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KDE recognizes Williamstown’s accreditation accomplishment

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By Bryan Marshall

Williamstown Independent was one of seven Kentucky school districts recognized Oct. 8 for achieving voluntary system accreditation earlier this year.
Superintendent Sally Skinner, school board chair Connie Lawrence and instructional supervisor Misty Middleton were on hand in Frankfort to receive a plaque and banner for their accomplishment from Kentucky Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday and others.
“(We) were extremely proud and honored to accept this prestigious Kentucky Department of Education recognition on behalf of the district’s administration, all certified and classified staff members, students, and stakeholders who worked so hard during the AdvancEd accreditation process during the 2011–12 school year,” Skinner said.
Williamstown was joined by Boone County, Elizabethtown Independent, Graves County, Marshall County, McCracken County and Rowan County school districts.
After many hours, days and months of work, Williamstown Independent School administrators learned March 29 the district earned full accreditation.
The process, which was done through a Quality Assurance Review (QAR) by AdvancED, included a visit from a five-person team that looked over documents, interviewed teachers, staff, students and community members and evaluated the performance of the district.
District accreditation measures seven standards for quality education systems.

The standards include: vision and purpose; governance and leadership; teaching and learning; documenting and using results; resources and support systems; stakeholder communications and relationships and commitment to continuous improvement.

In rating the standards at Williamstown, the QAR team found the district to be “highly functional,” the highest rating, in governance and leadership and stakeholder communications and relationships. For the remaining five standards, the district was rated as “operational,” the second highest of the four ratings.

The school board recently approved giving any certified staff member who was employed in the 2011–12 school year an additional personal day from the board and any classified staff member $25 gift card for their role in the accreditation process.

“To receive full accreditation with commendations was the districts’ goal and with the help of all our dedicated employees, students and community stakeholders, we were able to accomplish what we set out to do,” Skinner said. “I would like to thank all those who participated for we could not have done what we did without you.”