AdvancEd is a global leader in advancing excellence in education through continuous improvement, organizational effectiveness, and accreditation. Calhoun County School District pursued systems accreditation in order to align schools, reinforce the district’s commitment to improve student achievement and accountability, and gain a professional analysis of efforts toward continuous improvement.
The External Review Team, composed of five school leaders from Florida, Arizona, and South Carolina, reviewed district assessment and responses related to five standards over a four day period. The five standards include Vision and Purpose, Governance and Leadership, Teaching and Learning, Resources, and Data Analysis. The team also reviewed student performance results, artifacts to support district information, and stakeholder perceptions of the school district to make a recommendation regarding accreditation. The External Review Team provided important validation and recognition to the district for each standard. They also delivered valuable feedback and direction to help the school district make academic advancements.
External Review Team Leader, Dr. Dody Sapp, stated that after reviewing documentation and interviewing over 195 stakeholders, several themes emerged within the school district including a clear emphasis on teaching and learning, high expectations in every school, strong school and district leadership, and a dedicated committed staff.
Dr. Steve Wilson, Superintendent of Calhoun County Public Schools, refocused accreditation efforts from individual school visits to a systems wide approach approximately three years ago in order to align educational progress within the district. He recognized the efforts of all employees to make the process a meaningful learning experience so that the entire system can move toward excellence together.
Calhoun County Public Schools, ranked 16th of 84 school districts in South Carolina, currently serves over 1700 students on three campuses. Student performance at all sites meets or exceeds state expectations and the high school graduation rate of 85.4% exceeds state and national levels. The visiting team praised district efforts to involve the community in the educational process.
According to Dr. Sapp, Calhoun County Public Schools will be recommended for full accreditation.
[Pictured above (right to left) are Board Members: Mr. Ned Nelson and Mr. Kevin Jenkins; AdvancEd Team Members: Dr. Teressa Pope; Dr. JoAnn Stevens; Dr. Annette Melton; Mr. Bill Jenkins; and Dr. Dody Sapp; Dr. Phyllis Sanders, Assistant Director of AdvancEd in SC; Mr. Gary Porth, Board Chairman; and Dr. Steve Wilson, Superintendent.]