Quality Assurance Review Report by suchenfz

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									                                       Report of the
                   Quality Assurance Review Team
                                                 for
                         Fairbury Jr-Sr High School

                                                                   Jeff Vetter, Principal




                                             Review Dates: 04/22/2008 - 04/24/2008




 AdvancED is the unified organization of the 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), and
                      National Study of School Evaluation (NSSE).
                                                                                                         Fairbury Jr-Sr High School


                       Quality Assurance Review Report
Contents

About AdvancED and NCA CASI/SACS CASI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                               3
Introduction to the Quality Assurance Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                        4
Summary of Findings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .           5
   Commendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .          5
   Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .            6
   Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     7
Standards for Accreditation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .             9
   Standard 1. Vision and Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                 9
   Standard 2. Governance and Leadership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                       10
   Standard 3. Teaching and Learning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                   11
   Standard 4. Documenting and Using Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                         12
   Standard 5. Resource and Support Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                          13
   Standard 6. Stakeholder Communications and Relationships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                                  14
   Standard 7. Commitment to Continuous Improvement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                                15
Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   17
Appendix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   18
   Quality Assurance Review Team Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                           18
   AdvancED Standards for Quality Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                      18




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                                                                      Fairbury Jr-Sr High School


    About AdvancED and NCA CASI/SACS CASI

Background. Founded in 1895, the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and
School Improvement (NCA CASI) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on
Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI) accredit public and private schools and districts in
30 states, the Navajo Nation, Latin America, and the Department of Defense Schools worldwide.

In 2006, NCA CASI, SACS CASI, and the research and development arm of the accrediting
associations, the National Study of School Evaluation, unified to form AdvancED. Dedicated to
advancing excellence in education, AdvancED provides accreditation, research, and professional
services to 23,000 schools in 65 countries, serving 15 million students.

NCA CASI and SACS CASI serve as accreditation divisions of AdvancED. Through AdvancED, NCA
CASI and SACS CASI have defined shared, research-based accreditation standards that cross state,
regional, and national boundaries. Accompanying these standards is a unified accreditation process
designed to help schools continuously improve.

The Accreditation Process. To earn and maintain accreditation from NCA CASI or SACS CASI,
schools must:

1) Meet the AdvancED Standards for Quality Schools. Schools demonstrate adherence to the seven
AdvancED standards which describe the quality practices and conditions that research and best
practice indicate are necessary for schools to achieve quality student performance and organizational
effectiveness.

2) Engage in continuous improvement. Schools implement a continuous improvement process that
articulates the vision and purpose the school is pursuing (vision); maintains a rich and current
description of students, their performance, school effectiveness, and the school community (profile);
employs goals and interventions to improve student performance (plan); and documents and uses the
results to inform what happens next (results).

3) Demonstrate quality assurance through internal and external review. Schools engage in a
planned process of ongoing internal review and self-assessment. In addition, schools host an external
quality assurance review team once every five years. The team evaluates the school's adherence to the
AdvancED quality standards, assesses the efficacy of the school's improvement process and methods
for quality assurance, and provides commendations and recommendations to help the school improve.
The team provides an oral exit report to the school and a written report detailing the team's
recommendations. The school acts on the team's recommendations and submits a progress report two
years following the review.

NCA CASI and SACS CASI accreditation engages the entire school community in a continuous process
of self-evaluation and improvement. The overall aim is to help schools be the best they can be on
behalf of the students they serve.




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                                                                          Fairbury Jr-Sr High School


   Introduction to the Quality Assurance Review

Purpose. The purpose of the Quality Assurance Review is to:

  1.   Evaluate the school's adherence to the AdvancED quality standards.
  2.   Assess the efficacy of the school's improvement process and methods for quality assurance.
  3.   Identify commendations and recommendations to improve the school.
  4.   Make an accreditation recommendation for review by the national AdvancED Accreditation
       Commission.

A key aim of the quality assurance review is to verify that the school is operating with institutional
integrity - that it is fulfilling its vision and mission for its students.

School Preparation. To prepare for the Quality Assurance Review, the school community engages in
an in-depth self assessment of each of the seven AdvancED standards. The school identifies and
describes the evidence that demonstrates that it is meeting each standard. Through this internal review,
the school examines how its systems and processes contribute to student performance and school
effectiveness.

