Rose School and Roseburg High School both underwent an accreditation process by AdvancED this year and exceeded expectations.
“The reason we participate in the accreditation process is to get that outside view of the work that we’re doing, that quality check, and to help us with the continuing improvement process. As a school, we’re never done growing and getting better,” Roseburg High School Principal Jill Weber said. “Being accredited allows us our credits to be recognized. So colleges recognize them and other schools do, so if we didn’t do that we wouldn’t be recognized.”
Rose School, an alternative education high school, has been operating for two years. It was able to become accredited, despite accreditors’ request for three years of data in several areas.
The school hosted its first graduation ceremony in June.
“Accreditation is great because we can say there are multiple pathways for kids and there’s not one solution that works for everybody,” Roseburg Public Schools Superintendent Jared Cordon said. “To get accreditation there’s an official recognition that you developed something that is being recognized as high quality.”
Rose School Principal Randal Olsen did not respond for comment, and a copy of the accreditation report was not available by Wednesday afternoon. Cordon said he had not seen the report yet.
Roseburg High School, which first became accredited in 1918, received an overall positive engagement review report for its five-year accreditation.
“Being a part of the school involves more than just learning in the classrooms and activities available to students; it means having a home to come back to after high school,” according to the report. “This is evidenced in interviews and conversations with the board, administration, teachers, staff, and parents.”
According to the report, the school scored a 315 on the Index of Education Quality, while the national average is 278.34-283.33.
“I feel like we have a good school and we have a lot of great things going on and I can share that story, but when someone from the outside comes in and is able to say ‘yes, you’ve got all these great things happening.’ It feels really good,” Weber said. “It’s a validation for all the hard work we’ve been doing, the staff has been doing, the kids have been doing. It validates all of that in this report.”
Roseburg High School was visited by six evaluators on April 11 and 12. The Engagement Review Team visited dozens of classrooms, interviewed students, staff and faculty, and reviewed documentation to make their report.
The high school was assessed in three different areas; leadership capacity, learning capacity and resource capacity.
Roseburg High School met or exceeded expectations in a leadership capacity, which ensures the school’s progress toward its stated objectives. AdvancED views it as an essential element of organizational effectiveness.
“The school demonstrates many strengths, and evidence of this starts with strong leadership found at every level,” according to the report. “The board, superintendent, administrative leaders, and department leaders were touted repeatedly by parents, students, teachers, and staff for the many successes of the school.”
In learning capacity, the school met expectations in seven categories and was emerging in five others.
The school’s only note of needed improvement was in resource capacity, where it was pointed out that the school needs to provide more access to information resources and materials to support the curriculum, programs and needs of students, staff, and the institution.
“Interviews with the current board, superintendent, administration, and teachers revealed that RHS was directed to stop updating textbook adoptions, which caused the curriculum to no longer be in alignment with the state standards,” according to the report.
Weber said, “It’s not something that’s a secret. We know we need it and at budget times those were things we put off for a little while.”
The school adopted a new math curriculum in 2016 and new social studies curriculum will begin in the fall. “We do have a plan,” Weber said. “Next year is science and health, and the following years ELA (English and language arts) and world language. It’s a process and it is happening.”
Roseburg High School exceeded expectations in allocating resources to align with the needs and priorities to improve student performance and organizational effectiveness.
The school was also assessed with the Effective Learning Environments Observation Tool, which is a learner-centric classroom evaluation comprised of 28 items.
“The report’s great, it’s good news for us. It gives you a sense of ‘we’re on the right track,’” Cordon said. “We’re going to cheer about it, but we won’t spend a lot of time cheering about it and start working on getting better.”
Weber said the high school’s goals are to increase attendance to 79% and increase ninth-graders on track to 90%, the five-year completion rate to 88% and on-time graduation to 80%.
The information from the report will be used to celebrate achievements, continue school-wide focus on relationships in culture and academic engagement and rigor, push more on student engagement, use improvement science and continue working on technology, career technical education and safety.
“I think it really is a very positive report and something our community should be proud of,” Weber said.