WINNSBORO — In its February meeting, the school board of trustees for Fairfield County approved the district entering into a district wide accreditation process.
Claudia Edwards, deputy superintendent of curriculum and instruction, and Superintendent J.R. Green said the district is entering into an accreditation process where the district is accredited as a school system rather than holding an accreditation for each individual school. The accreditation would be through AvancedED District Systems Accreditation.
According to the AdvancedED website (www.advanc-ed.org), the accreditation provides “external and objective validation of the areas in which (a school/school district) is doing well and also identifies areas of continuous improvement.”
The resulting research from the accrediting process can help guide educational policy and improve learning practices. Additionally, this accreditation distinction would elevate the perception of Fairfield County Schools and the district as a whole.
After a readiness visit a few weeks ago, AdvancedED believes the Fairfield County School District would be a good candidate for the accreditation, so Edwards requested a letter of commitment from the board to support the process.
Board member Annie McDaniel asked if there would be additional cost to the county for the accreditation change. Edwards assured her that while there has been no fee at this point, the district would pay a yearly membership fee. Edwards said it takes about a year to get prepared for the accreditation process.
McDaniel said she wondered if advanced placement classes being canceled at the high school in recent years would negatively impact the process. Edwards assured her that the AP classes had been re-instituted for the current academic year. Responses to the AP courses that came earlier in an accreditation process were part of a state accreditation process that uses a different protocol.
Green assured McDaniel that the district currently offers around six AP courses and that they are in full compliance. He also spoke to the feasibility of this option.
“It is cheaper to go through a district wide accreditation than an individual school accreditation,” Green said. He said at other districts where he worked previously it was valuable to look at an entire system to ensure effectiveness was in place.
The motion passed 7-0.
Kevin Boozer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 635-4016, ext. 14.