AdvancED District Accreditation Resources
Jerri-Lyn Burns led an AdvancED team of inspectors that just put Spartanburg School District 3 through an extensive top to bottom district-wide review. The AdvancED team was comprised of education leaders and Burns said their job was to "collect and analyze evidence" and that’s what they did.
AdvancED is a global leader in advancing excellence in education not only in the U.S. but also throughout the world.
Burns provided the team’s Oral Exit Report to the District 3 School Board, staff, teachers, and parents at the District 3 Administration Office. She began by complementing Dr. Ray and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Eric Levitt for allowing the team to increase in size to allow them to visit all district schools. Burns explained the team conducted extensive inter-views with more than 250 District 3 employees, parents, students, and community and business partners while also observing classes in all the schools.
During her remarks she stated School District 3 no longer competes strictly against other local school districts or those in the nation, but they now must compete with schools worldwide. Burns noted District 3 had to meet standards for organizational effective-ness, engage in continuous improvement, and demonstrate quality assurance.
District 3 was evaluated on seven standards by AdvancED:
- Vision and Purpose
- Governance and Leadership
- Teaching and Learning
- Documenting and Using Results
- Resources and Support Systems
- Stakeholder Communications and
- Commitment to Continuous Improvement
Burns reported District 3 scored high in every category and remarked it was difficult for her team to make recommendations for improvement at District 3. District 3 scored the highest rating, Highly Functional, in two categories, Governance and Leadership, and Resources and Support Systems. The other five areas were rated "Operational" meaning these areas were above average but demonstrated standard practices that are commonly found in other schools.
Speaking of leadership she stated, "The Board and Superintendent have gone above and beyond. We are really pleased and we struggled to find areas of improvement here."
Speaking of Resources and Support Systems Burns noted District 3 is "laser targeted to support students in the classroom."
She praised the district for helping all its employees to "continue their growth in their careers." The team found "no matter the age of the building" they all had "equal opportunity to access technology and we were blown away by the amount of technology. It was well maintained and cared for."
Burns told those gathered, "Again and again we found honor and deep respect for each other within the district."
District 3 Superintendent Dr. Jim Ray was very pleased with the final results saying, "We heard some accolades we expected and some we didn’t." He added, "We feel much of the hard work we’ve done has been validated" with the district being recommended for accreditation.
District 3 Board Chairman Eddie Dearybury thanked the inspectors noting, "The team came out to educate and help the district as it goes forward so we can better serve our students."
Dr. Ray explained the final review was the "culmination of twenty months of hard work."
Burns wound down her report and explained, "We are recommending accreditation. AdvancED accreditation will send a final report" in the coming weeks.
Burns ended by telling those gathered, "I was very, very touched by the work you do" and called District 3 "A small but mighty district."
Reprinted by permission,
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