Mobile County Public Schools does a “powerful” job engaging every student in his or her learning through varied instructional strategies and also in providing support systems to meet the physical, social, emotional and academic needs of all students.
That’s according to AdvancED, an accreditation agency that evaluates the performance of 34,000 public and private schools and school systems throughout the United States and in 70 countries.
AdvancED officially renewed Mobile County Public Schools’ accreditation on Wednesday, with team leader Dr. Steve Oborn praising the school system for setting high expectations for students, giving students educational choices that prepare them for their future, and providing equitable learning environments. He said the district not only makes technology available to students, but that it is evident that teachers and students are using technology in the classroom in productive ways.
“We clearly recommend you for accreditation,” Oborn told the Mobile County Board of School Commissioners and a room full of central office administrators and school principals during a special-called meeting Wednesday. “You scored above the world-wide average, and you should be proud.”
A team of 18 educators from Alabama, South Carolina, Florida and Ohio have been in Mobile since Sunday, reviewing school district policies, analyzing student and school performance data, and visiting a total of 36 randomly selected schools. They interviewed 699 people, including parents, students and educators.
The AdvancED team crafted this statement to define the work they found in Mobile County Public Schools:
“A diverse, supportive and community-based school system committed to the creation of learning opportunities for all children, energized by the notion of family and dedicated to the mission of graduating prepared and productive citizens.”
The accreditation renewal – good for five years – was part of a yearlong process through which district and school officials gathered evidence to share with AdvancED in five key areas: Purpose and Direction; Governance and Leadership; Teaching and Assessing for Learning; Resources and Support Systems; and Using Results for Continuous Improvement.
AdvancED officials left MCPSS with two improvement priorities over the next two years, which Oborn said district officials have already acknowledged they are working on:
- Engage more stakeholders in support of the system’s purpose and direction.
- Develop and implement a system-wide plan that assures that every student in every school has at least one adult to mentor him or her.
Superintendent Martha Peek said AdvancED has been a valuable resource as “36 extra eyes have been looking at us and our continuous improvement process.” She said the district will put to good use the input from AdvancED and continue to make strides.
Mobile County Public Schools was first accredited by AdvancED in 2012. Prior to that, district schools received accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which consolidated with other regional agencies to form AdvancED.