Manila School District recommended for accreditation

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Steve Epperson from Illinois offered a presentation at the AdvanceEd exit review meeting at the Manila District. Pictured are Jason Evers, elementary principal; Dan Robbins, school board member; and Chris Ferrell, high school principal. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

The AdvanceEd team held an exit review at the end of their three day visit of the Manila School District on Wednesday afternoon. The team informed the administration and staff they would be recommending accreditation for the district.

A review team visits districts every five years to ensure the schools are maintaining the standards required to be accredited in AdvanceEd. Formerly known as North Central Association (NCA), AdvanceEd is a huge, worldwide organization with 32,000 institutions and 20 million students involved.

Team member Steve Epperson from Illinois, a retired superintendent, presented a power point presentation revealing to the Manila staff the overall findings of the team's visit. They talked with over 100 people including students, teachers, administrators, support staff, and parents during their time in Manila.

Epperson explained how the team uses 35 indicators in their process of naming a district's strengths and area of needed improvements. Three things they look at is impact teaching and learning; leadership; and use of resources.

"You are doing a good things in this district," he said.

Epperson commended the students calling them respectful. He also talked about the staff and how they support the students.

"Your state has strong grading policy," he said.

"You have a good school district," he said. "The bar is already high and we try to push it a little higher."

On the improvement area he suggested a strategic plan is crucial with the projected growth in the district and getting the community involved in a positive way.

"I have 11 grandkids and when I go into a school I ask myself if I would want my grandkids to go here, and I will say I would let all 11 of them go to Manila," Epperson said. "You have great kids and staff and working in the facility. You can go from very good to great."

Team members thanked the superintendent and complimented the district on their kids, teachers and administrators.

Other team members included Charles Lee from Rogers High School; David Spellman from Prescott, Ariz.; Brend Tash with Westside Consolidated; and Carolyn Gruby of Barton-Lexa District in Phillips County, Ark.

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