District schools earn accreditation

Don Tyson School of Innovation and George Elementary School have earned the Highly Effective Schools Accreditation.

The accreditation is awarded by Solution Tree, a professional learning company. The significant achievement reflects DTSOI's commitment to reaching and maintaining the highest levels of educational quality.

"The DTSOI staff has worked tremendously hard over the past several years to learn about and effectively implement the practices of a professional learning community and the indicators of a high reliability school," said Tom Doppe, Don Tyson School of Innovation assistant principal. "This accreditation from Solution Tree validates our hard work and assures our staff and community that our school has practices in place that meet high standards for education."

The schools earned the accreditation by maintaining and growing identified areas that have the biggest impact on student learning and growth. These areas are directly aligned to the Professional Learning Communities at Work process and the High Reliability Schools framework.

PLCs are schools and districts that recognize the key to improved learning for students is ongoing, job-embedded professional learning for educators.

The complementary HRS framework serves as a long-term strategic planning tool that guides school improvement in the five key areas of safe, supportive and collaborative cultures; effective teaching in every classroom; guaranteed and viable curriculum; standards-referenced reporting; and competency-based education.

"This is very validating of the hard work that the faculty and staff do each day to provide quality learning at George Elementary,” said Justin Swope, George Elementary School principal, of receiving the accreditation. “Our Strategic Action Plan is truly an 'action plan.' The systems we have in place to teach, intervene and extend help us grow all George Giants to their full potential."

Cameron L. Rains, Solution Tree Strategic Initiatives vice president, commended the schools for achieving the designation and going the extra mile for the learners they serve.

"In order to receive Highly Effective Schools Accreditation, schools must put a laser-like focus on the things that really matter and make a difference for students," he said.

Swope thanked the district's Curriculum and Instruction team for providing strong guidance and Robyn Dawson, a Division of Elementary and Secondary Education PLC specialist, who gave critical feedback on the PLC process. He likewise thanked Roger Guevara, a DESE Educational Renewal Zone director, and the Solution Tree staff, who provided the school with guidance to align its plan with the best practices in the High Reliability Schools indicators.

"Their advice was very helpful," Swope said. "We're thankful for the help of all of these education professionals who want to see us build strong systems to support George Giants."

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