AdvancED recommends Continued Accreditation following review of CCS


CULLMAN – The AdvancED external review team, under the direction of Dr. James Brown, reported to the Cullman City Board of Education they would be recommending Cullman City Schools for continued accreditation after their recent review of all schools in the system. 


AdvancEd is the accrediting umbrella for Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI). A five member team arrived Sunday, April 6 and completed their work with a report to the School Board on Wednesday, April 9. The process included interviews with 13 administrators, 5 board Members, 39 teachers, 2 Support Staff, 80 students, 23 parents, and included 57 classroom observations. 


Overarching themes from the visit included the great “synergistic relationship that exists with community as evidenced by the community’s investment, engagement, and exceptional sense of pride with high expectations for continued system success.” 


Also praised was the partnership they share with the Cullman County School System in “securing the ½ cent sales tax to enhance the purpose and direction of the system,” and “the acquisition of Section 16 property to provide future financial leverages for the system.”


Cullman City Schools was also commended for the “effective classroom instruction and high expectations for all students [that have] resulted in overall high student achievement as evidenced by classroom observations, stakeholder feedback and state academic achievement.”


Dr. Griffeth shared, “We are pleased that the hard work and professional practices of our teachers and the accomplishments of our students were recognized by this team.” The School Board was recognized for consistently working well together as a unit and for their ongoing professional development that has led to the “pursuit of excellence in achieving the system’s purpose and direction.” 


The team, as required by the AdvancED protocols, provided required actions to the system to include developing and implementing a systematic and systemic plan to monitor and adjust curriculum, instruction and assessment to support student learning and inform professional practices. Also included in the required actions were the recommendations to develop, implement, and evaluate our grading, reporting practices, and student assessment system.


It was recognized that the state of Alabama is implementing new assessments this year. Stakeholders indicated a concern for anticipated growth relative to our facilities and traffic infrastructure. Of final note was the recommendation to review and update our Board Policies.


Dr. Griffeth and the Board were pleased to receive this recommendation for continued accreditation from this AdvancED Team and appreciate the efforts of all of our employees in preparing for this successful visit. Cullman City Schools is proud of this achievement and success and look forward to continued improvement through the implementation of the AdvancEd recommendations.