Summary of Team Activities. The Quality Assurance Review team is led by an AdvancED certified
team chair and comprised of professionals from outside the school. The team reviews the findings of
the school's internal self-assessment, conducts interviews with representative groups of stakeholders,
reviews student performance data and other documentation provided by the school, and observes
practices and daily operations. The team engages in professional deliberations to reach consensus on
the school's adherence to the standards for accreditation. The team provides an oral exit report and
prepares a written Quality Assurance Review Team Report designed to help the school improve.

The Quality Assurance Review Team Report. Following the visit, the review team completes the
Quality Assurance Review report. After review by a nationally-trained reader, the report is submitted to
the school. The report contains commendations and recommendations for improvement.

Using the Report - Acting on the Recommendations. The school uses the report to guide its
improvement efforts. The school is held accountable for addressing the recommendations identified in
the report. The NCA CASI/SACS CASI State Office is available to assist schools in addressing the
recommendations. Two years following the Quality Assurance Review team visit, the school must
submit a progress report detailing the actions and progress the school has made on the team's
recommendations. The report is reviewed at the state and national level to ensure the school is
addressing the recommendations.

Accreditation Recommendation. The Quality Assurance Review team uses the findings from the
onsite visit to make an accreditation recommendation that is reviewed at the state level and by the
national AdvancED Accreditation Commission. Accreditation is granted by the AdvancED Accreditation
Commission and communicated to the school following action from the commission.




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                                                                       Fairbury Jr-Sr High School


                            Summary of Findings

A Quality Assurance Review Team representing the North Central Association Commission on
Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), a division of AdvancED, visited the Fairbury Jr-Sr
High School in Fairbury, Nebraska on 04/22/2008 - 04/24/2008.

During the visit, members of the Quality Assurance Review Team interviewed the Principal, 4 members
of the administrative team, 28 students, 26 parents, and 32 teachers. In addition, team members of
Board Members, Business members of community and Paraprofessionals were interviewed. The team
also reviewed documents, student performance data, and other artifacts provided by the school.
Specifically, the team examined the school's systems and processes in relation to the seven AdvancED
standards:

     Vision and Purpose
     Governance and Leadership
     Teaching and Learning
     Documenting and Using Results
     Resource and Support Systems
     Stakeholder Communications and Relationships
     Commitment to Continuous Improvement

The AdvancED standards focus on systems within a school and systematic methods of attaining high
student performance and organizational effectiveness. The power of the standards lies in the
connections and linkages between and among the standards. The Quality Assurance Review team
used the AdvancED standards to guide its review of the school, looking not only for adherence to
individual standards, but also for how the school functions as a whole and embodies the practices and
characteristics of a quality school.

Through its examination of the school's adherence to the standards, the Quality Assurance Review
team identified the following commendations and recommendations.

Commendations
The Quality Assurance Review team commends the school for the following strengths and
accomplishments. While additional strengths are noted in the detailed review of each standard that
appears later in this report, the commendations listed below are the strengths that the team believes
are most deserving of being highlighted.

     A deliberate effort to build leadership capacity among Fairbury Public Schools' staff
     members has resulted in authentic teacher leadership.

     Committee structures (known as Pilots and Posses) use selected individuals to receive
     professional development training. Once trained, the 'Pilots' share with their colleagues and help
     build and improve instructional skills and knowledge with their colleagues. The strategies within
     "L to J" and the use of graphic organizers have been the interventions used to build leadership
     capacity.



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                                                                        Fairbury Jr-Sr High School
     An empowered and effective staff has great influence on student learning, as well as providing the
     staff with an opportunity to work with peers in collaborative and professional settings.

     The overall supportive climate of the school has clearly nurtured students, staff, and
     administration.

     Students throughout the entire district, in focus groups and in individual conversations, expressed,
     "Our teachers care about us, not just our grades." Overall camaraderie among staff was
     observed in committee structures and informal settings. Trust among the administrators and
     Board of Education was expressed.

     An environment of support connecting a Board of Education to its administrators, who in turn
     support staff, who ultimately support students is critical to the healthy development of children and
     improved learning.

     Commitment to the practice and processes of continuous improvement is district-wide and
     filled with a sense of energy.

     The Fairbury Junior/Senior High School is the only NCA accredited building in the district, yet the
     administration and staff have clearly outlined processes and timelines that move all buildings and
     staff toward the improvement of student learning. Goals and action plans are articulated
     throughout the system and provide students with common vocabulary and support; in addition, the
     staff is provided with professional development that supports established goals. Student growth is
     recognized and celebrated.

