Brooks County School District Receives Recommendation for SACS/CASI Accreditation

| March 17, 2014

Left to Right: Brooks County Schools Superintendent Owen Clemons, AdvacED evaluators: Dr. Kathy Spencer, Dr. Lori Rodgers, James McCallister, Jeanna Aycock and Jim McMickin.

QUITMAN, GA – Brooks County School District has recently completed their annual five year SACS/CASI Accreditation review.  On March 12th, the school system was informed by lead evaluator, Dr. Kathy Spencer the system was being recommended to maintain their district accreditation.

Spencer informed school board members, the Superintendent, administrators and staff that accreditation processes have changed and with that the focus has narrowed.  “In this case we are looking at student learning,” stated Spencer.

The external AdvancED Review team was comprised of three educators within the state of Georgia and two educators from out of state. They conducted over 60 classroom observations and 132 interviews with stakeholders, students, parents and school employees.

AdvancED is dedicated to advancing excellence in education worldwide and is committed to school accreditation and school improvement practices.

When discussing initial classroom observations Spencer stated, “Those students were engage in the learning environment and that was powerful.”

Spencer discussed three powerful practices that the team recognized in the school system.  “These are things that we would like to go out and tell other people, this is what is happening in the Brooks County School District and if you’re having a problem with it, you probably need to call Superintendent Clemons because his district knows how to do this, and they’re doing it well.”

Spencer further discussed the powerful practices that Brooks County Schools currently holds strong.  When describing the strong technology engagement that the system utilizes in student learning and achievement she stated, “That is where the rubber meets the road.  It was pure engagement.  You are well on your way in technology.” Spencer noted that both students and teachers were fully engaged in utilizing technology in the classroom.

Teaching and Learning received the highest score for the system and it covers twenty one indicators according to Spencer.  “You are really hitting things where the bulk of accreditation is and it’s where you want your system to be really focused.  I think you should really be pleased with that,” stated Spencer.

Another powerful practice that the team found according to Spencer was the comprehensive Mentoring and Induction Program which she noted that Superintendent Clemons was a strong driving force behind.  “That is aligned with what you believe is implemented and important in Brooks County Schools.  We encourage you to share that message with others as we will.  That is truly a powerful practice for you to share,” stated Spencer.

Spencer added that the system currently has a strong practice of meeting the needs of those students with more specific needs and that it is a very important piece to what the system does for students. “We saw and heard what is going on to make sure that what occurred was to meet every child’s needs and that is a very important part of what you do in terms of providing for your students,” stated Spencer.

Communication was recognized as another strong and critical practice. Spencer stated that the system overall targets every avenue to provide effective communication to parents and the community. “This school system and the school leaders are doing everything they can to effectively communicate information especially, focused on student learning and the achievement of the school and your stakeholders,” stated Spencer.

Dr. Spencer included that the school district takes great steps to get information out to stakeholders including print media, broadcast and social media, newsletters and website.  “It is a very comprehensive practice the school district should be proud of,” stated Spencer.

Required actions according to Spencer on behalf of the AdvancED team included collecting more feedback from stakeholder surveys and develop strategies to increase participation. Secondly, engaging stakeholders to gather input on the vision of the district.  Spencer noted that it was a continuous practice that should be reviewed regularly to move forward.

Review our comprehensive professional development plan and to ensure that it is aligned with student achievement, goals and results.

In conclusion Spencer stated that the school system would receive a written detailed report within 30 days and that she along with the AdvancED team would recommend district accreditation.“The school district should be very proud.  It is because you have a staff that has been committed to continuous improvement,” Spencer stated.

Source: Brooks County School System Press Release

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