Chero­kee County school sys­tem earns Ad­vanceEd Ac­cred­i­ta­tion

Cherokee County Herald - - FRONT PAGE - By Terry Dean Editor tdean@chero­kee­herald.com

The Chero­kee County School Sys­tem has earned its five-year Ad­vanced Ac­cred­i­ta­tion sta­tus.

Mem­bers of the Ad­vanceEd team an­nounced the re­sults dur­ing a brief Ad­vanceEd Exit Re­port meet­ing held in the Chero­kee County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion Central Of­fice.

In at­ten­dance, in ad­di­tion to board mem­bers were lo­cal school ad­min­is­tra­tors, coun­selors and other in­ter­ested par­ties.

Ac­cord­ing to some of the Ad­vanceEd con­clu­sions, the Chero­kee County School Sys­tem re­ceived a rat­ing of 2.52 out of a 4.0 scale for eq­ui­table learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

The Ad­vance Ed Net­work Av­er­age is 2.69 per­cent. Other find­ings were as fol­lows: -High Ex­pec­ta­tions En­vi­ron­ment, 2.63, vs. 2.80 av­er­age for Ad­vanceEd

-Sup­port­ive Learn­ing En­vi­ron­ment, 2.88 vs. 3.05 av­er­age for Ad­vanceEd

-Ac­tive Learn­ing En­vi­ron­ment, 2.88 vs. 2.93 av­er­age for Ad­vanceEd

-Progress Mon­i­tor­ing and Feed­back, 2,60 vs. 2.76 av­er­age for Ad­vanceEd

-Well-man­aged Learn­ing En­vi­ron­ment, 3.18 vs. 3.12 for av­er­age Ad­vanceEd

-Dig­i­tal Learn­ing En­vi­ron­ment, 2.19 vs. 1.86 for Ad­vanceEd

On a scale of 400, Chero­kee County Schools re­ceived a 2.53.33 for lead­er­ship ca­pac­ity and 260 for re­source uti­liza­tion.

Mitchell Guice, su­per­in­ten­dent, Chero­kee County Schools, in­tro­duced the Ad­vanceEd Team for Chero­kee County which in­cluded Dr. Roza­lyne Wright - Lead Eval­u­a­tor; Al­pha Smith, Dr. Molly Killingsworth. Pamela Daniels and Dr. Jean Swin­dle.

“We do ap­pre­ci­ate you and your team com­ing in and the time you have spent with us,” said Guice.

“Good af­ter­noon ev­ery­one and we hope ev­ery­one is do­ing well this af­ter­noon,” said Dr. Wright.

“We have cer­tainly en­joyed the time the time we have spent in your dis­trict. I would like to ex­press ap­pre­ci­a­tion and I am not call­ing every­body’s names be­cause I would prob­a­bly mess it up. But I am go­ing to re­fer to Casey Young be­cause Casey was very, very help­ful to me in help­ing to get ev­ery­thing or­ga­nized. He re­sponded when­ever I con­tacted him and I greatly ap­pre­ci­ate you for do­ing that.”

“He was not the only one,” said Dr. Wright. “We ap­pre­ci­ate all of you for pro­vid­ing our trans­porta­tion and for just mak­ing our stay here pleas­ant.”

Dr. Wright, who is from St. Peters­burg, Florida, re­tired in 2008 af­ter 36 years in ed­u­ca­tion. She worked as a teacher, as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal, prin­ci­pal, co­or­di­na­tor of per­son­nel, di­rec­tor of di­ver­sity and ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant to the su­per­in­ten­dent.

“Af­ter re­tir­ing I de­cided I re­ally didn’t want to be re­tired so I started a com­pany and I am now con­tract­ing with Ad­vanceEd,” said Dr. Wright.

Ad­vance Ed, Dr. Wright said, is the largest com­mu­nity of ed­u­ca­tion pro­fes­sion­als in the world. and is a non profit, non par­ti­san or­ga­ni­za­tion that con­ducts rig­or­ous on site ex­ter­nal re­views of pre-k schools and school sys­tems to en­sure that all learn­ers re­al­ize their full po­ten­tial

“While the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s ex­per­tise is grounded in more than 100 years of work­ing school ac­cred­i­ta­tion, Ad­vanceEd is far from a typ­i­cal ac­cred­it­ing agency,” said Dr.

Wright. “The goal isn’t to cer­tify that schools are good enough, rather the com­mit­ment is to help schools im­prove.”