     Continuous school improvement provides the structure for a constant review of teaching and
     learning practices and their effect on student achievement.



Recommendations
In addition to the commendations, the Quality Assurance Review team identified the following
recommendations for improvement. The team focused its recommendations on those areas that, if
addressed, will have the greatest impact on improving student performance and overall school
effectiveness. The school will be held accountable for making progress on each of the
recommendations noted in this section. Two years following this review, the school will be asked to
submit a progress report on these recommendations.

     Conduct a review of the current methods being used to share student achievement data
     with both students and parents. Explore changes that could be implemented to make the
     assessment data more meaningful and useful for the stakeholders.

     Staff indicated satisfaction with the online assessment system in place at Fairbury Junior/Senior
     High School, but students indicated the feedback from the assessment results are shared in a
     variety of ways. A desire for more consistency was expressed. Fairbury high school students
     have the opportunity to take a variety of tests, such as ACT, achievement tests, PLAN, but results
     are shared in a variety of ways (i.e. group settings, some face-to-face). Some parents expressed
     a lack of understanding of norm reference test scores and how to use the information from the
     scores. The current schedule for administration of the achievement testing is being examined so
     that results can be used during the school year.



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                                                                       Fairbury Jr-Sr High School
     One-on-one analysis of assessment scores with students, as well as structured feedback from the
     online results, has the potential to build relationships between staff members and individual
     students, while helping students gain a better understanding of their performance, potential, and
     growth.

     Assess the instructional practices and structure of the current block schedule model being
     used at Fairbury Junior/Senior High School.

     The block schedule model being used at Fairbury Junior/Senior High School was put into practice
     over twelve years ago with extensive professional development provided to staff. Since that time,
     staff turnover has occurred, but new teachers report the preparation and instructional updating
     has not been done formally. Community members and parents expressed a lack of support for
     the block scheduling. Teachers shared ideas regarding how they might "tweak" the structures
     and make block scheduling more effective.

     The demographics of Fairbury Public School support the concept of block scheduling, but an
     analysis of block scheduling structures could strengthen understanding of the concept among all
     stakeholders. An adjustment of practices could potentially make the system more effective for
     students, while meeting the needs of both veteran and new teachers as they teach.


Review of AdvancED Standards for Quality Schools: The team reviewed the school's adherence to
each of the AdvancED standards. The findings from this review are provided in the next section of this
report.

Next Steps
The school should:

  1. Review and discuss the findings from this report with all stakeholders.
  2. Ensure that plans are in place to embed and sustain the strengths noted in the commendations
     section to maximize their impact on the school.
  3. Develop action plans to address the recommendations made by the team. Include methods for
     monitoring progress toward the recommendations.
  4. Use the report to guide and strengthen the school's efforts to improve student performance and
     school effectiveness.
  5. Two years following the Quality Assurance Review, submit the Accreditation Progress Report
     detailing progress made toward addressing the team's recommendations. The report will be
     reviewed at the state and national level to ensure that significant progress is being made toward
     the recommendations. Lack of progress can result in a change in accreditation status.
  6. Continue to meet the AdvancED accreditation standards, submit required reports, engage in
     continuous improvement, and document results.


Resources
AdvancED offers a range of resources to support your school as it acts on the findings in this report.
The AdvancED Resource Network, available at www.advanc-ed.org/resourcenetwork, provides an
online network of peer-to-peer practices, best practices, and resources and tools designed to help
schools with their improvement efforts. Available any where, any time, the network can be queried for
information on a variety of school improvement subjects. The AdvancED Research and Development
division provides research, handbooks, and tools to assist schools with continuous improvement. In

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                                                                        Fairbury Jr-Sr High School
addition, your state office provides hands-on professional development and ongoing technical
assistance. Contact your state office for more information on the range of resources available to you.

Celebrating Accreditation
Following the visit, the Quality Assurance Review team submits an accreditation recommendation to
AdvancED for state review and for action at the national level by the AdvancED Accreditation
Commission, which confers accreditation and communicates it to the school. Upon receiving its
accreditation, the school should celebrate its achievement with the school community. The NCA CASI
logo is available through the NCA CASI website for schools to post on their website and in school
communications. Flags, door decals, diploma seals, and more can be ordered from the website to help
you share your accomplishment with your community.

Summary
The accreditation process engages the school in an ongoing journey of continuous improvement. The
next steps in this journey are to build on the strengths and address the recommendations noted in this
report. Doing so will enable the school to advance in its quest for excellence and deepen the fulfillment
of its mission for all students.




