Lander School Board briefed on accreditation requirements

(Lander, Wyo.) – John Metcalfe, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Assessment, provided the Fremont County School District #1 Board of Trustees with information on school district accreditation.

Fremont #1 will have an accreditation visit during the 2015-16 school year, and District personnel have begun preparing for the visit. Mr. Metcalfe explained that each school district has an accreditation visit once every five years, and the next accreditation process will differ from previous ones in that the focus will be on district-level systems rather than only focusing on school-level systems. Trustees will be active participants in the process.

Under the AdvancEd accreditation process, there are five standards on which school districts are assessed: Purpose and Direction, Governance and Leadership, Teaching and Assessing for Learning, Resources and Support Services, and Using Results for Continuous Improvement.

The district has undertaken the process of doing a preliminary run through the accreditation process to identify areas which need strengthening over the next 18 months.This process involved surveying parents, students, and staff and having a team of stakeholders assess each standard, indicator, and subindicator and identify areas needing attention. This process will be repeated next year, and that work will be what is reviewed by the accreditation external team.

When the external team comes into the District in 2015-16, they will interview Trustees, staff, and other stakeholders; review documents and documentation; and visit classrooms. The external team will identify “opportunities for improvement,” “powerful practices,” and “required actions.” The District will have two years after the visit to act on any required actions and to provide documentation to AdvancEd regarding the corrections. Mike Bowman, Superintendent of Schools, said that the overall goal of this process is to improve school district operations so that educational quality for students is improved.

–Provided by Mike Bowman