Seven Steps to Prepare for District Accreditation

by Lisa Dubernard No Comments August 6, 2012

Last February, Dr. Claire Miller, shared the story of how her district, Barrow County School System, prepared for District Accreditation.  This blog is an attempt to document the steps she outlined in her presentation which I think will be very useful for other school districts who have accreditation work looming!

Her school district used eBOARD*’s evaluation module to organize the information needed for the accreditation team visit.  The templates for the AdvancEd® standards were pre-installed in the eBOARD software.  Since the Barrow County School System also used eBOARD to manage meeting agendas, policies as well as their district plan and local school improvement plans, they were able to link the work completed in these key areas as evidence that support its responses to the focus questions and rubrics.

*eBOARD is a product of eBOARDsolutions, the sponsor of the Excellence blog.

So without further delay, here are the Seven Steps!  (The Powerpoint slides are available at the bottom of this post!)

Step 1: Understand the standards and identify a leader for each standards team.

Step 2: Have informal meetings and train the staff and community who will do the work.

Step 3: Identify the team members for each standard. (Here is a  list of folks that were included on each team.)

  • Teacher
  • Parent
  • Student
  • Community Member/Business
  • BOE Members
  • Principal
  • Assistant Principal
  • District Leaders

Step 4: Know  and understand the work of the TEAM

  • Review prior District Accreditation Report (Audio)
  • Review 2009 Progress Report
  • Review Standard and Each of its Indicators
  • Self-assess Standard Using Rubric
  • Brainstorm Evidence & Artifacts for Standard
  • Answer Focus Questions
  • Determine Ratings for Indicators

Step 5: Know and understand the Work of the STANDARDS LEADERS.

  • Post Ratings for Each Indicator of Assigned Standard in eBOARD
  • Attach Evidence for Each Indicator in eBOARD
  • Link Standard/Indicators to Appropriate BOE Policies in eBOARD
  • Link Standard/Indicators to Appropriate Balanced Scorecard Performance Measures in eBOARD

Step 6: Know and understand the work of accreditation CO-LEADERS.

  • Compile Focus Questions From Each Standard for SAR
  • Develop Executive Summary for SAR and & Gain Input from Team Leaders
  • Develop Quality Assurance Summary for SAR and & Gain Input from Team Leaders
  • Work With Team Leaders to Identify Insights, Strengths & Challenges for Conclusion of SAR
  • Develop Summary for SAR and & Gain Input from Team Leaders
  • Finalize QAR and Submit to AdvancED by Deadline

Step 7: Final Preparations.

  • Selection of Interviewees
  • Meet With Interviewees to Review Possible Questions
  • Share SAR With all Stakeholders
  • Share eBOARD Accreditation Module With all Stakeholders
  • Meet with QAR Chair for Pre-Visit
  • Launch Evaluation in eBOARD.  The evaluation should be launched at the very end by the overall leader for the accreditation.  They then fill out the final rankings and then publish it for access by the district review team.

Dr. Miller is currently the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning for Oconee County Schools.  She also shared with me her top three advantages for using eBOARD to prepare for accreditation:

  1. Districts no longer need to create binders and file folders because all evidence and artifacts are housed electronically in eBOARD. The Quality Assurance Review Team members have the ability to access the artifacts and evidence from any location.
  2. The Evaluation Module allows districts to link AdvancED standards and indicators to Board of Education policies, System Improvement Plan, and Meetings in eBOARD. This process ensures the alignment of all facets of the organization.
  3. The tool provides the opportunity to have transparent communication with internal and external stakeholders about the District Accreditation Visit.

And, as promised, here is the PowerPoint document “Barrow County Accreditation Module Overview” that Dr. Miller used at the eBOARD user conference.  Thanks, Claire, for sharing with us!

Categories: Accountability, Evaluations, Evaluations, Leadership, Meetings, Paperless, Planning, Policy, Strategic Plan, TransparencyTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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