AdvancED District Accreditation is a powerful systems approach to improving student performance results over time. District Accreditation recognizes that increasing student achievement involves more than improving instruction. It is a result of how well all the parts of the education system-the district, school, and classroom-work together to meet the needs of students.
District Accreditation applies the three pillars of accreditation-high standards, continuous improvement, and quality assurance-to the entire district to ensure alignment and support between and among the district and its schools. The District Accreditation process provides the district and all of its schools with a comprehensive framework for continually improving student achievement and district performance.
For the purposes of District Accreditation, a district may include school districts or systems, school corporations, diocesan school systems, or tribal school coalitions. Coalitions of unrelated schools joined together for the purpose of school improvement may be considered districts based on review by AdvancED.
AdvancED Accreditation Standards for Quality School Systems The AdvancED Accreditation Standards for Quality School Systems form the foundation of District Accreditation. The standards build on NCA CASI and SACS CASI district accreditation standards. They are tightly aligned with the research on the factors that impact student performance and were developed with broad input from practitioners and education experts. The standards apply to school systems within the 30-state region of NCA CASI and SACS CASI.
What are the benefits of District Accreditation?
District Accreditation is not a stand-alone process; rather it serves as an umbrella or framework that supports system-wide continuous improvement focused directly on improving learning for all students. Already, school systems indicate that it is a highly effective process for meeting and exceeding federal No Child Left Behind and state accountability laws. In addition, District Accreditation:
- Supports and enhances a common language of school improvement across content areas and grade levels, as well as across individual schools, feeder schools, and school system lines of responsibility.
- Ensures continuity and collaboration in planning for improvement, anchored in a common vision for education among all the system’s schools; ensures that each school’s improvement goals complement those of the school system.
- Is cost effective for the school system and schools.
- Provides the school system and community with validation and recognition for improvement efforts as well as recommendations, from an external team of professionals that are designed to further the system’s improvement efforts.
- Supports a system-wide approach to achieving results.
- Is an integrated process that supports other accountability requirements such as those mandated by the state and federal educational agencies, and strengthens efforts to meet such requirements.
- Provides recognition for the school system and its schools, students, teachers, and the community.
How does a district achieve District Accreditation?
District Accreditation requires commitment from the system’s leadership and Board of Education. The school system must have in place or in development a quality continuous improvement planning process focused on improving student learning, and commit to achieving and maintaining the following requirements:
- Demonstrate compliance with the AdvancED Accreditation Standards for Quality School Systems;
- Identify and illustrate the system’s framework for continuous improvement; and
- Provide evidence of methods being employed to monitor and maintain quality assurance.
An external Quality Assurance Review Team makes a three day visit to the school system. The Quality Assurance Review Team gathers data and evidence during the visit by interviewing a wide range of system and school level stakeholders, as well as visiting schools through the school system.