California Central Valley Spelling Bee

The Sacramento Bee is proud to offer students an opportunity to participate in the California Central Valley Spelling Bee. The champion wins an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The spelling bee is open to students in grades K-8 who attend school in Colusa, El Dorado, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Solano, Sutter, Tehama, Yolo and Yuba counties.

There are three levels of competition in the California Central Valley Spelling Bee. The first level happens at your school. A spelling bee coordinator (usually a teacher, parent or community volunteer) at your school has the very important job of finding the school’s top speller. Many schools conduct their own school-wide spelling bees.

The best speller from each school advances to the next round, which is an online preliminary test consisting of spelling and vocabulary. This test is coordinated by the National Spelling Bee and the registered schools (see dates and times to right, Important Dates). The 40-50 top spellers will be invited to the oral spelling bee.

The third level of competition is the regional oral spelling bee. This happens every year in March in the Sacramento region. The general public is invited to attend. The winner of the oral spelling bee will represent the Central Valley region at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., expenses paid by sponsors of the event. The national spelling bee is an event that takes almost an entire week in late May/early June.

There is an enrollment fee for each school. Your school will receive study words for students, pronouncer guides, rules, certificates and more. Click here to learn more and register your school and/or champion.


2020 Spelling Bee Rules - Local Bees

Thank you to our  2019 Spelling Bee sponsors!




2019 Spelling Bee Champs: Logan Swain, 8th grader from Arden Middle School in Sacramento and Samhita Kumar, 8th grader from Winston Churchill Middle School in Carmichael. They represented our region in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in May, 2019.

2019-2020 Spelling Bee Important Dates

May 1, 2019: Enrollment begins for the 2019-2020 program year..

May 1, 2019  - October 15, 2019 : Early Bird Enrollment period at the official spelling bee website with a discounted fee.

October 16, 2019 - December 20, 2019: Regular enrollment with the regular fee; no discounts.

Early 2020: Registration deadline for schools to register their school champion at the National Spelling Bee (NSB) website here.

January 2020 (Date TBA): NSB emails school coordinator with instructions for online preliminary test (spelling + vocabulary). 

January/February 2020 (Dates TBA): Online preliminary test will be given at each registered school between 7:30am and 4:00pm PST weekdays.

February 2020 (Date TBA): Results of online preliminary tests available. School coordinator and partents will be notified by the NSB as to the students that will advance to the California Central Valley Spelling Bee. 

March 2020 (Date TBA):  California Central Valley Spelling Bee (the oral competition) will take place (venue TBA); begins at 9:30 AM. School class field trip reservations: contact Molly Evangelisti -

2020 Spelling Bee Rules - Local Bee

Click here to find out more about the National Spelling Bee.

For questions, contact us at