|February 15, 2012
Superintendent of Schools Steven L. Walts announced today that Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) was granted the renewal of its District Accreditation from the AdvancED Accreditation Commission
, the national commission that confers the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Council on Accreditation and School Improvement accreditation seal. This means that the School Division and all of its schools are accredited, and that PWCS is recognized across the nation as a quality school system.
PWCS first received accreditation status in 2007.
A Quality Assurance Review (QAR) Team representing the AdvancED Accreditation Commission began its on-site review of Prince William County Public Schools on February 13 and concluded with an oral exit report to the School Board on February 15. The team visited 16 schools and conducted interviews with principals, central office directors, the Superintendent’s staff, School Board members, and representative community stakeholders. The focus of the QAR visit in general and the school visits in specific was on continuous improvement, including alignment from the division to the classroom level. In advance of the QAR visit, PWCS completed a rigorous self-assessment of progress toward the quality standards established by AdvancED SACS.
The accreditation process involves three ongoing components: 1) meeting high quality standards; 2) implementing a continuous process of improvement; and 3) engaging in quality assurance through internal and external review. The Division’s accreditation is for a five-year term with regular monitoring of progress and reporting occurring during the term.
“District Accreditation as conferred by the AdvancED Accreditation Commission
provides a nationally-recognized mark of quality for our School Division and all of our schools,” shared Walts. “It demonstrates to our community our commitment to excellence, our openness to external review and feedback, and our desire to be the best we can be on behalf of the students we serve.”
Dr. Mark Elgart, President/CEO of AdvancED, stated, “District Accreditation is a rigorous process that focuses the entire school system on the primary goal of creating lifelong learners. PWCS is to be commended for engaging in this process and demonstrating a commitment to continuous improvement.”
In its oral exit report, the QAR Team commended Prince William County Public Schools for the relationship of trust between the School Board and Superintendent; for shaping a culture that values diversity, equitable access for students, and encourages innovation; for leveraging technology to advance the goals and objectives of the School Division; for its commitment to effective communication that builds understanding and support among all stakeholders; for a systemic approach to improving professional practice and building teaching and leadership capacity; and for sustaining high student achievement during an era of severe economic conditions.
Parents and interested community members can learn more about the District Accreditation process atwww.advanc-ed.org
AdvancED is the parent organization for 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). NCA CASI and SACS CASI are accreditation divisions of AdvancED. Dedicated to advancing excellence in education worldwide, AdvancED provides accreditation, research, and professional services to 27,000 public and private schools and 4,500 school districts in 30 states and 65 countries.