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Thursday, February 28, 2008

District Accreditation Update


With this week's visit, Talladega City Schools becomes only the 20th school system in Alabama to achieve District Accreditation. During the visit, the team talked with 263 people includeing, parents, teachers, support personnel, students, administrators, board members, and community members.

The committee found the following strengths:
  • Sufficient financial resources to support educational programs

  • Highly skilled and caring employees throughout the district

  • District support in collecting and analyzing data

  • Establishment of a district-level roundtable

  • Stakeholder groups united for students’ success

  • A sense of community within the individual schools

  • Use of the media to send a positive message in regard to the school district

  • Forward-thinking regarding the integration of technology within the district

  • Engaged in a partnership with Talladega College to enhance teaching and learning
The committee commended the school system on the following points:
  • Board members, educators, parents, and community members are committed to providing exemplary education for all students within the Talladega City School System.

  • The district has implemented practices to collect, analyze, and use pertinent data to enhance student achievement.

  • Stakeholder groups appear to be united in their belief that students must be the focus of their collective efforts.

  • The use of technology and the media promotes positive communication and provides all stakeholders with relevant information.

  • The superintendent has implemented strategies to ensure open exchange of information through roundtable discussions, ad hoc meetings, and newsletters.

  • The addition of technology has enhanced the instructional effectiveness of teachers, and it has allowed administrators to access data for the improvement of teaching and learning.
The team noted the following challenges:
  • Maintaining the upkeep of current facilities

  • Developing meaningful strategies to reach all parents within the community

  • Increasing the number of minority faculty and staff members in the district

  • Working together as a team for the betterment of students

  • Increasing the use of and developing common assessments and curriculum guides at all grades

  • Responding to the decline in student enrollment throughout the district

  • Expanding fine arts programs within the K-12 curriculum

  • Contending with the digital divide in the community
The team made the following recommendations to our school system:
  • Expand the use of collaboratively developed common formative assessments and pacing guides and begin professional dialogue across all grade levels among schools to increase student achievement.

  • Seek strategies to enhance workable relationships among district leaders in order to move the district forward and promote learning for every child.

  • Explore opportunities to upgrade facilities or construct new facilities to meet the current demands of the district.

  • Investigate options to implement and/or enhance fine arts and physical education programs on every campus and at all grade levels.

  • Employ additional methods of quality assurance designed to assist the district in meeting its responsibility for ensuring that improvement efforts are effective to increase student achievement.

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