This week our district played host to the SACS-CASI Quality Assurance Review Team. I have been through several SACS accreditation visits, both at the local school level and at the district level, and this is something that is always a pain in the posterior. It’s never fun.
First, there’s the paperwork – mountains of it. Then there are all of the meetings required to generate all that paperwork. Most of this takes the form of vision statements, beliefs, and goals spun out in various dialects of Educationese which probably will sound like “duh” statements to the general public. Example…
Mission – The mission of District Five Schools of Spartanburg County is to ensure that all students succeed in life choices and function as productive citizens by providing quality educational experiences in a safe, caring, and nurturing environment.
Vision – In order to improve the quality of life for the students and community in our school district, we will provide superior educational opportunities by maintaining a multidimensional curriculum and state-of-the-art facilities.
I call these “duh” statements because I figure that the public will read them (if they read them at all) and think, “Isn’t that what you’re SUPPOSED to be doing??” I guess sometimes it is important to state the obvious.
After we generate our mountain of paperwork, the Quality Assurance Review Team (QART) breezes into town and attempts to make an assessment of our district. Fortunately, it’s a short visit. But I still wonder if they can get a true feel for what we do with only a few hours on-campus. I guess I should be careful with what I wish for – staying longer could mean finding more to correct.
Today we had the wrap-up, and the QART will recommend to the AdvancED Accreditation Commission that our district be awarded District Accreditation as a quality school system. We can breathe easier now…
…or at least some of us.