encourages students to dismiss the role of a free press in society and provides no greater likelihood of increased quality of student media.
Neither the student media outlet’s critique score nor its award level – Spartan, Gold, Silver or Bronze – are affected by the presence of a Seal of Distinction. Having – or not having – a seal also does not affect a media outlet’s ability to be inducted into the MIPA Hall of Fame.
Learn more about why avoiding prior review is educationally sound from the Principal’s Guide to Scholastic Media.
Sign and submit the Seal of Distinction form with DocuSign
MIPA uses DocuSign to allow you and your principal to complete the Seal of Distinction form electronically. This can be a good option if you are unable to see your principal in person, but still requires you connect with your principal so they’re expecting the form and know what it means.
- Adviser: You must start the form. Follow the link below to the DocuSign form. Input your name and email and your principal’s name and email into the indicated fields.
- The adviser then will be taken to the form to complete the fields for the school name and to check which media programs apply.
- Upon completion of the adviser’s portion of the form, DocuSign will email the principal seeking their review and signature of the form. The email will come from “Jeremy Steele via DocuSign” with a subject line of “Please DocuSign: MIPA Seal of Distinction Form from (Adviser Name).”
- Once the principal electronically signs and submits the form, it will be sent to the MIPA office. Your principal and you also will get a copy of the completed form.
- Start the DocuSign process now (opens in a new window)