“The ac­cred­i­ta­tion process is an in­ter­na­tional pro­to­col for var­i­ous in­sti­tu­tions and is com­mit­ted to sys­temic, sys­tem­atic and sus­tain­able im­prove­ment,” said Dr. Wright.

“The ex­ter­nal re­view process is a di­ag­nos­tic process that is used to stim­u­late and guide con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment fo­cus­ing on the im­pact of teach­ing and learn­ing, ca­pac­ity of lead­er­ship, and use of re­sources.”

“The ex­ter­nal re­view process uses pro­fes­sional judg­ment of the team mem­bers and we end up pro­vid­ing pow­er­ful prac­tices and op­por­tu­ni­ties for im­prove­ment and im­prove­ment pri­or­i­ties and in­dex of ed­u­ca­tion qual­ity and the ac­cred­i­ta­tion rec­om­men­da­tion,” said Dr. Wright.

“Dur­ing our visit, we spoke with four board mem­bers, the su­per­in­ten­dent, 20 ad­min­is­tra­tors, 35 in­struc­tional staff, 18 sup­port staff, 51 stu­dents, 44 par­ents and com­mu­nity mem­bers, for a to­tal of 173 stake­hold­ers,” said Dr. Wright.

“We felt we spoke with quite a few peo­ple,” she said.

“Th­ese are the kind of things we re­ceived,” said Dr. Wright, “great, gen­uine, op­por­tu­nity, pre­par­ing, friendly, com­mu­nity, all in­clu­sive, op­por­tunis­tic, ad­e­quate, home, help­ful, proud, fam­ily, thank­ful ded­i­cated, de­ter­mined, con­sis­tent, ac­com­mo­dat­ing, lov­ing, im­prov­ing, uni­fy­ing, com­mu­nity, chal­leng­ing.”

“As we con­ducted class­room ob­ser­va­tions, at ac­tu­ally all of your schools, we vis­ited a to­tal of 45 class­rooms and we used the Eleot ob­ser­va­tion tool to con­duct the ob­ser­va­tions,” said Dr. Wright.

“The im­por­tant thing to note about the Eleot ob­ser­va­tion tool is that as we go in we are not look­ing typ­i­cally at what the teacher is do-

ing but rather what the stu­dents are do­ing.”

“For the eq­ui­table learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment and as you can see there are seven learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments,” said Dr. Wright.

“Although it shows that it is higher than the Ad­vanceEd av­er­age, we would like for you to note that again we are look­ing at what the stu­dents are do­ing,” said Dr. Wright. “The stu­dents were in this case per­form­ing higher with the use of dig­i­tal de­vices than the oth­ers in the Ad­vanceEd net­work av­er­age, how­ever that still does not mean that is where they need to be. So when you re­ceive the fi­nal re­port there will be in­for­ma­tion in it re­gard­ing what can be done to im­prove in that area. The fact that you have so many de­vices we want to make sure those de­vices are used.”

“The IEQ re­sults in­di­cate that your in­sti­tu­tion is per­form­ing within ac­cept­able ranges as com­pared to other cri­te­ria that are ex­pected in the com­par­i­son with other in­sti­tu­tions within the Ad­vanceEd net­work and be­cause of that our rec­om­men­da­tion is that you be ac­cred­ited for earned five year ac­cred­i­ta­tion by Ad­vanceEd,” said Dr. Wright.

While Dr. Wright and the team ex­press their con­grat­u­la­tions to the Chero­kee County School Sys­tem and all the work that has gone into the Ad­vanceEd ac­cred­i­ta­tion, she stressed, the real work now be­gins as the school sys­tem be­gins im­ple­ment­ing the sug­ges­tions for im­prove­ment listed in the re­port.

“It is cus­tom­ary that we not pro­vide any more in­for­ma­tion than I have shared, how­ever you will re­ceive the of­fi­cial re­port within 30 busi­ness days,” note Dr. Wright.

“We ap­pre­ci­ate it and we wish you well in your en­deav­ors,” said Dr. Wright.

The next meet­ing of the Chero­kee County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion is Tues­day, April 4, be­gin­ning at 6 p.m. in the central of­fice.

AD­VANCEED RE­SULTS FOR CHERO­KEE. Dr. Roza­lyne Wright with Ad­vanceEd dis­cusses Chero­kee County’s ac­cred­i­ta­tion re­sults fol­low­ing com­plet­ing of her teams eval­u­a­tions in Chero­kee County. The process in­volved in­ter­views with stu­dents, teach­ers, ad­min­is­tra­tors and oth­ers. She an­nounced that the Chero­kee County School Sys­tem has earned its five-year ac­cred­i­ta­tion.

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