DeKalb County School District

AdvancED/SACS Accreditation Review

.pdf link icon DEKALB SCHOOLS OFF PROBATION [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/news-and-info/press-releases/dekalb-county-school-district-off-probation.pdf ]

Critical Communications


aversOVERVIEW

aversSTATUS REPORTS

aversPRESENTATIONS

avers STRATEGIC PLAN

aversFAQ

aversMLA GOVERNANCE

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Overview: Accreditation Review

updated January 22, 2014

This page provides an ongoing status and reporting system for DeKalb County School District's accreditation with AdvancED/Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). On January 21, 2014, AdvancED removed DeKalb County School District from Accredited Probation and placed the district on Accredited Warning; thus, removing any danger of loss of accreditation. The upgrade of the district to Accredited Warning was based on self-analysis responses received from the district to AdvancED and analysis of findings from the December 8-10, 2013 AdvancED Monitoring and Review Team visit.

The review team noted significant progress made by stakeholders to identify and address required actions. According to AdvancED, eight of the eleven actions were complete. However, the accrediting commission identified Required Actions 1, 3 and 6 as in progress. Additionally, AdvancED identified three more actions that must be addressed before the next AdvancED monitoring visit to be scheduled by May 31, 2014.

Although AdvancED will continue to monitor implementation and sustainability of continuous improvement processes begun in 2013, the upgraded status ensures that DeKalb County School District students remain eligible to apply to attend colleges and universities of their choice and receive HOPE or other scholarship funding available.

11 Required Actions

» required action 1 (in progress)

Devise and implement a written, comprehensive plan for unifying the DeKalb County Board of Education so that the focus can become serving the needs of the children of the DeKalb County School District .

» required action 2 (completed)

Ensure that all actions and decisions of the DeKalb County Board of Education are reflective of the collective Board and consistent with approved policies and procedures and all applicable laws, regulations and standards, rather than individual board members acting independently and undermining the authority of the Superintendent to lead and manage day-to-day operations.

» required action 3 (in progress)

Establish and implement policies and procedures that ensure segregation of duties of the governing board and that of the administration including the elimination of Board working committees which result in board members assuming administrative functions that should be the responsibility of appropriate staff.

» required action 4 (completed)

Implement and adhere to fiscally responsible policies and practices that ensure the DeKalb County Board of Education will adopt and ensure proper implementation of budgets within the financial means of the school system and that support the delivery of an educational program that meets the needs of the students.

» required action 5 (completed)

Establish and enforce a policy that board members honor the chain of command when communicating with stakeholders.

» required action 6 (in progress)

Ensure a robust district diagnostic assessment program (universal screener, progress monitoring probes, and benchmarks included) that is a systematic and a regular component of the district's comprehensive assessment system, includes a variety of formative assessment tasks and tools to monitor student progress, and provides school personnel access to the State Longitudinal Data System.

» required action 7 (completed)

Establish a formal change management process for new system initiatives (vision, mission, strategic plan, curriculum, benchmark assessment, etc.) to address development, implementation, timeline, monitoring, communication and evaluation effectiveness. This process should be in accordance with state regulations and guidelines.

» required action 8 (completed)

Conduct an internal audit on the available technology across all schools in order to identify areas of need with the intent to allocate appropriately throughout the district. Support this action by researching appropriate training for teachers and staff to ensure technology's effective use in daily instruction.

» required action 9 (completed)

Communicate to stakeholders the differences between programs and financial resources available to schools.

» required action 10 (completed)

Enroll all students (K-12) in Parent Portal and communicate with parents this action to work more closely with them. Establish policy for timely Parent Portal updates by teachers. Also provide students with tools to monitor their success.

» required action 11 (completed)

To ensure that the school system continues to sustain its progress and establish increased stability through a focused commitment to continuous improvement, the Monitoring Review Team has outlined the following additional Required Actions.

» required action 12 (newly added - January 21, 2014)

Develop systematic and systemic processes to ensure the continued implementation and sustainability of the continuous improvement efforts of the DeKalb County Board of Education in establishing and sustaining the Board as a highly effective governing body.

» required action 13 (newly added - January 21, 2014)

Develop and implement plans, policies and processes to monitor, evaluate and sustain the school systems continuous improvement efforts.

» required action 14 (newly added - January 21, 2014)

Continue to implement, evaluate and adapt the systems technology plan to ensure an effective and equitable distribution of technology throughout the system and its long-term sustainability.

