Officials with Bexley City Schools received good news as representatives from the international accreditation organization AdvancED departed the district last week.

AdvancED lead evaluator Mike Bugenski presented his team's exit report as the organization concluded a three-day visit and confirmed the district will receive accreditation on the basis of the site visit, according to a press release from the district.

AdvancED is the largest education accreditation agency in the world, serving 32,000 institutions and 20 million students worldwide. "Accreditation ... builds capacity of the system and its schools to increase and sustain student learning; stimulates and improves effectiveness and efficiency throughout the system," Bugenski's report stated.

Bugenski's report praised Bexley's "superb fiscal management" and the "extraordinary" Bexley Education Foundation; focus on achievement and the "whole child"; personal approach of teachers and building of nurturing relationships; and the continued focus on the arts and music, according to the release.

Bexley is one of three Ohio districts with full system accreditation, the release stated.

The report specifically commended Bexley's use of best practices, giving it the highest level of recognition of "Powerful Practice."

Noting that the AdvancED team gave Bexley Schools higher marks than the district gave itself, Bugenski listed some opportunities for improvement, several of which are already underway, the release stated. These items include expanding the teacher mentor program, updating the strategic plan, creating a long-range technology plan and accomplishing more differentiation of instruction to meet the needs of all learners.

A committee of district educators worked throughout the past four years to lead the district's self-study in preparation for the accreditation review. Members included Jana Clarke, Katie Langolf and Dr. Jeanette Kuder from Cassingham; Char Reggie and Christina Williams from Montrose; Melanie Newman and Rachel Niswander from Maryland; Cliff Mason and Nate Maier, Bexley Middle School; and Dr. Scott King-Owen, Bexley High School.

The AdvancED evaluators toured and observed classrooms in all five district schools and spoke with 142 people, including district administrators, teachers, students and parents, during the visit. In producing their report, they also reviewed the responses to a Stakeholder Survey answered by 518 parents/guardians, 174 staffers and 966 students in grades 3-12.

The district expects the full AdvancED report within four to six weeks.

For more information contact Amy Thompson, public information coordinator, at 614-352-7461 or KeyCommunicator@BexleySchools.org.