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                                                                       Fairbury Jr-Sr High School


Standards for Accreditation
The primary requirement for accreditation is that the Fairbury Jr-Sr High School demonstrates that it
meets the seven standards for accreditation. The findings of the Quality Assurance Review Team
regarding the standards for accreditation are summarized on the following pages.



Standard 1. Vision and Purpose
Standard: The school establishes and communicates a shared purpose and direction for improving
the performance of students and the effectiveness of the school.

  Description - The team noted how the school met the intent of the standard based on the
  preponderance of evidence:
     Fairbury Public Schools' vision and goals provide a focus for the administration, teachers,
     students, and stakeholders in the community. Administration and Pilot/Posse members were
     involved in the formation and implementation of the vision throughout the school system.
     Interviews with administration, teachers, students, and parents revealed a strong dedication to
     the education and well-being of the students. One student stated, “Teachers give us the best
     education we can get.” It was also noted that teachers develop “People skills, well-rounded
     students, and individualism.” Posters and signs throughout the district buildings reinforce the
     dedication the school has given to the vision.

  Strengths - The team noted the following successful practices deserving of recognition:
           The school has administrators and teachers who foster the vision by giving students the
           best education they can get in the classroom and in daily interactions with the students.
           The school’s leadership understands the profile that has been created for the school,
           students, and community. This profile information has helped develop the vision and goals
           and will systematically help revise the vision as it becomes necessary.
           Technology helps promote the vision the school has created.
           The broadness of curriculum offerings provides students with the opportunity to explore
           many facets of 'real life' as well as core content. Students are given the best opportunity
           to learn and be prepared for tomorrow.
           The school has created a “Passion about Learning.”

  Opportunities - The team offers the following opportunities for improvement for
  consideration by the school:
           Expansion of communication with stakeholders can build understanding and support of the
           vision. When a review of the vision and purpose of the high school is done, involve
           students, parents, and community members as well as staff members and administration.
           The development of a rotation plan for the Pilot/Posse committee members can assist
           current members from becoming over-burdened. Rotation of responsibility can also help
           staff members develop leadership skills and form a sense of ownership related to the
           vision, purpose, goals and learning strategies.


Finding: Fairbury Jr-Sr High School has earned the overall assessment level of "Operational" and has
met this standard for accreditation.


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                                                                        Fairbury Jr-Sr High School




Standard 2. Governance and Leadership
Standard: The school provides governance and leadership that promote student performance and
school effectiveness.

  Description - The team noted how the school met the intent of the standard based on the
  preponderance of evidence:
    Fairbury Junior/Senior High School provides governance and leadership that promotes student
    performance and school effectiveness. The school board has procedures and policies that
    provide for effective operation of the school and which allows for the administration to effectively
    lead and operate the school. The school is operated under local, state, and federal guidelines
    as outlined in the policies.


    Through the creative approach to the continuous school improvement process , called CSI, the
    administration has effectively implemented an analysis and review of student performance and
    effectiveness that fosters the process involved in a continual learning community. The
    PILOT/POSSE teams have been encouraged to become the leaders in the process with support
    and direction directly from the administration. This involvement has allowed for meaningful roles
    in the decision-making process that led to responsibility, participation, and ownership in the CSI
    process by members of the organization.


    Through the use of surveys and other data gathering methods, the leaders of the district have
    effectively reviewed the needs of the stakeholders to provide for professional growth. This
    includes, but is not limited to, in-service opportunities, workshops, and curricular and
    extracurricular activities.

  Strengths - The team noted the following successful practices deserving of recognition:
          The Fairbury Board of Education has established board and district goals that articulate the
          direction of the district.
          The Fairbury Board of Education has shown complete support in the CSI process.
          Leadership and implementation of the CSI process represents departments and grade
          levels from across the entire district.
          The building level administration has been actively involved in the CSI process, providing
          leadership to staff members within the process as well as developing other staff members
          to become leaders in the development and implementation of the total process. One
          teacher commented, “This has not been a top-down process.”
  Opportunities - The team offers the following opportunities for improvement for
  consideration by the school:
          The creation of focus groups consisting of administration, students, staff and parents could
          provide an open line of communication for fact finding and sharing of important information
          with the district superintendent.
          Opportunities for collaboration between staff members at different buildings and/or content
          areas will enhance the professional dialog and implementation of school improvement
          goals and activities.



