Last week the district went through the External Review process with AdvancED, which accredits many public school systems and universities nationwide.
David Stipe, lead evaluator with AdancED, said the group found the system to be “extraordinary” and the faculty and staff to be “passionate.”
“The system clearly engages in a systematic, inclusive and comprehensive process for assuring high expectations for learning,” he said during a meeting with the Paulding County School Board.
Accreditation, in part, is the process to prove the district is preparing students to advance through their coursework.
Loss of accreditation can put a school system’s students at risk of being ineligible for a variety of college loans and scholarships.
The analysis and evaluation the group uses for the process is based on three parts: impact of teaching and learning, leadership capacity and resource utilization, Stipe said.
During the process the team performed 246 interviews, which included 55 administrators, 100 teachers, 19 support staff members and 72 parents.
Stipe said the school board understood its role is to set policy and hire a superintendent, while the district administrators’ role is to oversee the day-to-day operations of the schools.
“The governing board and system leadership exceeds in its unified approach of governing the school system in order to assure effective fulfillment of roles and responsibilities,” he said.
They only gave the system two “required actions,” which are to “implement a technology plan to reduce the gap between existing technology and the instructional technology required for students in support of the curriculum,” and “identify, implement, and evaluate nonnegotiable technology instructional strategies to support curricular expectations,” Stipe said.
Superintendent Cliff Cole said he was pleased with the review.
“I think it just validates the work we have been doing,” Cole said.
In about 30 days Cole will receive a copy of the recommendation letter being sent to AdvancED. In January the organization is scheduled to meet, and they are to make their decision if they are going to give the district full accreditation.