Thursday, February 14, 2013

Preparing for our guests

In twelve short days the AdvancED/SACS CASI District Accreditation Review Team will touch down at the Atlanta airport.  The team, comprised of six members, will spend the next three days reviewing Oconee County Schools based on the five AdvancED Standards for Quality.  As a reminder those standards are:
  • Standard 1: Purpose and Direction
  • Standard 2: Governance and Leadership
  • Standard 3: Teaching and Assessing for Learning
  • Standard 4: Resources and Support Systems
  • Standard 5: Using Results for Continuous Improvement
The educators conducting the review possess a wide-range of experiences and hale from four different states.  The team members are:
  • Lead Evaluator: Bill Rivenbark (Retired Superintendent: New Bern, NC);
  • Associate Lead Evaluator: Lisa Soloff (Title I Director: Columbia County, GA);
  • Dr. Billy Floyd (Southeast Regional Director for AdvancED/SACS: Columbia, SC);
  • Ben Muller (Elementary Principal: Ankeny, IA);
  • Jeremy Williams (Assistant Superintendent: Union County, GA);
  • Jewelle Harmon (Research & Evaluation: Gwinnett County, GA).

This team will gather data and evidence during their visit by interviewing a wide-range of system and school-level stakeholders, as well as visiting schools.  In preparation for this visit, both the school district and each of our schools have:

  • Conducted and analyzed stakeholder surveys from parents, students and certified staff;
  • Analyzed and summarized student achievement data from state and local assessments;
  • Conducted a self-assessment of the current level of performance in regard to the five AdvancED accreditation standards;
  • Developed an executive summary from the information in the self-assessment.

These documents and many more can be found on our school system website for public review.
While the system would love for all ten of our schools to receive a visit, the review team selects a sampling of schools to review more closely on Day 2.  The six schools are listed below:

  • Colham Ferry Elementary School
  • High Shoals Elementary School
  • Rocky Branch Elementary School
  • Malcom Bridge Middle School
  • North Oconee High School
  • Oconee County High School

These school-level visits will allow the team to interview student, teacher, and parent groups as well as the school’s leadership team and principal. In addition, random classrooms will be selected by the team for observations.

Wondering why your student’s school is not on the list?  Don’t fret!  All schools have undergone the same process of self assessment and will be factored into the overall district accreditation report.  In fact, all district leaders will be interviewed on day one of the visit.

Day One’s schedule is below:

  • Superintendent’s System Overview Presentation
  • Superintendent’s Interview
  • Standard Overview Presentation
  • Board of Education Interviews
  • System Level Standard Team Interviews
  • All Principal Interviews

The AdvancED District Review Team visit will conclude on Wednesday, February 27 (Day 3), with the External Review Team Exit Report.  This report will be given at a specially called board of education meeting that afternoon at 1:00 p.m. The meeting will take place in the board meeting room of the superintendent’s office at 34 School Street in Watkinsville. All community members and stakeholders are invited.  

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