Questions and Answers About AdvancED Accreditation, Standards for Quality and ASSIST. About the Standards

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1 Questions and Answers About AdvancED Accreditation, Standards for Quality and ASSIST The new AdvancED Standards for Quality and Accreditation Protocol will be implemented beginning with the school year. About the Standards What are the five Standards? Purpose and Direction Governance and Leadership Teaching and Assessing for Learning Resources and Support Systems Using Results for Continuous Improvement What is different about the new Standards compared to the current ones? The most visual difference you will see is that the Standards have gone from seven to five, and the Indicators have decreased as well. Perhaps more importantly, embedded throughout the Standards are some common themes: Continuous improvement Stakeholder involvement Student engagement Collaboration Equity Personalization Additionally, the focus on teaching and learning has significantly increased. The Standards address preparing students with skills they will need for the future and include high expectations for professional practice. The new Standards require increased rigor including, for example, demonstrated growth in student learning and achievement; a commitment to developing learning, thinking and life skills for all students; and formal structures whereby each student is well known. Institutions will rate themselves under each Indicator within a Standard, and External Review Teams will use the same performance levels in their assessment process. 1 Revised 5/10/2012

2 Why did AdvancED revise the Standards? The AdvancED Standards are the foundation of the AdvancED Accreditation Protocol and the guide that accredited institutions use for continuous improvement. Therefore, the Standards must be revised every five years to continue to provide schools and school systems with Standards and a protocol to support a continuous process of improvement. What research was used to develop the Standards? The Standards Committee reviewed research on best practices, future trends in education, and AdvancED research findings and feedback as part of the Standards development process. Additionally, the draft Standards were reviewed by education leaders Jim Popham, David Berliner, Yong Zhao, and Kathleen Paliokas. If I am hosting a review in but have already begun work using the current Standards, can I continue to use them? No. The Standards must be used by schools hosting visits in that school year and subsequent years. The materials you have gathered and the work you have done thus far will still be useful and valid in the context of the new Standards. While the content may be organized differently, you can use the data, evidence and content you have gathered to apply to the new Standards for Quality. Where can I access the new Standards? The AdvancED Standards for Quality are now available online at: Please contact your local AdvancED state/regional office if you need assistance with accessing the new Standards. Additionally, institutions can purchase hard copies of the Standards books in the AdvancED Online Store. Are we limited in the evidence we supply to the list that is provided? No. Institutions should feel free to include evidence outside of the list provided if they believe it is relevant to the indicator for which they are responding. Institutions should provide evidence they believe supports the performance level they have selected for each indicator. Is all the evidence listed in the indicator required for all schools? No. The list of evidence is presented as examples and suggestions; therefore, not all items are required for each indicator. Institutions should provide evidence they believe supports the performance level they have selected for each indicator. About the Accreditation Protocol What will be different about the Accreditation Protocol when the new Standards roll 2 Revised 5/10/2012

3 out? In general, there will be two key changes in the new Accreditation Protocol. First, all institutions will be required to include multiple sources of student performance data as part of their Self-Assessment. They also will be required to conduct staff, student and parent surveys and provide the results of those surveys with their Self-Assessment. In addition to the External Review team s assessment of the Standards and indicators during the External Review, the student performance results along with the survey results will be included in the determination of accreditation status. Second, schools in the School Systems Accreditation model will be required to complete a school-level Self-Assessment. The results of those assessments will be used as an important data source by the school system and the External Review Team. How do I organize my school/system to go through this process? Begin first by ensuring that leaders from your schools and school system participate in faceto-face and online training to familiarize themselves with the new Standards, Accreditation Protocol and ASSIST. Next, access resources through AdvancED to guide your journey: Schools and school systems should ensure that preparing to host an External Review or developing a school improvement plan is a collaborative process. Stakeholders throughout the institution should be engaged. Additional support can be received from your AdvancED state/regional office. Under the Systems Accreditation Protocol, will the schools have an opportunity to participate or engage in any way? Yes. Both your school system, and each school within your school system, will engage in the accreditation process by submitting an Accreditation Comprehensive Report in the year of your scheduled External Review. The report will include results from the following: Self Assessment a diagnostic tool that allows institutions to assess their performance level with regard to the AdvancED Standards for Quality. Executive Summary a narrative that provides an opportunity for the institution to tell their story. Stakeholder Perception Surveys - parent, student, and staff surveys administered as a means of gathering valid and reliable stakeholder perception data to inform the continuous improvement process. Profile (demographic update) contact information and demographics about an institution. AdvancED Accreditation Assurances a set of certification statements related to the policies and procedures of AdvancED accreditation. Improvement Plan - Goals, measurable objectives, strategies, and activities packaged into a plan for improvement. Student Performance Results - results of multiple assessments that schools and school systems use to measure growth and improvement in student performance 3 Revised 5/10/2012

