By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – A preliminary report of the AdvancED school accreditation team recommends the district’s accreditation be renewed.
A periodic accreditation review is conducted every five years by AdvancED, formerly known as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Corinth School District has been accredited since the organization’s founding in 1919.
School district leaders, including school board members, superintendent, principals and districtwide staff, heard AdvancED’s presentation Wednesday. The five-member site visit team included two out-of-state members and three Mississippi members: Lucille Wolfrey, lead evaluator, of Florida; Dr. Becky Terry, associate lead evaluator, of Grenada; Toni Bell of Senatobia; Dr. Cindy Mize of Oxford; and Robert Nielson of Indiana.
“This is a regional and national accrediting agency that economic developers look for when considering doing business in a community to assure the school district meets high educational standards,” said Superintendent Lee Childress.
For a year or more the district has been preparing for the site visit by conducting a self-assessment. The site review team seeks to verify the reports.
During the three-day visit the evaluators talked to 129 people, including district-wide leadership, board members, the superintendent, school leadership teams, students and parents, in addition to observing in classrooms.
In addition to reassuring the district that the team would be recommending renewal of accreditation, Wolfrey identified two areas where Childress said the district will be working on improvements: formal advocacy programs for every student and literacy programs to help close the achievement gap for low-performing students.
“While we have partnerships with community agencies and some mentoring programs, we don’t have formal programs established to match every child with an adult for advocacy on their behalf and make sure no one falls through the cracks,” Childress said.
He said they also will be working to establish a community-wide literacy program to help improve language and reading arts where students are particularly vulnerable in sixth, seventh and eighth grades.
“I want to compliment the entire staff for what we’ve achieved,” he said. “It wouldn’t have happened without a collaborative effort by everyone.”