Advancing Excellence in Education
This site provides information regarding the district accreditation protocol offered by AdvancED. Currently, the Pickens County School District and each of its schools are fully accredited. This means that annually, every public school in Pickens County meets or exceeds the accreditation standards that support student achievement.
AdvancED/SACS CASI District Accreditation
Welcome to Pickens County Schools AdvancED/SACS CASI information site. This site provides information regarding the district accreditation protocol offered by AdvancED. Currently, the Pickens County School District and each of its schools are fully accredited. This means that annually every public school in Pickens County meets or exceeds the accreditation standards that support student achievement. In February 2014, the Pickens County school district will again host an AdvancED External Review Team to certify the district's accreditation for another five years.
What is AdvancED (Advancing Excellence in Education)?
AdvancED is the parent organization of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI). AdvancED is dedicated to advancing excellence in education worldwide through accreditation, research and professional services. AdvancED is the world's largest education community, engaging 27,000 public and private schools and districts across the United States and in 65 countries worldwide and educating 15 million students.
Why is accreditation important?
Accreditation is your assurance of Pickens’s academic excellence. Accreditation ensures a standard of quality among credits, courses, and grade level placements between schools and universities around the world. It also validates the equivalency of diplomas and certificates to other accredidated schools and universities. In addition, students in accredited schools become part of a worldwide network of quality institutions focused on student performance.
What are the benefits of district accreditation?
District accreditation is not a standalone process; rather it supports system-wide continuous improvement. Specifically, district accreditation:
- Enhances a common language of school improvement.
- Ensures collaboration in planning for improvement.
- Provides the school system and community with validation and recognition for improvement efforts and recommendations from an external team of professionals.
- Supports a system-wide approach to achieving results.
- Integrates and supports other accountability requirements such as those mandated by the state and federal educational agencies.
How does a district achieve accreditation?
District accreditation requires commitment from the system's leadership,staff, and school board. The school system must have in place a quality continuous improvement planning process focused on improving student learning. In addition, there must be a commitment to achieving and maintaining the following requirements:
- Demonstration of compliance with the SACS CASI Accreditation Standards for Quality School Systems.
- Identification and illustration of the system's framework for continuous improvement.
- Evidence showcased of methods being employed to monitor and maintain quality assurance.
An AdvancED External Review Team makes a three-day visit to the school system. The Quality Assurance Review Team gathers data and evidence during the visit by interviewing a wide-range of system and school level stakeholders, as well as visiting schools. In preparation for this visit, both the school district and each of its schools must:
- Conduct and analyze stakeholder surveys from parents, students and certified staff.
- Analyze and summarize student achievement data from state and local assessments.
- Conduct a self-assessment of the current level of performance in regard to the five AdvancED accreditation standards (below).
- Develop an executive summary from the information in the self-assessment.
After accreditation is completed, the school district will submit a progress report in the spring of 2015 to explain its progress in the implementation of the recommendations by the External Review Team.
What are the five AdvancED Standards for Quality?
Standard 1: Purpose and Direction
Standard 2: Governance and Leadership
Standard 3: Teaching and Assessing for Learning
Standard 4: Resources and Support Systems
Standard 5: Using Results for Continuous Improvement
More information on the AdvancED standards are available for download here: