Local News

Omak School District achieves AdvancED accreditation

Feb 10, 2017

After months of self-studies and a three-day site visit from an external review team, the Omak School District has been recommended for accreditation through the international AdvancED program.

The Omak School Board was given a presentation by the review team on Feb. 8, sharing some of the strengths of the district, areas that need work, overall scores and finally the recommendation to accredit the district.

Review chairwoman Julia Williams likened AdvancED to the “NFL” of accreditation programs – that it is a very hard league to get into compared to others.

"This little, beautiful district is in the right league,” Williams said.

Some of the areas for improvement included developing and implementing a district-wide assessment that aligned to the district’s goals, whether that was a state assessment or not. And once that was done, bring findings to the classroom to adjust curriculum and teaching as needed.

It was also suggested that the district develop a program for on-going professional development for all staff, including non-certified staff. A final suggestion was to coordinate support services across the district to increase engagement among the student population.

Some of the strengths noted were in the way leadership manages, but doesn’t micro-manage, specifically in reference to the school board. Williams said that was very rare, and that the district scored higher than the average throughout the AdvancED network.

A strength widely applauded throughout the room was that students believed that they had an adult at school to advocate for them. Williams said the team interviewed 60 students, asking them to tell them a staff member “who’s got your back.” Williams said every student gave a name, and that very rarely is the case when review teams come in.

That aligns well with the district’s overall mission of “creating a future for every child.”

The district was also given kudos for the strategic planning work done in recent years, as well as providing resources to meet needs for education. It’s score for technology use in the classroom was also above average.

Although the district has things to work on, AdvancED “makes sure there is always room to get better,” Williams said. “We are proud to recommend Omak School District for accreditation.”

Omak High School, Omak WAVA and Paschal Sherman Indian School had already been accredited through AdvancED. Omak is the second district in the state to align the entire district to AdvancED standards.

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