April 2, 2014

Rock Hill schools receive good marks from accreditation team

The AdvancED external review team gave the Rock Hill school district lots of praise in its evaluation report.

The Rock Hill school district received good marks and plenty of praise from the AdvancED external review team that spent the last week visiting classrooms, interviewing board and staff members and meeting with stakeholders.

The school board met Wednesday afternoon with a full house of school- and district-level administrators to hear the report.

“You’ve got some incredible people working in your schools,” said John Sedey, the lead evaluator on the external review team.

In his brief report to the board, Seday spoke highly of the Rock Hill school district’s partnerships with local communities, businesses and universities to enhance learning and recruit top-quality teaching talent. He also praised the district for assuring that “learning supports are in place at all grade levels for diverse learners.”

“You truly have a system that is looking at a way to make every kid succeed,” he said.

The district got excellent marks in “supportive learning environments,” and Sedey said the score the district received for “digital learning environment” was the highest he’d ever seen.

But, the team did recommend that the district take several steps to improve, such as implementing PLCs, or Professional Learning Communities across the district to improve instruction, and developing a clear distinction of roles and responsibilities between district leadership and the school board. They also recommended the district improve communications and work on systematic leadership oversight.

The external review team conducted 204 interviews and visited 54 classrooms to compile its report. The full version will be available to the district in 30 days.

Seday said the team is recommending the district for reaccreditation, so when the AdvancED team meets in June, it will have the final vote.

Board members thanked the team for its time and comments on the district.

“We want to improve,” said board member Mildred Douglas. “We know we’re not perfect.”

Accreditation is “designed to help educational institutions boost their ongoing performance efforts for the benefit of their students,” according to the AdvancED website.

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