AdvancED External Team Accreditation Visit

On September 26-28, an external accreditation team visited School District 145 - Waverly as part of our accreditation process. AdvancED is the global leader in providing continuous improvement and accreditation services to over 32,000 institutions serving 20 million students worldwide. Visit the AdvancED website to learn more.

According to AdvancED: "We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts rigorous, on-site external reviews of Pre-K-12 schools and school systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential. While our expertise is grounded in more than a hundred years of work in school accreditation, AdvancED is far from a typical accrediting agency. Our goal isn’t to certify that schools are good enough. Rather, our commitment is to help schools improve. That’s why the AdvancED Standards for Quality require each school to be reviewed in a way that is appropriate to its mission and purpose.

These Standards are research-based, comprehensive quality statements that describe conditions and factors that contribute to a quality educational experience and operational effectiveness.  Our research confirms our beliefs that every school requires:

  • stable governance, management, and leadership;

  • a coherent course of study;

  • a reliable system by which to assess students’ progress;

  • instructors who have a clear understanding of what they aim to teach, how, and why; and

  • access to the resources they need."

The five-person team spent three days interviewing teachers, staff, students, administrators, school board members, and parents gathering evidence to determine district accreditation. Team members visited each school building and in addition to the interviews, they also conducted classroom observations.  

AdvancED assigned the members of the team. District-wide accreditation requires that two members of the team (including the chair) are from outside of Nebraska. Ms. Karen Flora, from Indiana, led the team. Other team members included vice-chair Ms. Kate Damgaard (Papillion-LaVista Public Schools), Dr. JoAnn Stevens (Arizona), Dr. Brad Conner (Nebraska Department of Education), and Mr. Jason Sutter (Kearney Public Schools).

They presented the "exit" report to all district staff at Waverly High School auditorium on Wednesday, September 28.  A full report will be provided to the district at a later date. The team shared many positives from their visit. 

Commendations were given for a focus on implementation of the District's Essential Student Outcomes, the use of teaming for curricular processes, having classroom environments with a strong culture of inclusion and positive reinforcement, and a student transition plan to assist students in their educational journey. It was also stated that visionary leadership permeates the system at all levels, innovation and collaboration are realized system-wide when teams are given time and permission to try new ideas, and there is a sense of community as relationships are fostered at all levels of the system and with stakeholders. Other themes included a wise use of resources, an updated technology infrastructure, well maintained and clean schools and social/emotional support programs to focus on the whole child. 

As part of any continuous improvement process, required actions will be identified as part of the written report which will be provided in the near future. Items that must be addressed over the next two years, with a follow-up report submitted to AdvancED to verify completion of these actions will be given as part of the official report. 

The Quality Assurance Review Team has determined that District 145 ‐Waverly must act on the following:
1. Define a comprehensive assessment system with multiple measures that will generate information on student achievement and progress. 

To view the report as shared by the external team, Click here. On slide #22, the overall ratings for each standard are reported. The team made the recommendation for district accreditation, which will be submitted to the Nebraska Department of Education. 

A special thanks to the school improvement teams and principals at each school. Mr. Scott Blum, Director of Learning, has provided leadership throughout this process. The accreditation process validates the educational opportunities already in place, and provides us additional direction as we continue to strive for ways to improve.