According to Dr. Shelia Thomas, chief strategy and support services officer for NCSS, the district has been awarded accreditation by the North Central Association Commission on accreditation and school improvement, the Northwest Accreditation Commission and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement.
“These three regional agencies provide our institution with a highly regarded accreditation that is recognized throughout the world,” Thomas said. “Newton County School System has been granted district accreditation, which extends accreditation to each of the schools in the district.”
In March 2019, NCSS hosted an AdvancED External Review visit during which a team of educators from across the state and nation evaluated the school system and a cross-section of schools on how the system as a whole adheres to the AdvancED Accreditation Standards.
“AdvancED accreditation is a rigorous process that demonstrates to our students, parents and community that we are focused on raising student achievement, providing safe and enriching learning environments, and maintaining efficient and effective operations, staffed by highly qualified educators,” Samantha Fuhrey, NCSS superintendent, said.
To earn AdvancED School System Accreditation, systems must: meet the AdvancED Accreditation Standards in the areas of Leadership, Learning and Resource Capacities; implement a continuous process of improvement; and host an External Review team visit once every five years.
The AdvancED Team found Newton County School System met the requirements for accreditation. NCSS received an Index of Education Quality score of 321 out of a possible 400, which is as a holistic measure of overall performance based on a comprehensive set of standards and review criteria. An IEQ score below 250 indicates that the institution has several areas within the Initiate level and should focus their improvement efforts on those Standards within the Initiate level. An IEQ in the range of 225-300 indicates that the institution has several Standards within the Improve level and is using results to inform continuous improvement and demonstrate sustainability. An IEQ of 275 and above indicates the institution is beginning to reach the Impact level and is engaged in practices that are sustained over time and are becoming ingrained in the culture of the institution.
“Congratulations to the Newton County School System team and our system partners for achieving the rigorous goal of system-wide accreditation,” Fuhrey said. “I am exceedingly proud of the hard work and commitment of our students, teachers, leaders, staff, and parents! Although the AdvancED accreditation process is every five years, we work towards exceeding standards every day. That is how we will meet our mission of providing educational excellence for all students.”