AdvancED to recommend five-year renewal of accreditation for DeKalb Schools
3/17/2017, 6 a.m.
AdvancED will recommend that the DeKalb School District receive a five-year renewal of its accreditation after an intensive review of its academic instruction and financial viability, a preliminary report shows.
A team of 25 educational professionals from four states – Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Alabama – spent four days over the past week visiting 31 schools and interviewing more than 1,400 stakeholders.
Superintendent R. Stephen Green and the Board of Education were notified of the achievement on March 15 during the preliminary report from AdvancED, an organization that accredits more than 32,000 educational institutions worldwide. Stakeholders were interviewed during visits to both schools and administrative centers.
The district was most recently accredited in January 2016. The review team that visited DeKalb will make a recommendation to the AdvancED Commission, which will finalize the district’s accreditation in June 2017.
Green said the more comprehensive renewal is a clear example of the district’s evolution.
“Our team is elated that AdvancED was able to see what we’ve known: Our staff is rapidly improving at providing quality leadership, enhancing deep teaching and learning for our students, and utilizing taxpayer resources effectively. We have earned accreditation by doing the right thing,” Green said. “DCSD has a clear purpose. We know who we are, and we know who we aren’t. As AdvancED noted: We are taking deliberate and strategic actions to ensure that every child, every day is being prepared and achieving success for their future.”
The district was recognized for having two Powerful Practices that denote excellence. One recognition went to Coralwood Center for delivering highly effective specialized learning for special needs preschool students.
Green also was recognized for being a “visionary leader who is passionate, supportive, inclusive, instructionally focused, and dedicated to making decisions that are in the best interest of students,” in the words of the AdvancED Review Team.
The team determined several overall themes, including a laser focus on curriculum and instruction, building trust, a sense of hope, layers of purposeful support, and intensified communications efforts.
The district scored at or above the average for reviewed institutions in three core areas: teaching and learning impact, leadership capacity and resource utilization.
“Today is a great day for DCSD – its students, families, employee team and community,” Green said. “We strive to do the best we can for our students, and we are headed in the right direction.”
On Jan. 28, 2016, the district received full accreditation status from AdvancED/SACS CASI after satisfying the final three action steps necessary to change from “Accredited Under Review” to “Accredited.”
The district was placed on “Accredited Warned” status in 2014 after a year on accreditation probation. Michael Thurmond, now DeKalb CEO, is credited with stabilizing the district as school superintendent.
For more information, visit www.dekalbschoolsga.org.