MCS recommended for re-accreditation through AdvancED
Montgomery County Schools hosted an AdvancED External Review team October 14-17, 2012. The AdvancED process gives educational institutions a framework for quality and continuous improvement so that they may achieve ever higher degrees of excellence.
District Accreditation recognizes that increasing student achievement involves more than improving instruction. It is a result of how well all the parts of the education system — the district, school, and classroom — work together to meet the needs of students.
During the External Review, team members interviewed 36 administrators, 79 teachers, 44 parents/business partners, 87 students, and seven Board members, for a total of 264 stakeholders.
The External review Team share several overarching themes they observed while visiting Montgomery County Schools:
- There is a systemic culture of learning in the district with a relentless focus on student learning, where student performance and climates conducive to learning have emerged as strong core values that permeate all levels of the system in both words and actions.
- The changes in leadership in the system over the past few years have led to a more focused and deliberate approach to continuous improvement (PDSA, CWT, and IF, etc.). The leadership changes have created a laser-like focus on student achievement.
- There is a strong sense of collegiality, community, and collaboration throughout the system.
- There is a need for increased cultural sensitivity in the planning and delivery of instruction for all minority groups as well as through interaction with those families.
- There are inadequate student support services particularly in the areas of social work, guidance services, and special populations.
- There is a need for continued professional development focused on increasing teachers’ digital teaching skill set in order to create learning appropriate to course and subject area content.
AdvancED believes that all institutions can improve. As a result, the External Review team was charged with identifying an action that the system should engage upon.
The External Review Team has determined that Montgomery County Schools must act on the following:
Develop, implement, and evaluate structures that provide for long-term interaction with individual students that build strong relationships over time with the students and adults in the schools. The structure should allow the school employees to gain significant insight into each student and serve as an advocate for the student’s needs relative to learning, thinking, and life skills.
The External Review team enthusiastically recommended that Montgomery County Schools be re-accredited. The AdvancED Accreditation Commission meets twice yearly to review and approve all the External Review reports that have been completed during the previous semester. It is that Commission that makes the final decision regarding the granting of accreditation.
Within 30 business days, MCS will receive a copy of the completed and approved External Review report. At that time, the report will be shared with all stakeholders.
“First, I applaud our employees for a great job in welcoming the team and explaining what we are doing to further our vision and mission, but more so in the actual deployment of our initiatives to help educate ALL children,” stated Superintendent Dale Ellis. “It was evident in the exit report that the team felt we were going about our jobs in the right way and that we were doing it very well. I was probably more impressed by the “unofficial” comments I heard…”You guys have got it going on!” and “I would want my children and grandchildren to go to your schools.” To me, those comments are priceless. I applaud our staff for their continued hard work and the stretch for excellence I see every day.”
Click HERE to review the AdvancED Executive Summary/Self Assessment for Montgomery County Schools.Click HERE to review the AdvancED External Review for Montgomery County Schools.