SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) Lead Evaluator Mike Griffith said,
“It’s obvious you worked very hard”
when giving his overall assessment of the Pickens County School District’s efforts prior to the SACS team’s entrance into the equation.
Five outside evaluators infiltrated Pickens County schools February 2-5 to see the progress the schools have made since the last SACS accreditation. The accreditations are done in five-year increments.
According to the AdvancED website (SACS is a division of AdvancED) accreditation is
“a voluntary method of quality assurance developed more than 100 years ago by American universities and secondary schools, and designed primarily to distinguish schools adhering to a set of educational standards. The accreditation process is also known in terms of its ability to effectively drive student performance and continuous improvement in education. But such definitions, though accurate, are incomplete.”
Each aspect of the district’s scope is examined by the team who evaluates them based on numerous factors including school visits, classroom evaluations, examination of policies, review of programs and goals and interviews with all persons associated with the schools. Those persons range from board members to parents and everyone in-between.
The SACS team determined Pickens County scored a total of 334 out of 400. Not impressed? Consider the average range of scores is 275-310.
They did have two areas that the team required action be taken. One: Provide professional development for instructional support staff in instructional practices and the analysis, interpretation and use of data to inform instruction. Two: Develop, implement and evaluate a clearly defined process for analyzing data to determine student readiness for the next level.
In the second objective, it was pointed out that it doesn’t just include from grade to grade but from exit from high school into the next phase of life. They stated that last year Pickens had a graduation rate of 87.2 percent which needs improvement.
Although it won’t be official until June, by all indicators your school district is excelling.
For presentation of findings please see the following video: