The Vernon Parish School District recently received its five-year Advance Education (AdvancED) accreditation after undergoing a rigorous evaluation process earlier this year.

Vernon Parish School Board Assistant Superintendent Mike Kay presented highlights from the district's accreditation report during a regular VPSB meeting April 9 in Leesville, Louisiana.

"Everything went extremely well," Kay said.

AdvancED is a non-profit organization that "combines the knowledge and expertise of a research institute, the skills of a management consulting firm and the passion of a grassroots movement for education change to empower Pre-K-12 schools and school systems to ensure all learners realize their full potential."

The AdvancED accreditation evaluation process focused on three areas: Leadership Capacity, Learning Capacity and Resource Capacity.

According the report, VPSB exceeded expectations in five of 11 areas in the Leadership Capacity Category--such as committing to a mission that establishes beliefs about teaching and learning, including expectations for students. It met AdvancED expectations in the remaining Leadership Capacity areas.

In the Learning Capacity domain, the report indicated that VPSD exceeded expectations in two of the 12 areas--including ensuring curriculum follows standards and best practices, and that it has opportunities to prepare students for their educational future and career planning. VPSD met expectations in four of the remaining Learning Capacity areas.

The report's Resource Capacity analysis of VPSD denoted that it met expectations in four of its eights areas. One of these areas was the district's professional learning foundation and expectations fostering collaboration and cooperation to enhance student performance and organizational effectiveness.

The accreditation report concluded by stating, "The district's capacity to continue on this path of excellence is clear and strong."

"The district demonstrated the high capacity for improvement that indicates continued success and encourages the school in all its endeavors," the report stated. "The supportive and well-managed culture which pervades every aspect of the school, in combination with effective leadership, provides the foundation upon which the school can build more focused practice and enhance the opportunity for every leaner to reach her or his maximum potential."

Fort Polk Progress Chairman Michael Reese stressed the importance of this accreditation, especially when Vernon Parish schools have such high concentrations of military-connected students. He expressed his appreciation to everyone involved in ensuring this accreditation was a success.

"Education is a key area military families look at as they move to a new duty station," Reese said. "VPSB has really taken the steps to put their minds at ease as they transition to Fort Polk. This accreditation shows the district's continued commitment to providing a quality education to its military-connected and civilian students."