Shelby County Schools earns AdvancED accreditation
By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer
High praise has been placed on the Shelby County School System after earning the coveted prize of district accreditation for the next five years by AdvancED, the global leader in providing continuous improvement and accreditation services to more than 32,000 institutions worldwide. This is the second time the school system has earned district accreditation, having first earned the honor in 2010.
The district earned an overall composite score of 300 out of a possible 400. The average score of the AdvancED network of educational institutions is 282.45.
Lead Evaluator for the AdvancEd External Review Team, Pat Summers, commended the school system on its score.
“Your district had very strong scores across the board,” said Summers.“Your district is to be commended. We saw evidence throughout the week that you are living out your vision and mission.”
Superintendent Randy Fuller said earning district accreditation and the high scores of the visiting team validates that the Shelby County School District is the best it has ever been.
“I am proud that the external review team saw first-hand evidence of the hard work and dedication of our administrators, teachers and staff to ensure all of our students are well prepared to be successful,” said Fuller. “The fact that we received high scores confirms that our focus on strategic planning, continuous improvement, leadership development and curriculum and instruction – the four engines that drive our system – are helping make Shelby County Schools a model of excellence.”
The External review team was comprised of current and retired educators from all over the southeast. They spent three days in Shelby County where they reviewed the school district’s data and relevant documents, heard presentations about the district and its programs, and visited schools to observe teaching practices and classroom environments.
The team also interviewed 214 stakeholders, including board members, administrators, teachers, support staff, students, parents and community members.
A few of the things the external review team recognized the school system for were engagement in a continuous process to determine verifiable improvement in student learning, effective leadership provided by the superintendent, central office staff and principals, which demonstrates a commitment to a culture based on a shared purpose and direction to promote student success, the long range strategic plan, which provides a comprehensive, exemplary model for continuous improvement in 12 areas and serves as a blueprint for stakeholders to advance the direction of the district and others.