Delete this note before sending: This e-mail message should be sent approximately 2 months prior to
the visit. Items bracketed and in red require you to insert content specific to your visit.
Dear Team Members,
Thank you for agreeing to serve on the External Review Team for <insert district> in <insert city,
state> beginning on <insert start date> through <insert ending date>. You will be participating in the
AdvancED District Accreditation Process through the <based on the region in which the district
resides, insert either North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School
Improvement (NCA CASI), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation
and School Improvement (SACS CASI), or Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC)>. <Insert
either NCA CASI, SACS CASI, or NWAC> is an accreditation division within AdvancED. Your
invitation to participate in this process is based on your successful professional experience and the
contributions you will be able to make to the team and the district. I look forward to working with you
on this important activity as representatives of <insert either NCA CASI, SACS CASI, or NWAC>.
This letter provides important information related to the responsibilities and logistics of the visit.
Responsibilities of the External Review Team
The responsibilities of the review team are outlined below.
1. Represent <insert NCA CASI, SACS CASI or NWAC> during the External Review Visit.
2. Assess the district’s adherence to the AdvancED Standards and policies through review of the
district’s Self Assessment (SA), Executive Summary (ES), Assurances, Student Performance,
Stakeholder Perception Surveys, on-site interviews, school visits, and general observations.
Specifically, we will look for evidence of the district’s:
a. Adherence to the AdvancED Accreditation Standards for Quality School Systems;
b. Identification and implementation of a system-wide framework for continuous
c. Methods to monitor and maintain quality assurance across the system.
3. Identify strengths in the district’s programs and processes which are deserving of recognition as
4. Develop required actions which may help to strengthen the district’s internal systems focused
on improving teaching and learning.
5. Develop a brief exit report to be shared with district officials.
6. Prepare a written report reflective of the current capacity of the school district to meet the
expectations for accreditation and professional observations made during the External Review.
7. Make an accreditation recommendation for the Accreditation Commission.
Preparation for the Review
All of the required documents for the External Review will be made available to the entire External
Review team on the AdvancED ASSIST platform within six weeks of the review and will provide
valuable insight about the nature and operation of the school system. If you have not received the
report by <insert date >, please call me. Please study the documents carefully and make a note of any
aspects of the report about which you have questions or need additional information. You should also
visit the school district’s website at <insert district website address> to further familiarize yourself with
We will begin our work on <insert day and time> at <insert location>. The purpose of this meeting is
to provide an orientation to our responsibilities and to make any final preparations for the review. The
External Review will conclude by <insert time and date>. I am currently finalizing the detailed
schedule for the review with district officials and will forward the information to you as soon as it is
If you are planning to fly to <insert city, state of the district being visited> you should make your travel
arrangements at this time. Please contact our travel agency, Third Millennium, at 1.888.577.9708 and
ask for Erin or Bill. Your plane ticket will be charged to AdvancED however you will still be able to
receive frequent flier miles, if desired.
The school district is making hotel reservations for every member of the team. I will forward the name
and location of the hotel in the near future. < Note: the LE may choose to post lodging
arrangements on the team workspace>
Team Member Information
In preparation for the visit, I need the following information from each member of the team.
Please provide a brief response that completes each of the following statements:
My current role is (e.g. Principal of Johnson City Middle School in Johnson City, Tennessee)
Previous professional experiences include (e.g. Superintendent, high school assistant
principal, high school and middle school language arts teacher, and state department curriculum
advisor in language arts)
I have background and expertise in the following areas (indicate all that apply):
__ Purpose and Direction __ Governance & Leadership __ Teaching & Assessing for Learning
__ Resources and Support Systems __ Using Results for Continuous Improvement
Additional Contact Information:
Cell Phone Number: _____________________
Please provide the information in a reply to this e-mail by <insert date>. This information is included
in the External Review Team report and is used to make appropriate team assignments.
Team Member Training and Workspace
AdvancED has developed five training sessions for team members that offer an overview of the district
accreditation process, information about a team member’s role, and a description of activities in which
team members will be engaged both before and during the visit. These training sessions are most
helpful and provide the opportunity for team members to be prepared prior to the visit and to
complete the work of the team efficiently during the visit. The five training sessions take approximately
1 hour to complete, although a person need not complete all five in one sitting. The first responsibility
of a team member is to complete these training sessions prior to the visit. The training sessions may be
accessed through this site: www.advanced.org/teamresources Scroll down the screen until you see
“External Review Team Training” where you will find the link entitled “1. Becoming an Effective Team
Member” which leads to the five sessions.
The creation of a new electronic Team Workspace will promote an effective and efficient manner for
conducting the tasks associated with an External Review. You will receive an email that identifies a link
to access the workspace for <insert name of school system> once you have accepted the invitation to
serve on a team. The login and your specific Personal Identification Number (PIN) will be included in
the email. Please save this information because it is not possible to re-send the PIN. This workspace
provides access to district documents as well as general information about the External Review.
Moreover, a map illustrating the geographic location of the district will be posted to the workspace.
<Note: The hotel’s location will also be illustrated on the map if it was posted to the team
workspace by the LE>
On behalf of <insert NCA CASI, SACS CASI or NWAC>, let me express our gratitude and
appreciation for your willingness to contribute your time, commitment, and expertise to this process.
We are indeed fortunate to have assembled such a highly qualified and capable team for this important
and critical activity for <insert name of district>.
Please call if you have any questions about our task or about any other matter related to our visit. You
may reach me at <insert phone number> or via e-mail at <insert e-mail address>.