4 over time. Will the External Review be similar? As in the past, the External Review team will review the institution against the Standards for Quality, which includes classroom observation, documentation review, and interviews with various stakeholders. As part of the document review, the team will look at the Self- Assessment, stakeholder survey results, student performance data, and other documentation. The team may provide feedback on the improvement plan or a Required Action reflective of the needs of the institution and its students. Is there going to be a set of focus questions that will guide the schools in rating the indicators? There are several methods school and school system personnel can use to access how they meet the Standards. Most of these involve studying the statements contained in each performance indicator and choosing the performance level that most closely resembles the current situation in the institution. There are two workbooks on the school and district resources pages that can help guide personnel through this process. The workbooks describe the processes mentioned above. There are guiding questions to assist school and school system personnel in writing the Standard Narrative, a response which allows for further justification and clarification about the performance level chosen for the school or school system. Will schools be required to provide performance data? Yes. The new Accreditation Protocol will take into account measurable growth on multiple performance assessments. Institutions will be required to provide data from multiple assessments that show their performance and student achievement. What is my school supposed to be doing? Beginning in and beyond, your school will: Every year: Update school and school system demographics in the AdvancED Accreditation Management System. Use the School Improvement Planner in ASSIST if you wish to track continuous improvement progress over time. Administer surveys as needed to collect trend data from stakeholders. External Review year only: Submit the Accreditation Comprehensive Report in ASSIST, which contains the Self Assessment (SA), Executive Summary (ES), Accreditation Assurances, Improvement Plan, Student Performance, and Stakeholder (Parent, Staff, and Student) Surveys. Two years after the visit (typically): Complete the Accreditation Progress Report (APR). What is the consequence for schools/systems not adhering to the requirements of Accreditation? The items required as part of the Accreditation Process will contribute to and reflect on the overall accreditation status of an institution. For institutions that do not meet the requirements, a lower accreditation status may be given or accreditation may not be granted. 4 Revised 5/10/2012

5 About ASSIST When can I start using ASSIST? The School Improvement Planning component of ASSIST is available today! All institutions engaged in the AdvancED Accreditation Process can begin building goals and improvement plans at any time. Additional components of ASSIST will be launched in the coming months, and institutions will be notified with each release. When will schools be required to complete and submit their School Improvement Plan? Schools and school systems being visited in under the new Standards for Quality will submit their School Improvement Plan as part of the documentation in preparation for the External Review. Although not required until the visits, all schools and school systems currently have access to and may begin using the School Improvement Planner. How will my institution benefit from using ASSIST? You will access: A broad menu of program planning, diagnostic, implementation, and evaluation tools to support staff and institutions of all types and sizes Relevant data, with tools for interpreting and understanding results A clear linkage between school improvement and accreditation activities High-quality tools and resources for gathering stakeholder input How do I put my information into ASSIST? Schools and school systems with an External Review scheduled during the school year should receive an notification in early February 2012 that ASSIST tasks have been created. The will be sent to the head of institution and primary contact, so please be sure to update your demographic and contact information in the Accreditation Management System. Once you have logged in to access ASSIST (see log-in information below), you will be able to complete the required tasks. How do I log into ASSIST? You must have your school s Access Code in your profile to access your school s information. If you do not have your school s access code or need additional help, please contact your AdvancED state/regional office. About Surveys Does ASSIST serve as the place to both administer surveys as well as get results? Yes. When will the surveys be available? The new AdvancED Parent, Staff, and Student Surveys are available in ASSIST To whom do we give the surveys? Beginning in the school year, parent, student and staff surveys are a required part of the Accreditation Protocol in years in which an institution is hosting an External Review Schools and school systems may choose to distribute surveys more often, however, the 5 Revised 5/10/2012

6 results are only required in the External Review year to be submitted with the Executive Summary, Self-Assessment and other required documentation. These stakeholder surveys are offered at no cost in ASSIST. Do you provide any guidance on the administration of surveys? Guidance on the survey administration process can be found in the Guide to Administering Surveys in the online school resources. Are the surveys anonymous and confidential? Yes. If a parent has more than one child in the school, should he/she answer one survey for all their children or one per child? One of the questions in the surveys asks the respondent to identify the grade of their oldest child so they only need to respond once. However, if a parent has children in more than one school within a school system they may be asked to complete a survey for each school. 6 Revised 5/10/2012

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