UPDATE: As of Friday, March 29, 2019, the AdvancED Global Commission has approved Glynn County Schools’ accreditation status. Within the next 4-6 weeks, the official letter of accreditation and the accreditation certificate will be mailed.
“Strong,” “visionary” and “progressive” are a few of the words used to describe Glynn County Schools in a recent Accreditation Engagement Review Report. From Jan. 27-30, 2019, a team from AdvancED, the parent company of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), performed a three-day monitoring review of Glynn County Schools, from which they provided a detailed report highlighting the district’s demonstration of continued compliance with the accreditation standards as well as ongoing progress and improvement.
As part of the review, Glynn County Schools had to complete an onsite evaluation from the AdvancED team. This included administrators, teachers, students, parents, board members and several stakeholders. As a result of their analysis of artifacts, interviews, and classroom observations, the report indicated that the school system is moving forward in its practices and providing the best for its students.
Dr. Virgil Cole, Superintendent of Glynn County Schools responded positively to the report. “Their comments support our focus on fostering a culture that values relationships, effective communication, trust, collaboration and respect. Moreover, their observations confirm our system’s strong belief that it will take all of us: teachers, leaders, and community members working together as a team to promote high expectations and to deliver a quality education for all students,” he said.
To determine accreditation status, AdvancED has three main standards from which to report its findings: Leadership Capacity, Learning Capacity, and Resource Capacity. Each of the three standards break into several sections and to receive accreditation (and a Standards Diagnostic rating), the school system must provide evidence proving it meets each section of each standard.
In the Leadership Capacity domain, the district met and exceeded expectations on 9 of 11 standards. For the Learning Capacity, 11 of 12 standard expectations were met; the other standard was rated “emerging” for the school system’s arising approach to providing a creative, innovative and collaborative problem-solving learning culture. The last category, Resource Capacity, revealed that the district meets 4 of 8 standards, exceeds 3 of 8 standards, and needs improvement on integrating digital resources into teaching, learning and operations to improve professional practice, student performance, and organizational effectiveness.
“The team’s objective feedback confirms the work of our schools to embrace and implement effective practices to support learning,” shared Dr. Valerie Whitehead, executive director of strategy and innovation for Glynn County Schools.
The accreditation report provided an Index of Education Quality (IEQ) as a holistic measure of overall performance. Comprised of the Standards Diagnostic ratings, the IEQ score for Glynn County Schools is 339.52, which indicates that the district is within the Impact level and is engaged in practices that are sustained over time and are becoming ingrained in the culture of the institution. This is the highest rating for IEQ. Glynn’s IEQ was previously 288 in 2014. The average AdvancED Improvement Network (AIN) five-year IEQ range is 283.33 – a calculation that the school system has surpassed in the report’s findings.
The final Accreditation Engagement Review Report from the recent review was made available on March 14, 2019. At the Work Session meeting on Thursday, March 28, Dr. Whitehead shared comments from the review team’s 15-page report and emphasized this is a reflection of the system as a whole. Here are a few of their insights:
- “Deeply ingrained in the fabric of Glynn County Schools is a strong, visionary and effective leadership team, who is committed to continuous improvement.”
- “To create 21st learning environments for all Glynn County students is not only the vision of the system but also the direction of the strategic plan.”
- “As a progressive school system, Glynn County Schools is purposeful and intentional in the allocation of the system’s human, material and fiscal resources.”
The approval of the system’s continuing accreditation status will be granted by the AdvancED Global Commission. The next scheduled meeting of the AdvancED Global Commission is Friday, March 29, 2019. Approximately 8-10 weeks after the meeting, the official letter of accreditation and the accreditation certificate will be mailed.
As part of the review of the Engagement Review Report, the following steps, which are now organized around “i3: Initiate, Improve and Impact,” will be considered as Glynn County Schools maintains its continuous improvement process:
- Examine those standards that fall into the Initiate category and reflect on the status of those standards in Glynn. Some of the standards in the Initiate category may be in that category because the work is in the early stages of implementing new programs or practices. In those cases, continue to monitor the implementation and begin to collect data on the effectiveness of the new program or practice. Other standards in this category may be due to limited engagement and/or implementation and plans should include how to improve in these areas.
- As standards in the Improve category are examined, determine how to best continue to analyze and use data to look at growth and improvement over time.
- In reviewing the Standards in the Impact category, look to ensure ongoing monitoring and support for these effective practices.