Buncombe County Schools (BCS) is privileged to be a member of AdvancED, which is the world’s largest education community, representing over 23,000 public and private schools in 30 states and 65 countries. AdvancED provides tools and structures for schools and school districts to improve student performance.
BCS was among the first to participate in district accreditation in 2006. This continuous improvement process occurs every 5 years. BCS received district re-accreditation in April 2012 and will next pursue re-accreditation in 2017.
District Accreditation focuses on 3 important areas: high standards, continuous improvement, and quality assurance to the entire school district. It is our duty to ensure there is alignment and support between the school district and all of its schools. BCS believes it is imperative to operate as one school system rather than a system of 45 individual schools. Stakeholders tell us it is essential for their children to attend schools with national accreditation. It is comforting to families to know their schools are accountable, have systems in place for continuous improvement, and are committed to raising student performance. These are confirmed through the work of AdvancED.
What does reaccreditation look like for BCS?
Every 5 years- or sooner if necessary- BCS rewrites our strategic plan with strategies, timelines and measurable goals. As part of this process, we revisit our educational priorities exemplified through our district purpose, direction, and belief statements. After gathering input on draft statements through stakeholder meetings and surveys our draft statements are refined incorporating suggestions from our stakeholders. The current purpose, direction, and belief statements were last approved by the BCS Board of Education on December 1, 2016.
What’s next in this process?
District accreditation is an ongoing process of continuous improvement and quality assurance demonstrated through an internal review and an external review. As part of the internal appraisal, staff members assess how well five national standards are being met through evidence collection while identifying areas that need to be strengthened. An external review team reviews the evidence, interviews stakeholders, and visit schools in order to validate meeting each standard:
Purpose and Direction
Governance and Leadership
Teaching and Assessing for Learning
Resources and Support Systems
Using Results for Continuous Improvement
This process affords us the opportunity to participate in an internal and external review process that solidifies what we are doing well and what improvements can be made to further continuous improvement in our school system.