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                                                                          Fairbury Jr-Sr High School
           Although time has been given to work on school improvement issues, creative
           opportunities for additional time to collaborate will increase the learning for staff members.


Finding: Fairbury Jr-Sr High School has earned the overall assessment level of "Operational" and has
met this standard for accreditation.



Standard 3. Teaching and Learning
Standard: The school provides research-based curriculum and instructional methods that facilitate
achievement for all students.

  Description - The team noted how the school met the intent of the standard based on the
  preponderance of evidence:
     Fairbury Junior/Senior High School exhibits a culture of teaching and learning that provides
     opportunities for all students. The district has developed and implemented curriculum aligned to
     Nebraska standards. Students feel that teachers know and care about them as individuals.
     Parents feel that teachers are educating the “whole child," not just teaching content. The school
     improvement goal is displayed prominently throughout the school. The district has piloted and
     implemented two research-based strategies to address the improvement of reading vocabulary
     and comprehension. The steering committee collected and analyzed data from STAR
     assessments, ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills), and other sources to determine the school
     improvement goal. Evidence did not support consistent use of data by other staff groups to
     monitor and guide instructional decisions or provide feedback to students. PLCs and the
     department meetings structure already in place could be used to facilitate uses of data for
     curricular and instructional choices. Block scheduling has been utilized for 12-14 years. Upon
     adoption of block scheduling, teachers were trained in the effective use of class time focusing on
     student engagement and delivery of content. Many new teachers have not had the opportunity
     to be mentored in the process. Fairbury has many wonderful academic offerings, some with
     different time and format needs. It may be time to revisit block scheduling and communicate the
     results to all parents, students and teachers.
  Strengths - The team noted the following successful practices deserving of recognition:
           The integration of the L to J process into all levels to aid vocabulary development is evident
           throughout the district. Students as well as teachers can explain the process. Both groups
           see this strategy as successful.
           Graphic organizers are also being used to aid comprehension. Artifacts are being
           collected. (There is mixed reaction on the part of teachers, parents and students as to the
           uses and effects of this strategy.)
           Technology is integrated into teaching and learning. The addition of LCD projectors has
           changed delivery in many classrooms. Clickers, (a technological tool used to instantly
           submit answers to questions), are changing the format of formative assessment. PLATO
           and Virtual High School are options for credit recovery.
           The school climate is conducive to student learning. Positive efforts have been made to
           ease transitions from one level to another.
           Dual credit courses provide great opportunities for college-bound students.

  Opportunities - The team offers the following opportunities for improvement for
  consideration by the school:


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                                                                         Fairbury Jr-Sr High School
           Develop and implement a systematic process for reviewing and analyzing student data for
           trends and issues pertinent to curriculum and instruction.
           Review block scheduling procedures and structures to determine if the current methods
           are the most effective in meeting the needs of students and staff. For example, a
           committee could examine the following areas: a.) Options for block scheduling structure,
           b.) Mentoring plans related to teaching in the block for new teachers, c.)The use of periodic
           "Walk Throughs" to document the use of class time and to assist in determining future
           needs for professional development, and d.) Communication methods to share information
           with stakeholders regarding block scheduling.


Finding: Fairbury Jr-Sr High School has earned the overall assessment level of "Operational" and has
met this standard for accreditation.



Standard 4. Documenting and Using Results
Standard: The school enacts a comprehensive assessment system that monitors and documents
performance and uses these results to improve student performance and school effectiveness.

  Description - The team noted how the school met the intent of the standard based on the
  preponderance of evidence:
     The school district has enacted a comprehensive assessment system that documents
     performance and uses the results to improve student achievement. Alignment of standards,
     curriculum, and assessments is evidenced by the Assessment Portfolio Review with the District
     Assessment Team. Through the analysis of the data, the Continuous School Improvement Team
     identified reading comprehension and vocabulary across the curriculum as the district target
     goal. Staff stated that the results of the data analysis were shared with them through committee
     meetings, emails, and staff meetings. The school district implemented Graphic Organizers and
     L to J vocabulary quizzes as interventions that will improve student performance. The staff was
     trained in the use of both the graphic organizers and L to J quizzes. Professional Learning
     Teams meet once a quarter to engage in discussion about the performance of students. Rubrics
     for the graphic organizers were developed by the learning teams to determine if the students
     were growing in their ability to use the organizers to aid them in their class work. In interviews,
     staff stated that they use student artifacts (graphic organizers and L to J quizzes) to determine if
     growth is occurring and how they can modify instruction to improve student performance.
  Strengths - The team noted the following successful practices deserving of recognition:
           Staff at all levels and subject areas have reported using the graphic organizers and L to J
           vocabulary quizzes. To use the interventions effectively, a group of teachers initially
           agreed to pilot the interventions. They were trained and then used the interventions in their
           classrooms to determine what would work and what needed to be adjusted based on grade
           level and subject area. The pilot teachers then mentored other staff members as they
           received training and began to implement the interventions with students.
           Professional learning teams, led by the pilot teachers, meet each quarter to score the
           rubrics and analyze the L to J vocabulary quiz graphs for growth in student performance.
           Teachers expressed that these meetings helped them clarify what was working and what
           practices needed to be revised. A music teacher stated, “I analyze the data from L to J
           and adjust my teaching practices.” An Economics/Geography teacher stated that the


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                                                                          Fairbury Jr-Sr High School
           vocabulary is transferring to long-term memory for the students.
           Follow-up training with the L to J process will be taking place during the summer to help
           teachers refine their understanding and implementation of the process. Students have
           also stated that they are motivated by the L to J graphs (both their individual student
           graphs and the class graphs on the walls). Students are able to observe their own growth.
  Opportunities - The team offers the following opportunities for improvement for
  consideration by the school:
           Through the professional learning teams, the district has implemented interventions to
           increase reading comprehension and vocabulary. They have focused on data concerning
           the vocabulary and graphic organizers. The team suggests that the district begin to
           analyze and monitor other data (NRT’s, ACT, STARS Assessments, classroom tests, and
           observations) to determine if the graphic organizers and L to J vocabulary quiz
           interventions are helping to increase reading comprehension.


Finding: Fairbury Jr-Sr High School has earned the overall assessment level of "Operational" and has
met this standard for accreditation.



Standard 5. Resource and Support Systems
Standard: The school has the resources and services necessary to support its vision and purpose
and to ensure achievement for all students.

  Description - The team noted how the school met the intent of the standard based on the
  preponderance of evidence:
     The school district employs teaching and support staff who are qualified and equipped to ensure
     achievement for all students. Numerous staff members reported that the school district
     administration arranged ongoing training for teachers and support personnel. Teachers indicated
     that the district administration listens and is responsive to teacher-articulated needs. Fairbury
     Public School administration encourages professional development by supporting costs for
     individual and group staff development opportunities, release time for teachers involved in
     collaborative learning, and stipends for attending training. Through district funds and community
     partners, resources are allocated to support educational programs, assistive technology, arts
     enrichment activities, and extended learning opportunities. Appropriate supports are provided for
     students with special needs, including numerous prevention programs.

  Strengths - The team noted the following successful practices deserving of recognition:
           School district staff reported that the administrative team is responsive to teacher identified
           needs for professional development.
           The implementation of district-wide instructional strategies was led by teachers.
           Teachers new to FPS are assigned a mentor.
           Collaboration with community partners enables high school students to receive tutoring at
           the FYI center.
           Technology is present and implemented in classrooms at all levels.
            High school students with verified disabilities have a range of placement opportunities to
           best meet their needs.
           The school district has implemented multiple strategies in the early childhood and primary
           grades to ensure that students moving into high school have foundational skills that will

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                                                                       Fairbury Jr-Sr High School
          equip them to succeed including: a.) Community efforts to improve Child Find, b.) A
          collaborative early childhood program which has a strong parent involvement component,
          c.) Differentiated instruction at the elementary level, and d.) Technology-based, extended -
          learning opportunities.
  Opportunities - The team offers the following opportunities for improvement for
  consideration by the school:
          Formulating and implementing a plan to rotate teachers into and out of the “Posse”
          teacher/leader group may further develop staff leadership capacity.
          Analyzing the data related to high achieving students may demonstrate a need to modify
          instruction and dedicate additional resources to meet the needs of high ability learners.


Finding: Fairbury Jr-Sr High School has earned the overall assessment level of "Highly Functional"
and has met this standard for accreditation.



Standard 6. Stakeholder Communications and Relationships
Standard: The school fosters effective communications and relationships with and among its
stakeholders.

