School board reviews new accreditation system

By Lucas Vance lvance@civitasmedia.com

March 22, 2014

WINNSBORO — The Fairfield County School District Board of Trustees entertained a presentation by Deputy Superintendent of Academics Dr. Claudia Edwards during Tuesday’s meeting to begin a new accreditation system named AdvancED.

Edwards’ presentation was not voted on by the school board, but was accepted as information.

The advanced systems accreditation is a process that would take place every five years and strive for continuous improvement to meet rigorous standards, according to Edwards.

“This is not a compliance requirement, but more of a commitment to get better,” Edwards stated. “The goal is to realize this is where we are and this is what we’re going to do to get there.”

Before the an external review, there would be an internal review by the school district that includes board member’s self assessment, student performances, executive summary and stake holders feedback.

“This internal review will ask the board to reflect where they are now,” Edwards noted.

An AdvancED timeline would begin with the self assessments (January-May), then AdvancED surveys completed by administrators and stake holders (March-September), finalized assessments and executive summary (October-November) and then an external review team visit (December).

External review team consists of three to five in/out state members that will conduct visits in the classroom and with stake holders.

On Dec. 10, the external review team would share their findings by giving a preliminary exit report to the community.

The exit report would include points to correct before the team’s return in 2019.

Edwards asked board members to be involved during the process by becoming familiar with all quality standards and be available to participate and submit ratings.

Funding requests and fundraisers

As promised during last week’s Town Hall meeting at Geiger Elementary, Superintendent J.R. Green recommended the board approve $14,200 to help fund an overnight trip for the Fairfield Central robotics teams to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to compete in regional competition.

The board unanimously approved the recommendation 6-0. Vice Chairwoman Andrea Harrison was absent due to an illness.

Scheduled for April 3 through April 5, the robotics team’s 28 members will compete after earning 14th place and the top rookie award at Myrtle Beach.

Board members also unanimously approved the superintendent’s recommendation for a fund-raising request by Gordon Odyssey Academy to offset the cost of a trip to Puerto Rico.

Fundraising ideas included a Fatz Cafe Pancake Breakfast and selling spirit cups and popcorn.

A total cost of $20,000 is estimated for the trip, but Green noted Gordon Odyssey Academy has already raised $7,000.

Green anticipated coming back to the board to approve $10,000 (half the cost) for the trip.

“Dr. Tindall will eventually come to me and then I will come to you (board) to approve the funding, but we’re not at that point yet,” he noted.

The next regular scheduled school board meeting is April 15.