In education, accreditation is the process by which schools are recognized as having achieved established standards. For USD 113, maintaining our accreditation is extremely important. This is the standard that allows for graduates to be recognized as having achieved a certain level of proficiency as they enter the work force, post-secondary education or the military.
Kansas Education Systems Accreditation (KESA) is the Kansas accreditation model. This model is a holistic evaluation of what happens in Kansas schools. USD 113 is in the fifth year of the five-year process for accreditation. The KESA model accredits school districts, not individual schools.
On Monday, Feb. 22, USD 113 will host its end of the cycle, Outside Visitation Team (OVT) visit.
Although this visit is extremely important, my level of anxiety is low. Because of proactive work by the USD 113 District Leadership Team, assisted by Building Leadership Teams as well as the instructional staff, we are positioned to meet the standards established by the State of Kansas. We have undertaken district initiatives that complement the focus of accreditation established by the Kansas State Board of Education.
In addition to other actions to improve student performance, there are two district initiatives that we have identified as priorities to contributed to our ability to meet accreditation standards.
The Individual Plan of Study (IPS) is an individualized plan for each secondary student in the district. This academic plan provides each student with information regarding his/her strengths, career goals and direction for career exploration. This is also a tool that can increase the connection between our students and experiences with the world of work in our communities.
Another focus of the district is our Multi-Tier System of Support (MTSS). MTSS is a process to identify what we want each child to know (curriculum), to determine the skills that each child has attained (assessment), to provide early interventions when children don’t know it (instruction) and to further challenge those students who have already achieved mastery.
I am proud of the professionals providing leadership to our buildings. It is rewarding to think back on the path we have traveled and what we have accomplished. Even in the face of the adversity during this final year of accreditation, USD 113 educational staff have pushed forward with our school improvement process to best serve our students.
We want our district to undergo continuous improvement through the involvement of all stakeholders. The foundation has been established to continue to make advancements. I want to take this opportunity to thank the Board of Education for their support and vision, and I want to express deep appreciation to the District Leadership Team for their high quality work toward improving our schools.