  Description - The team noted how the school met the intent of the standard based on the
  preponderance of evidence:
     Fairbury Public Schools fosters collaboration and communicates with parents and the community
     in several ways: They have regular parent teacher conferences. They utilize technology to
     provide on-going communication for parents through PowerSchool and their web site. Each year
     they complete parent, staff, and student surveys which result in additional communication and
     identification of needs. There is an active parent advisory committee in the high school that
     meets at least four times a year and a very active PTA that has contributed as much as $10,000
     a year to provide supplemental funding for classroom needs. Each year the school communicate
     with community organizations to share information and identify mutual goals. Several times a
     year the school sponsors activities for families in improve family involvement.
  Strengths - The team noted the following successful practices deserving of recognition:
          Fairbury’s use of PowerSchool enables all parents to review their student’s educational
          progress on a regular basis, providing information that is meaningful.
          Every two years the school conducts an in-depth climate survey and utilizes shorter
          perceptual surveys more often to keep abreast of emerging needs, concerns, and trends.
          One specific example of soliciting the knowledge and skills of stakeholders is when the
          school leadership meets with the ministerial association twice a year to update each other
          and identify common goals to support the youth of the community.
          Several of the staff members are involved in community organizations on an on-going
          basis.
          The school website www.fairburyjeffs.org offers information that is meaningful to
          stakeholders including the school improvement goals and mission statement. There is a
          wealth of information covering several aspects of the school that is easy to navigate and
          understand.
          Parents stated that they feel welcome to come and visit at the school and that the growth


Quality Assurance Review Report                                                          Page 14 of 19
                                                                       Fairbury Jr-Sr High School
           of the “whole child” is the school’s priority.

  Opportunities - The team offers the following opportunities for improvement for
  consideration by the school:
           While parent teacher conferences are held on a regular basis, attendance drops off as
           students progress through the grades. It was stated that one-third to one-half of the
           parents attend regularly at the high school level. The school may want to look for ways to
           increase those numbers. One suggestion might be to offer additional information to parents
           while attending. For example, parents indicated that even though there is a great deal of
           information communicated on students' test scores, it would be helpful to have more
           information on how to interpret the various scores. It may be possible to offer hourly
           sessions on interpreting test results at the same time as parent teacher conferences, giving
           parents more incentive to attend.


Finding: Fairbury Jr-Sr High School has earned the overall assessment level of "Operational" and has
met this standard for accreditation.



Standard 7. Commitment to Continuous Improvement
Standard: The school establishes, implements, and monitors a continuous process of improvement
that focuses on student performance.

  Description - The team noted how the school met the intent of the standard based on the
  preponderance of evidence:
     The Continuous Improvement Process is “the way Fairbury Public Schools does business”.
     Strong administrative leadership guides the process, with teacher leaders assisting in its
     facilitation. The district has supported the process by providing time during the school day for
     the Continuous School Improvement (CSI) committee to meet. During this time, the committee
     analyzed data to determine the goals for the district, designed a job-embedded professional
     development plan to increase student achievement, and created a plan that provided support to
     infuse “L to J” and graphic organizer instructional strategies within each classroom. Because of
     the “across the district” mindset for implementing continuous improvement, administrators,
     teachers, and support staff are informed and knowledgeable about the process. In addition,
     building “silos” are dismantling and stakeholders are working collaboratively to meet the
     district’s goals for student achievement. The district has done an exceptional job of
     “celebrating!" From honoring the hard work of the CSI committee, to the visible success of
     students within the district (both academically and within various student organizations), it’s
     apparent that Fairbury Public Schools honors the hard work, effort and enthusiasm resulting
     from a continuous improvement process.

  Strengths - The team noted the following successful practices deserving of recognition:
           The Continuous Improvement Process is “fluid.” Whether it’s meeting monthly as a
           Continuous School Improvement (CSI) team during the school day, implementing a
           professional development plan in close alignment with the CSI goal of “increasing reading
           comprehension and vocabulary skills across the curriculum," or reflecting on teacher
           practice, continuous improvement is a “living, breathing entity."
           Learning teams are used throughout the district to analyze data generated through
           instructional strategies such as “L to J” and graphic organizers. In addition, department

