By Chris Yow
TRUSSVILLE — Trussville City Board of Education heard the results of the recent AdvancED accreditation study at a special called meeting on Wednesday. The results were very positive, and the school system showed massive improvements in several areas.
This external review was a diagnostic process to stimulate and guide continuous improvement in the school system with a focus on teaching and learning, capacity of leadership, as well as the use of resources.
AdvancED is a global accreditation with schools in 39 states and across the world using their standards. Review team members spoke to 183 different individuals from the administration to parents and students.
The school was not only recommended for accreditation, but Dr. Kathy Reifschneider was complimentary throughout her report.
“You have hard-working administrators in this school system, your teachers are great,” she said. “High energy, a lot of student engagement in the classrooms.”
“Your students were very respectful to us. We thoroughly enjoyed spending our time with them.”
In fact, the system earned outstanding numbers on the Index of Education Quality (IEQ) standards. On a 400.00-point scale, Hewitt-Trussville scored better than 300.00 in each category.
The overall score was 319.02, with teaching and impact learning and resource utilization standards scoring a 320.00, leadership capacity scored a 316.67.
Reifschneider, the External Review Chairperson, concluded the review saying in her previous external reviews, she doesn’t recall a system scoring in the 300’s in all four categories.
Superintendent Dr. Pattie Neill said, “I am very proud of everyone in the Trussville School System. Scoring above the network average in all areas is wonderful and affirming of the wonderful practices for teaching and learning in our system. It takes everyone working together and we have that in our school system and the city of Trussville. Congratulations to our school system.”
When the process to prepare for this review began more than a year ago, however, many in the system were not pleased with what they were seeing. Beth Bruno then worked diligently with her team to ensure the best possible outcome in this process.
“We looked at it, and we didn’t like a single thing that we saw about ourselves,” Bruno said. “We all said we could do better than that, and so we got busy. You did see the fruits of our labor.”
Bruno said the team has worked so close with each other, they have learned so much about everyone.
“We have a wonderful leader in Dr. Neill,” Bruno said. “She set the stage for everything, and then the standard leaders followed.”