Shelby County Schools has earned the coveted prize of District Accreditation for the next five years by AdvancED, the global leader in providing continuous improvement and accreditation services to over 32,000 institutions worldwide. This is the second time the school system has earned District Accreditation, having first earned the honor in 2010.
The district earned an overall composite score of 300 (out of a possible 400). The average score of the AdvancED network of educational institutions is 282.45.
“Your district had very strong scores across the board,” said Pat Summers, lead evaluator for the AdvancEd External Review Team. “Your district is to be commended. We saw evidence throughout the week that you are living out your vision and mission.”
Superintendent Randy Fuller said earning District Accreditation and the high scores of the visiting team validates that the Shelby County School District is truly the best it has ever been.
“I am proud that the external review team saw firsthand evidence of the hard work and dedication of our administrators, teachers, and staff to ensure all of our students are well prepared to be successful,” said Fuller. “The fact that we received high scores confirms that our focus on strategic planning, continuous improvement, leadership development and curriculum and instruction – the four engines that drive our system – are helping make Shelby County Schools a model of excellence.”
The External Review Team was comprised of current and retired educators from all over the Southeast. They spent three days in Shelby County where they reviewed the school district’s data and relevant documents, heard presentations about the district and its programs, and visited schools to observe teaching practices and classroom environments. The team also interviewed 214 stakeholders, including board members, administrators, teachers, support staff, students, parents, and community members.
The External Review Team recognized Shelby County Schools for several “Powerful Practices” including:
- The system engages in a continuous process to determine verifiable improvement in student learning.
- Effective leadership provided by the superintendent, Central Office staff and principals, which demonstrates a commitment to a culture based on a shared purpose and direction to promote student success.
- Dynamic governance and leadership of the superintendent and school board, which operates as a cohesive unit and creates a highly collaborative culture to sustain continuous improvement.
- The superintendent’s visionary and charismatic leadership, which exemplifies the district’s shared purpose and direction to promote stakeholder commitment and ownership.
- The Long Range Strategic Plan, which provides a comprehensive, exemplary model for continuous improvement in 12 areas and serves as a blueprint for stakeholders to advance the direction of the district.
The External Review Team identified three areas for improvement that included:
- Align grading processes and procedures in grades K-12.
- Refining the process for using data to identify the unique learning needs of students.
- Strengthening professional learning communities by ensuring that assessment data drives conversations to support a deliberate system of interventions for all students.