On SCS accreditation as district, question begs: Can merged district inherit it?

I just filed the following item for our news briefs tomorrow, on Shelby County Schools wrapping up the process to receive full district accreditation from AdvancED. It's something the suburban district has been striving for, and it had to have all of its schools aligned to meet the high standards required by AdvancED.

The question, of course, is what happens if and when SCS receives accreditation. Technically, it is the Shelby County Board of Education applying for accreditation, but the actual district that has taken all the steps and included all of its schools is in fact the suburban-only SCS. When SCS had its final work session with an all-suburban board, in September, SCS chairman David Pickler suggested that keeping accreditation might require proving all of the schools currently run by the Memphis City Schools administration are following the accreditation guidelines and meeting the AdvancED standards.

Shelby County Schools quest to receive coveted school district accreditation reaches its final stage today when officials from the internationally recognized group AdvanceED meet with administration and members of the unified Shelby County Board of Education.

AdvanceED officials have been meeting at schools and in offices around the suburban district the last two days, and at 1 p.m. Wednesday will present their report. The meeting will be held in the board auditorium on the SCS side of the Board of Education facilities at 160 South Hollywood Street.

SCS has been pursuing accreditation since before Supt. John Aitken took over in 2009, and in September filed a 125-page report on the district.

To receive accreditation as a district, SCS must prove it meets AdvanceED's benchmarks in seven key areas: 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.

SCS remains suburban-only this school year and next. It must merge with Memphis City Schools in time for the 2013-14 school year.

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As the process for merging Shelby County's schools accelerates into action, we'll provide bonus coverage here at www.MemphisNewsBlog.com, with a particular focus on the 21-member transition team and the 23-member unified school board. Comment early and often. If you have any tips or suggestions you wish to share, contact Zack McMillin at zmcmillin@commercialappeal.com or 529-2564.

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