Originally created 10/31/06

Edgefield County school district mails out surveys



EDGEFIELD, S.C. - Three questions posed to Edgefield County parents, teachers and community leaders could shape the direction of their school district during the next three years:

- What are the school district's strengths?

- What are areas that need improvement?

- Where should the district focus goals in the next three years?

The school district is sending out hundreds of surveys in the next month as part of its accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

All schools must go through an accreditation process, based on compliance with state statutes, state board of education regulations, audits and on-site visits. By seeking approval from the Southern Association, Edgefield County is going a step further.

"Districts view it as another stamp of quality that the program has not only met state's standards but SACS standards," said Dr. Elwood Lewis, the state Education Department's accreditation team leader.

The association rates schools every five years on a number of criteria, including community involvement, which is why the school district is seeking public input.

"Anyone can fill it out, but we want to have a sampling of responses from each school," said Frank Roberson, Edgefield's associate superintendent of education.

He said the surveys are something the school district should do even if it wasn't up for accreditation.

"It is a process we value tremendously," he said. "It is going above the minimum standard to involve (education) stakeholders."

Association members will begin visits to district schools next semester, and a final review of the district will come at the end of the school year.

Until the accreditation team visits schools, Edgefield County residents have the opportunity to fill out surveys and help the district focus its goals for the next few years.

"(The surveys) will let the team that is coming in know that we have a clear guide for our plans," Dr. Roberson said.

He said surveys will be completed by the end of November.

Reach Julia Sellers at (803) 648-1395, ext. 106, or julia.sellers@augustachronicle.com.

Education surveys

The Edgefield County school district wants to know what its strengths and weaknesses are and how to improve. Those interested in filling out a survey can call the district at (803) 275-4601.