Status Reports

January 21, 2014
.pdf link icon Press Release: DCSD Off Probation [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/news-and-info/press-releases/dekalb-county-school-district-off-probation.pdf ]
.pdf link icon Monitoring Report [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/monitoring-review-report.pdf ]

December 6, 2013
.pdf link icon IPR Final [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/ipr-final-(11-22-2013).pdf ]
.pdf link icon IPR Summaries [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/ipr-summaries.pdf ]
.pdf link icon RA7 Change Management Guidance (12-04-2013) [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/ra7-change-management-guidance-(12-04-2013).pdf ]
.pdf link icon RA7 Change Process Chart 9 [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/ra7-change-process-chart-9.pdf ]
opens in same window icon RA7 Change Request (fill-in form) [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/ra7-change-request-(fill-in-form).docx ]
opens in same window icon Implementation Plan Template (fill-in form) [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/implementation-plan-template-(fillable-form).xls ]

November 19, 2013
Information Technology
.pdf link icon Technology Audit Executive Summary [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/sacs-required-action-8-technology-audit-executive-summary.pdf ]
.pdf link icon Staff Technology Use Survey Data [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/technology-use-survey-responses.pdf ]
.pdf link icon DCSD 21st Century Learning Environment (21CLE) Framework [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/21st-cle-framework-proposal.pdf ]
.pdf link icon DCSD 21CLE: Technology Resource Alignment [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/21st-cle-technology-tool-alignment-chart.pdf ]
.pdf link icon Technology Training Plan Proposal [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/dcsd-technology-training-plan-proposal.pdf ]

July 5, 2013
.pdf link icon Executive Summary: AdvancED Monitoring Visit Report [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/executive-summary-advanced-report.pdf ] (May 15-17)
.pdf link icon Press release: AdvancED Sees Recognizable Progress in DeKalb Schools Efforts To Meet SACS Accreditation Guidelines [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/sacs-progress-press-release.pdf ]
.pdf link icon AdvancED Report [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/advanced-report-2013.pdf ]

May 15, 2013
.pdf link icon Institution Progress Report [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/institution-progress-report-(05-03-2013).pdf ]
.pdf link icon Clarification of Concerns within Advanced Special Review Team Report [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/addenda-other-sacs-concerns.pdf ].pdf link icon Textbook Status Executive Summary as of 01-21-2013 [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/textbook-status-executive-summary-(01-23-2013).pdf ]

April 5, 2013
.pdf link icon AdvancED Required Action Status Report [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/advanced-11-ra-status-report-(2013-04-03).pdf ]

March 22, 2013
.pdf link icon AdvancED Required Action Status Report [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/advanced-11-ra-status-report.pdf ]
- will be published on a monthly basis to provide information of the work-in-progress towards the eleven required actions.

Presentations

December 6, 2013
.pdf link icon BOE Presentation [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/boe-presentation.pdf ]
March 7, 2013

opens in same window icon DCSD Students Videoconference with Governor, Superintendent [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/press-releases/2013/03-07-a.html ]
The 21-member Student Advisory Council will discuss SACS accreditation

opens in same window icon view videoconference

Strategic Plan

Through the direction of the Superintendent, the strategic plan is reviewed every few years with a complete revision every five years. The complete revision will take place this school year with the establishment of a 2013-2018 Strategic Plan.

To assure that the 2014—2019 plan is congruent with current and future needs, the 2013—2014 Strategic Steering Committee will solicit input from parents, teachers, students, administrators, auxiliary staff, business, and civic leaders in order to develop the district's strategic plan.

opens in same window icon Strategic Plan web page [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/strategic-plan ]

.pdf link icon Board-approved Vision, Mission, Goal Areas (12-02-2013) [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/strategic-plan/goals/board-approved-vision-mission-goals.pdf ]

Frequently Asked Questions

» What does "Accreditation on Probation" mean?

A school or school system that shows little or no evidence of meeting two or more of the Standards or requirements of the accreditation process, and the resulting Required Actions are deemed to seriously detract from the school or system's educational program, limit the school or system's ability to fulfill its mission, and/or cause potential harm to students will be accredited on probation. In such cases SACS CASI will assist the school system to address the remaining work needed to improve operational efficiencies as well as insure that it authentically commits to a well-defined strategy of continuous school improvement. In such cases SACS CASI will assist the school system to address the remaining work needed to improve operational efficiencies as well as insure that it authentically commits to a well-defined strategy of continuous school improvement.

» What must DeKalb Schools do to retain accreditation?

The DeKalb County School District is accountable for addressing the Required Actions in the December 2012 report (noted below), and must host a Monitoring Team in May 2013 and a second team in December.
In preparation for the Monitoring Reviews, the school system must submit an Institution Progress Report to AdvancED/SACS CASI no less than two weeks prior to the Monitoring Team Review. The Institutional Progress Report should contain evidence of all actions taken, including documentation of results, to address the Required Actions.

