Manila School gets recommendation for AdvancEd accreditation

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Manila School Board and administrators met with the Quality Assurance Team Wednesday afternoon for an exit report from the review team.

Manila Superintendent Pam Castor (left) and Dr. Harold Fisher, chair for Quality Assurance Team. Dr. Fisher announced the team's recommendation for AdvancEd Accredition for the Manila School District.

Dr. Harold Fisher conducted the exit review introducing the team members and thanking the Manila staff for their hospitality and cooperation.

The team had been in Manila since Monday meeting with board members, administrators, teachers in all buildings, students and parents.

Team members included Dr. Fisher from Mississippi, director of Mississippi -- SACS CASI and retired college president; Daryl Blaxton, vice-chair, superintendent of Pocahontas; David Rutledge, high school principal at Tuckerman; Dr. Susan Copeland, administrator at the University of Memphis; Myra Graham, superintendent of East End in Bigelow near Conway.

Formerly known as the North Central Association, it is now known as AdvancEd, Advancing Excellence in Education Worldwide.

Fisher said a lot of colleges and universities will not allow scholarships for students who did not graduate from an AdvancEd accredited high school.

Manila Administrators and members of the Quality Assurance Team hear the exit review during the special called school board meeting.

Fisher went on to praise the staff for making them feel welcome at Manila High School. The District must be monitored every five years. The District must respond to the required actions within two years from the review.

The district must meet seven standards including vision and purpose, governance and leadership, teaching and learning, documenting and using results; resources and support system; stakeholder communications; and commitment to continuous improvement.

Fisher said they had talked to 161 people in the district including five board members, six administrators, 46 teachers, five support staff, 31 parents and 66 students.

Dr. Fisher presented a power point presentation at the board meeting.

He said the district is fortunate to have qualified administrators, dedicated board members, and teachers. He said there is a sense of pride throughout the district.

He commended the school for the increase in graduation rate over the last three years and the number of courses available.

Some of the challenges he discussed included the adequate and appropriate facilities, attracting and retaining highly qualified professional staff at all levels, and maintaining sufficient technology to assist teachers.

Dr. Fisher complimented the board and administrators on how well they have managed their resources.

The required actions included implementing policies and procedures and developing more effective ways to involve parents.

Dr. Fisher said the team all agreed the District should be awarded accreditation. The official report will be made available for public access in June.

Board member Tracey Reinhart, who presided at the meeting, thanked the team.

"We are proud of our administration and our teachers," Reinhart said. "Your team has made me proud to be sitting where I am sitting today."

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