Reviews and Accreditation
This time of the school year continues to be a very busy time for our district. Students, staff and faculty are in the process of completing the required state assessments. These state assessments are designed to provide information to the parents about their child’s current knowledge level as compared to other students in the same grade level, as well as provide details of their child’s specific strengths and weaknesses in the tested area. The final testing report provided to the district will then be reviewed in a variety of ways to help improve academic instruction for that specific student and also students as a whole. Each strength or possible weakness is reviewed and grade level staff will decide if curriculum maps will need to be revamped for the following year of instruction.
Our district administrators will soon conclude this year’s leadership training with Mrs. Judy Barber. District leaders have worked extensively this year with Mrs. Barber to create the strategic plans for the district’s implementation of the rigorous academic standards our students deserve. Each school is working to implement a six-semester plan that will align our expected outcomes and improve student outcomes. We recognize that each school may have a standard already embedded in their culture, so plans will vary by each school. However, the target goal remains; at the end of the six semesters, each school will have embedded each element of this plan.
This year Tahlequah High School contracted an External Review with AdvancED (formally North Central Association Commission of Accreditation and School Improvement). The process of earning accreditation rests on effectively demonstrating and maintaining the five standards for quality and accreditation protocol. These standards address preparing students with skills they will need for the future and the expectations for professional practice. This nationally recognized accreditation commission evaluates and compares schools, then ranks them on their professional practice. This External Review team came to our high school this past week to view compliance of the established AdvancED standards. Team members completed observations of classroom instruction and noted the levels of interaction and rigorous instruction implemented in the lesson, as well as reviewed school policies, procedures, curriculum maps, performance and demographic data, and conducted interviews with students, staff, and various stakeholders. This lengthy review, while stressful and time consuming, allowed us to showcase the talents of our students and the services we provide to help our students succeed through our vision of Tigers ROAR (Removing Obstacles, Achieving Results). We are proud of Tahlequah High School for successfully completing this review and becoming recommended by the External Review team to become AdvancED Accredited.
This past week, Tahlequah Public Schools as a District also underwent our annual review by the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s Regional Accreditation Officer (RAO). The RAO mission as stated on the state department’s website is to require schools to abide by and provide documentation to support compliance that shows we are meeting the: “…educational needs of all students, providing equitable educational opportunities, and fostering lifelong learning as they prepare to participate in a democratic society.” TPS demonstrates compliance by providing extensive documentation and information that supports the RAO’s requested lists of over 100 regulations for each school site and districtwide. We are pleased to announce that we were awarded state accreditation status with no citations.
Thank you to all students, parents, teachers, community patrons and administrators for the support and work you do to make our district successful.