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                                                                        Fairbury Jr-Sr High School
           and grade-level learning teams enable cross-curricular discussions and “across the
           district” implementation of such strategies.
           As a member of AdvancED, the district is submitting successful strategies to the “Peer to
           Peer” network. This highlights the district’s commitment to sharing “best practice” and
           networking with other districts globally.
           The district has invested considerably (financial, human, support services, etc.) in
           technology to support CSI processes. For example, the district has provided Kidspiration
           and Inspiration software and professional development to support the use of graphic
           organizers in the classroom. In addition, clickers are used for immediate feedback to the
           student (closely aligned with “L to J” implementation).
           Within the integrated visit, one example of evidence evaluating and documenting the
           effectiveness and impact of the continuous improvement process was found in the review
           of ILCD (Improving Learning for Children with Disabilities) Indicator #11, Component 2C.
           In addition, Fairbury Public Schools has prepared a correction action plan (CAP),
           implemented improvement strategies, and documented a probe of CAP.
           Also within the integrated visit, the Math Portfolio was reviewed. It was found that during
           professional development each year, assessments are revised. Even as learners
           complete assessments, staff note any issues related to the clarification and understanding
           of test directions. In addition, the district uses assessment results to determine “what
           happens next."

  Opportunities - The team offers the following opportunities for improvement for
  consideration by the school:
           Analyze the impact of implementing “L to J” and graphic organizers across the district to
           increase reading comprehension and vocabulary skills. Data has explored the use of both
           instructional strategies within the classroom and building; however, validating the
           effectiveness of each for increased student achievement (by critically examining various
           assessment results such as norm-referenced, criterion-referenced, formative, etc.) is
           needed.
           Generate a process for CSI sustainability. Currently, there is a high level of engagement
           and enthusiasm for the continuous improvement process. To maintain this, build capacity
           across the district by designing a committee structure that allows for the rotation of
           leadership and encourages active participation.


Finding: Fairbury Jr-Sr High School has earned the overall assessment level of "Operational" and has
met this standard for accreditation.




Quality Assurance Review Report                                                           Page 16 of 19
                                                                        Fairbury Jr-Sr High School


Conclusion
The commendations and recommendations in this report are designed to focus the school on those
areas that will have the greatest impact on student performance and school effectiveness. While
powerful in potential, the commendations and recommendations only have meaning when acted upon
by the school. The strength of this report lies in the school's commitment to using the findings to
continuously improve. The key is action. The school is encouraged to use the report as a call to action,
a tool to sustain momentum in the ongoing process of continuous improvement.

The team identified several recommendations for improvement that the school will need to address.
Two years following this review, the school will be required to submit a progress report summarizing its
progress toward addressing the team's recommendations.

The Quality Assurance Review Team expresses appreciation to Jeff Vetter, members of the
professional staff, students, parents and other community representatives for their hospitality
throughout the visit. The team wishes the school and its students much success in the quest for
excellence through NCA CASI accreditation with AdvancED.




Quality Assurance Review Report                                                           Page 17 of 19
                                                                       Fairbury Jr-Sr High School


Appendix

Quality Assurance Review Team Members
     Freida Lange, Chair
     Adria Bace, Team Member
     Barbara Friesth, Team Member
     Bryan Solomon, Team Member
     Donlynn Rice, Team Member
     Ellen Stokebrand, Team Member
     Jim Lukesh, Team Member
     Kurk Wiedel, Team Member
     Melody Hobson, Team Member
     Paula Mellinger, Team Member
     Rhonda Jindra, Team Member

AdvancED Standards for Quality Schools
The AdvancED Standards for Quality Schools are comprehensive statements of quality practices and
conditions that research and best practice indicate are necessary for schools to achieve quality student
performance and organizational effectiveness. As schools reach higher levels of implementation of the
standards, they will have a greater capacity to support ever-increasing student performance and
organizational effectiveness. Each of the seven standards listed below has corresponding indicators
and impact statements which can be accessed at www.advanc-ed.org.

Vision and Purpose
The school establishes and communicates a shared purpose and direction for improving the
performance of students and the effectiveness of the school.

Governance and Leadership
The school provides governance and leadership that promote student performance and school
effectiveness.

Teaching and Learning
The school provides research-based curriculum and instructional methods that facilitate achievement
for all students.

Documenting and Using Results
The school enacts a comprehensive assessment system that monitors and documents performance
and uses these results to improve student performance and school effectiveness.

Resource and Support Systems
The school has the resources and services necessary to support its vision and purpose and to ensure
achievement for all students.

Stakeholder Communications and Relationships


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                                                                     Fairbury Jr-Sr High School
The school fosters effective communications and relationships with and among its stakeholders.

Commitment to Continuous Improvement
The school establishes, implements, and monitors a continuous process of improvement that focuses
on student performance.




Quality Assurance Review Report                                                        Page 19 of 19

								
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