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Monday, October 26, 2015

Fort Thomas Independent Schools Achieves District Accreditation

FTM file. 
Fort Thomas Independent Schools has achieved full district accreditation from AdvancED, which accredits over 30,000 schools in 72 countries around the world. Since participation is typically voluntary, schools and districts that go through this process are most often of high quality.

October 19-21, the District hosted a five-member national external review team who interviewed over 255 stakeholders and observed firsthand the quality instruction that takes place in each school on a daily basis.

The external review team evaluates school districts based on five standards:

1.      Purpose and Direction
2.      Governance and Leadership
3.      Teaching and Assessing for Learning
4.      Resources and Support Systems
5.      Using Results for Continuous Improvement

In addition to determining if the Fort Thomas Independent School District meets international standards for accreditation, the team also validated that, as a community of professional educators, the district is committed to continuous improvement and focused on positive outcomes for students.

At the conclusion of their visit, the review team presented a preliminary exit report to the board of education. The report indicated that the Fort Thomas Independent School District is performing well above the international average for all institutions accredited by AdvancED.

The accreditation process findings are reported as an Index of Education Quality (IEQ) which illustrates progress in three categories and as an overall IEQ. In each of these categories, the review team found that Fort Thomas Independent Schools scored well above the AdvancED average. (See chart below)

Nancy Bolz, AdvancED lead reviewer, stated that the results of the review indicated that the Fort Thomas Independent School District is “indeed performing on a world-class level.”

“The District accreditation process serves as affirmation that our entire community is committed to educational excellence and focused on positive outcomes for the children of Fort Thomas,” stated Superintendent Gene Kirchner. “I want to thank all of the stakeholders who participated in this process. It truly takes a village. We will use the recommendations from the review team to focus our continuous improvement efforts.”

AdvancED is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts rigorous, on-site external reviews of PreK-12 schools and school systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential.  AdvancED was created through a 2006 merger of the PreK-12 divisions of the North Central Association (NCA) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and expanded through the 2011 acquisition of the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC).

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