Natchez-Adams schools’ accreditation visit set for this week
NATCHEZ — Members of an accreditation and school improvement organization will visit schools in the Natchez-Adams School District this week to determine if they qualify for another five-year accreditation.
AdvancED is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that accredits primary and secondary schools through the U.S. and internationally. The organization was formerly known as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. SACS expanded to include northern states and is now called AdvancED.
The accreditation process is meant to help school districts increase ongoing performance efforts for students by ensuring the district is on par with other schools in the state or region.
Superintendent Frederick Hill said he would give a presentation to the members of the agency today to overview the district and its schools.
“They’ll meet with us as a group first, and then they’ll actually go and meet with other groups and individuals in the district to talk about some of the standards of our district,” Hill said. “This is a routine process that happens every five years in every school — public or private.”
The AdvancED system uses five standards for quality including purpose and direction, governance and leadership, teaching and assessing for learning, resources and support systems and using results for continuous improvement.
NASD Instructional Improvement Coordinator Bettye Bell said the accreditation process allows the district to compare itself to other schools in the region, state and nation.
“If we receive the accreditation, it means the school district is functioning very well,” Bell said. “They’ll be going through all the schools and looking for evidence of documents to prove, for example, that we’re giving the proper benchmark assessments.”
Hill said the agency allows the district to prepare for the accreditation process in advance.
“We’ve been going through a year-long process to get ready for this, so we feel pretty confident,” Hill said. “We’ve gone through all of the standards and supplied the evidence for those standards.”
Members of the agency will present their findings to the NASD board of trustees Wednesday at an afternoon meeting.
After the accreditation meeting, the board will also meet to discuss the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, Hill said.