Buncombe County Schools’ (BCS) teachers and staff members strive every day to offer our students a world-class education. Regularly evaluating our successes and opportunities is a key element as we continue to thrive as a school system. This evaluation is meticulously conducted every 5 years through a process called reaccreditation, and in 2017 reaccreditation will occur through AdvancED. This non-profit organization conducts extensive reviews of K-12 schools all over the world. They ask school systems to compile vast amounts of documentation (evidence) about all aspects of the school system. The scope of their review includes Governance, Leadership, Technology, Curriculum, Finance, and Human Resources. AdvancED aims to certify that every aspect of our school system is on solid ground and on a positive and productive trajectory.
“This system-wide internal and external audit is vital to our school system,” says Assistant Superintendent Joseph Hough. “We want to make sure we are continuously improving the quality and standards of our education process.”
As part of the reaccreditation, a team of BCS administrators, teachers, and community stakeholders examined our Mission and Vision. We sought input from various stakeholder groups, in part, by conducting a survey. We asked ourselves the following questions: who are we as an organization? What are our goals? What do we believe in? Through this introspective and thoughtful process, new Purpose, Direction, and Core Belief statements were created. We hope this clarity will help shape our daily objectives for teachers, school staff members, central office staff members, parents, and other stakeholders.
Associate Superintendent Susanne Swanger says, “We are excited that our new statements capture the importance of teaching and learning. The internal review process has allowed us to reflect upon our strengths and challenges as well as create next steps for continued success. As a system, we put our students first and the quest of offering the best education possible is ongoing.”
The revised Purpose and Direction statements remain in line with the four priorities established in the last few years by Superintendent Dr. Tony Baldwin. These statements are also in accordance with the vision, mission, and goals of the North Carolina Board of Education.
The AdvancED evaluation team is comprised of educators from North Carolina, as well as from other parts of the U.S. The group will visit Buncombe County Schools in late March of 2017 to conduct an external review. Their visit will consist of several school visits, in-depth reviews of the required documentation gathered by Buncombe County educators and staff, and numerous interviews with administrators, teachers, parents, and other stakeholders.
“There are many reasons to be proud of our innovative schools and programs here in Buncombe County Schools,” says Dr. Tony Baldwin. “We embrace the challenge of a rigorous reaccreditation process through AdvancED. This is an opportunity to recognize and reflect on our many strengths, as well as establish clear goals for further improvement.”