The Oconee County school system is preparing to undergo a review for renewal of AdvancED District Accreditation later this month.
Each of the 10 public schools in Oconee County is already fully accredited, meaning "that annually they meet or exceed the accreditation standards that support student achievement," according to a presentation given by Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Dr. Claire Miller during a school board work session on Monday.
However, she explained, the time has come for the system to be reviewed for AdvancED District Accreditation, which happens every five years. The first review took place in 2007.
"Accreditation ensures a standard of quality among credits, courses and grade level placements between schools and universities around the world," according to Miller's presentation. "It also validates the equivalency of diplomas and certificates to other accredited schools and universities."
An external review team will visit Feb. 24-27, but Miller said she's still in the process of finalizing the specifics of the schedule with the lead evaluator.
During that time, the team will interview board members and staff and also stop by schools, she said. On that Wednesday, the school board will gather at 1 p.m. for a special meeting to hear preliminary recommendations resulting from the review. Official recommendations won't be available until June, Miller noted.
"It is required that every school system gets feedback of an area to approve on, so we can expect that," she said.
In preparation for the review, Miller said the school system was required to do the following:
- Conduct and analyze stakeholder surveys from parents, students and certified staff.
- Analyze and summarize student achievement data from state and local assessments.
- Conduct a self-assessment of the current level of performance in regard to the five AdvancED accreditation standards.
- Develop an executive summary from the information in the self-assessment.
She also said the system improvement plan was revised to take into account five AdvancED Standards for Quality: Purpose and Direction, Governance and Leadership, Teaching and Assessing for Learning, Resources and Support Systems, and Using Results for Continuous Improvement.
"We're very pleased that we've brought that into alignment with the SACS [Southern Association of Colleges and Schools] review process," she said.
More information about the AdvancED District Accreditation process, including individual school accreditation reports and system and school improvement plans, can be found on the Oconee County Schools website.