ESU 10 Continuous Improvement Process  

May 04, 2015
ESU 10 is committed to innovate and evolve in order to proactively support our member school districts. Because of this commitment, ESU 10 has elected to seek a higher level of accreditation through the AdvancEd accreditation agency. Formerly known as the North Central Accreditation Agency, AdvancEd promotes standards for quality for schools and educational service agencies around the world. The AdvancEd Standards for Quality Educational Service Agencies focus on five key areas: 

Standard 1: Purpose and Direction
The agency maintains and communicates at all levels of the organization a purpose and direction for continuous improvement that commit to providing programs and services, active learning, and high expectations for professional practice as well as shared values and beliefs.

Standard 2: Governance and Leadership
The agency operates under governance and leadership that promote and support student performance and agency effectiveness.

Standard 3: Teaching and Assessing for Learning
The agency’s services and programs support the educational needs of its constituent schools/systems through meaningful professional learning experiences.

Standard 4: Resources and Support Systems
The agency provides resources, programs and services that support its purpose and direction for all constituent schools/systems.

Standard 5: Using Results for Continuous Improvement
The agency implements a comprehensive evaluation system that generates a range of data about the effectiveness of the agency and uses the results to guide continuous improvement.

The related indicators for each of the standards describe characteristics, processes, and actions of high functioning educational agencies as identified through an international body of research. ESU 10’s ongoing reflection, application, and evaluation of these standards will provide the direction to support our continuous improvement as we challenge ourselves to meet these elevated best practices.

As an applicant for AdvancEd membership candidacy, ESU 10 completed the Self-Assessment of Readiness.  This self-assessment was a reflection on the indicators of the AdvancEd Standards for Quality Educational Service Agencies. The ESU 10 Unit Improvement Team (UIT) asked all employees and Board members to participate in the self-assessment by rating the standard indicators as “meets” or “needs improvement”.  The UIT used the perceptual data collected to determine the overall rating of readiness and submitted it to the Nebraska State Accreditation office. 

This spring, ESU 10 will host an AdvancEd Readiness Visit where a team of three Nebraska accreditation office representatives will meet with Dr. Bell our agency administrator, the department directors, and Unit Improvement team to:
•   Review and discuss the completed ESU 10 Self-Assessment of Readiness
•   Provide an overview of the AdvancEd standards
•   Discuss the AdvancEd accreditation process
•   Outline next steps through determination of candidacy

Once ESU 10 is granted candidacy, we will prepare for the AdvancEd External Review that will occur during the 2015-2016 academic year. The Unit Improvement Team will lead our organization in continued self-reflection, application, and evaluation of the AdvancEd standards and indicators. We will work hard to refine the processes and structures that support our efforts to maintain and enhance our programs and services to best meet our school’s needs.

-by Kelly Clapp, Teaching and Learning Coordinator