Streeter: HUSD receives re-accreditation, ‘Circle of Excellence’ award
In 2013, the Humboldt Unified School District made the decision to pursue full-system accreditation through AdvancEd. This meant that in addition to maintaining accreditation at Bradshaw Mountain High School, we decided all district schools would enter the process of accreditation.
At the time, we were only one of 11 school districts in the state of Arizona that pursued full-system accreditation. As a result, HUSD achieved the Circle of Excellence Award for our outstanding work during the process.
Fast-forward to the 2018-2019 school year where we participated in the AdvancED External Review as a requirement for re-accreditation of the entire school system. AdvancED combines the knowledge of a research institute, the skills of a management consulting firm, and the passion of a grassroots movement for educational change.
While their expertise is grounded in more than a hundred years of experience, AdvancED is more than an accrediting agency. The goal isn’t to simply certify that schools are good; their commitment is to help schools improve.
Through a comprehensive set of surveys and three days of site visits, Humboldt’s practices were benchmarked against international standards for educational excellence. In total, we welcomed six external review team members with experience in both Arizona schools and other states, providing a national lens to the process.
After the initial shock that outside observers experience once they have a full view of our limited resources, the external review team detailed their final report with the findings, themes, and trends from their review.
Suggested areas for monitoring included technology integration into instructional programs and identifying opportunities for increased administrative support and leadership development.
Neither of these came as a surprise as both are prevalent within our VISION 2020 Strategic Plan. In fact, we have worked diligently to not only increase access to instructional technology, but also to support our teachers in the integration of these resources.
Equally important were the areas acknowledged by the external review team as strengths. The hard work of our faculty and staff was affirmed as we were commended for the number of standards that “exceeded expectations” and for the dynamic culture that was witnessed across our campuses.
Humboldt Unified’s family atmosphere and the focus on student-centered decision-making was evident throughout each site visit. What came as no surprise was the praise of our Governing Board for their “exceptional leadership” in their governance role.
We are fortunate to have a committed Governing Board that focuses on students, on their own continuous improvement, and on serving in their governance role.
We are not only proud to lead the way in Arizona in full-system accreditation, we are also proud of our commitment to continuous improvement. We are very fortunate to live in a community of committed parents, teachers, administrators, community and business leaders, and students who are willing to consistently pursue a broader perspective of teaching and learning.
This commitment to continuous improvement is indicative of a forward-thinking educational community who is ready to provide the educational experiences our students deserve.