ACS working for first accreditation under city school name

The Alabaster City School System is seeking its first AdvancEd accreditation under the city school name. (File)

The Alabaster City School System is seeking its first AdvancEd accreditation under the city school name. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The Alabaster Board of Education will spend the next year working to obtain the first national accreditation under the Alabaster City School name since the school system separated from the Shelby County School System in 2013.

The School Board voted unanimously during its Oct. 20 meeting to begin the process of seeking accreditation from AdvancEd, a nationwide accreditation agency “that is the standard for district accreditation,” said Alabaster School Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers.

“A lot goes into (the accreditation process), so I want to make sure we have plenty of time to work through everything,” Vickers told board members during the meeting.

ACS recently completed a self-assessment to determine which areas it needs to improve on while going through the accreditation process, Vickers said.

“We feel like we will have glowing results,” Vickers said of the accreditation process during an interview after the meeting.

Most Alabama school systems, including Shelby County Schools, have obtained AdvancEd accreditation. When Alabaster broke away from the Shelby County School System in July 2013, the city school system retained the AdvancEd accreditation the Alabaster schools had obtained while in the county school system.

“That (county) accreditation will stay on until we get our own,” Vickers said.

Vickers said he has been through the accreditation process multiple times while working with other school systems in the past, and said addressing items on the self-assessment will help the school system when AdvancEd begins observing ACS in the fall of 2015. The process also will involve meetings with AdvancEd and surveys over the next several months, Vickers said.

“One of the worst things you can do is to go into something thinking you can’t improve,” Vickers said. “We will be observed as a new school system.

“I feel like we have a great school system and great people,” Vickers added. “By the time we roll this out next fall, we will have checked off some of those boxes we marked as ‘need to improve.’”