Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Fulton County Schools learned today that it will be reaccredited for another five years by AdvancED

This comes from the Fulton County Schools communications department and is great news for an urban district that focuses so much on improving teacher and student achievement. Seeing first hand how much FCS works to ensure the success of every stakeholder, this is good news for the Greater Atlanta area where many people are working to make sure students can be gainfully employed and ready for a career and of course... become productive citizens.
 From FCSS Communications
EmployeesFulton County Schools learned today that it will be reaccredited for another five years by AdvancED, the parent organization of SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools).

A 20-member external review team assessed the entire school district during February 1-4 and made its recommendation to Superintendent Robert Avossa and the Fulton County Board of Education this afternoon. Over the four-day period, the team interviewed nearly 650 system leaders, principals, teachers, students, families, and business/community partners. Preceding the visit, however, were months of preparation, artifact collection, and research documentation throughout the district.

AdvancED examined three main areas: impact of teaching and learning; capacity of leadership; and use of resources. It praised Fulton County Schools for exceeding national standards in providing learning environments that have high expectations and are equitable, supportive, active and well managed. It also gave high marks – called Powerful Practices – for the district’s leadership and school board governance, and for fostering a culture where all within the school system have a shared understanding of goals and direction.

“This is an intensive process, one that allows us to take a deep look at ourselves and to peel away our layers to evaluate our effectiveness and efficiency as a school system. We’re extremely proud that AdvancED recognized our schools’ hard work and our leaders’ efforts to provide a quality learning experience for all students.” said Linda McCain, school board president.

Acknowledging some limitations and challenges faced by the system, the AdvancED team pointed out that no school system is perfect and that many social and economic factors are beyond the district’s control. It identified some areas for improvement, particularly how digital learning is addressed in schools and a perception in the community that funding or resources may not be allocated the same among schools. It also shared that while some schools are high performing and continually seeking improvement, not all schools have the same focus on continuous improvement practices and processes.

“We know that there are some areas that need improvement and they don’t come as a surprise,” said Superintendent Robert Avossa. “Many already have direct plans for improvement, such as our digital learning environment, which is being addressed through our strategic plan’s focus on instructional technology and personalized learning. We are confident AdvancED will see great success in this area when we are reevaluated during the next five-year accreditation cycle.”

Fulton County Schools’ reaccreditation will be made official when the AdvancED Commission votes later this year. Being accredited by AdvancED signifies that a district and its schools are focused on raising student achievement, providing a safe and enriching learning environment, and maintaining an efficient and effective operation. In addition, it means that the school system adheres to high quality standards based on the latest research and successful professional practices.
In 2004, Fulton County Schools became the first school system in the nation to receive district accreditation. Before that, every school went through the accreditation process individually.
AdvancED is the unified organization of the North Central Association (NCA), the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC). AdvancED accredits more than 32,000 public and private schools and districts across the United states and in 70 countries worldwide