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SSD prepares for SACS conference

April 25, 2012

By CARL SMITH
sdnnews@bellsouth.net

Starkville School District officials will conclude a visit by a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools quality assurance team with an exit conference 3 p.m. today at the Greensboro Center.

SSD is seeking to renew its current designation from the group’s Council on Accreditation and School Improvement area following a review from five evaluators. The district voluntarily goes through the national accreditation process every five years.

“(The quality assurance team) is making sure we meet the standards for accreditation and looking at evidence we have provided through data, documentation, observation and dialogue,” Response to Intervention Director Julie Fancher said. “The primary focus is on improving student performance. The team will come in and give us and the board recommendations to continue the quality of learning for students in the district.”

Fancher said the quality assurance team interviewed over 150 individuals, from teachers to students and stakeholders, during its review process.

The accreditation is based on seven standards, including vision and purpose; governance and leadership; documenting and using results; resources and support; stakeholder communication and relationships; and commitment to continuous improvement.

During the district’s last accreditation process in 2007, the review team recommended that the district work on facilities improvements, increase technology and use data to track student progress, all of which have since been addressed and continue to be points of focus for the district.

Assistant Superintendent Beth Sewell said having an outside review of SSD always provides beneficial recommendations which the district can implement.

SSD Board President Keith Coble said he looks forward to the meeting and hopes it gives trustees a good indicator of where the school is in its educational quest.

“I think this review is another way we can validate our performance to see wether we’re headed in the right direction or not,” Coble said. There will be things we hear that hopefully point us in the right direction.”

“Truthfully, I feel confident that the quality assurance review team is going to find our district is a great school system with many exemplary elements, from our talented professional staff to involved parents and our supportive community,” Fancher said. “This is just a opportunity to come in and see all the great things in Starkville.”

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