  1. Devise and implement a written, comprehensive plan for unifying the DeKalb County Board of Education so that the focus can become serving the needs of the children of the DeKalb County School District .
  2. Ensure that all actions and decisions of the DeKalb County Board of Education are reflective of the collective Board and consistent with approved policies and procedures and all applicable laws, regulations and standards, rather than individual board members acting independently and undermining the authority of the Superintendent to lead and manage day-to-day operations.
  3. Establish and implement policies and procedures that ensure segregation of duties of the governing board and that of the administration including the elimination of Board working committees which result in board members assuming administrative functions that should be the responsibility of appropriate staff.
  4. Implement and adhere to fiscally responsible policies and practices that ensure the DeKalb County Board of Education will adopt and ensure proper implementation of budgets within the financial means of the school system and that support the delivery of an educational program that meets the needs of the students.
  5. Establish and enforce a policy that board members honor the chain of command when communicating with stakeholders.
  6. Ensure a robust district diagnostic assessment program (universal screener, progress monitoring probes, and benchmarks included) that is a systematic and a regular component of the district's comprehensive assessment system, includes a variety of formative assessment tasks and tools to monitor student progress, and provides school personnel access to the State Longitudinal Data System.
  7. Establish a formal change management process for new system initiatives (vision, mission, strategic plan, curriculum, benchmark assessment, etc.) to address development, implementation, timeline, monitoring, communication and evaluation effectiveness. This process should be in accordance with state regulations and guidelines.
  8. Conduct an internal audit on the available technology across all schools in order to identify areas of need with the intent to allocate appropriately throughout the district. Support this action by researching appropriate training for teachers and staff to ensure technology's effective use in daily instruction.
  9. Communicate to stakeholders the differences between programs and financial resources available to schools.
  10. Enroll all students (K-12) in Parent Portal and communicate with parents this action to work more closely with them. Establish policy for timely Parent Portal updates by teachers. Also provide students with tools to monitor their success.
  11. Re-establish the district's strategic planning team for the purpose of effectively implementing the DeKalb County School District's Strategic Plan to guide the direction of the district.

» Has the educational program at DeKalb County School District been affected by the challenges faced?

The educational program at DeKalb County School District has been affected by many challenges and issues that have occurred over the past decade. Unaddressed, some of these challenges could have significant impact on the education of students long-term.

» In what activities did the Special Review Team engage?

In preparation for the review, the school system provided the Special Review Team with school board meeting agendas and minutes, school board meeting videos, board member e-mails and correspondence, school board policies, board committee information, contracts for legal services, legal fees, the forensic audit, financial audits and statements, the staff organizational chart and responsibilities, and hiring policies and procedures. The system, in cooperation with SACS, identified a list of key stakeholders to be interviewed during the Special Review. The DeKalb County School District established a schedule by which 52 individuals including all nine Board members, the superintendent, 35 staff at the central office and school level, and six community representatives including business/community leaders and parents were extensively interviewed.

» Who were the members of the Special Review Team?

The Special Review Team was comprised of diverse and highly skilled and experienced professional educators including former school superintendents trained to conduct reviews of this nature. Team members came from Georgia and other southeastern states. AdvancED review teams are selected with sensitivity to the population and demographics of the school system under review.

» Will AdvancED/SACS continue to be involved with the school system and in what ways?

We will continue to work with the system in the accreditation and school improvement process. The AdvancED Georgia office will be available to assist with any of the Required Actions in preparation for the Monitoring Team Reviews in May and December.

» Does Accredited Probation affect seniors?

The system and its schools are still accredited and therefore the status of Accredited Probation has no impact on seniors seeking college admissions and scholarships, such as HOPE.

» What are the requirements of accreditation?

In order to earn and/or maintain AdvancED/SACS CASI accreditation, a school or school system must: 1) meet the Accreditation Standards, policies and procedures of AdvancED; 2) demonstrate continuous improvement of student performance over time; and 3) seek and respond to stakeholder feedback on the quality and success of the school or school system. A more detailed description of all requirements can be found in our Accreditation Policies and Procedures at www.advanc-ed.org.

» What is AdvancED?

AdvancED operates three regional accrediting agencies, accrediting 32,000 institutions in 71 countries serving over 20 million students - the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI). SACS, founded in 1895, has been a leader in public education reform and improvement in areas as varied as desegregation, centralized testing and school board governance.

Accreditation is a process of helping institutions improve through a systematic program of evaluation, assuring that an institution not only meets quality standards, but also that it demonstrates a continuous commitment to providing quality education programs that are aimed at improving student performance.

For more information, please visit www.advanc-ed.org.

MLA Governance

The .pdf link icon MLA Governance Center [ http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/documents/advanced-sacs-accreditation-review/dekalb-summary-one-pager.pdf ] will assist DeKalb County School District in adopting best practices used around the country at high-performing organizations in areas such as financial controls and stakeholder input, in order to maintain full accreditation and ensure accountability and transparency for DeKalb citizens and taxpayers.

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