Tribune-Courier News Editor
All schools in the Marshall County School District have earned accreditation in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Secondary superintendent of instruction Kem Cothran said Marshall County is one of only seven districts in Kentucky to receive the award.
She described the accreditation process as a year-long self-evaluation across the district.
“We identified some areas of strength and some opportunities for growth,” Cothran said.
To qualify for accreditation, the district had to present evidence of their strengths and improvement in the growth areas. A committee of educators visited the schools and evaluated performance.
“They watched teachers in action and talked to principals, parents and students,” Cothran said. “They spent three days in January in the district and visited all of our schools.”
Cothran said the accreditation does not make the district eligible for additional funding, but is a tremendous honor. It does factor into college applications for students adding prestige to a transcript.
“It’s good for people moving to our area,” Cothran said. “When searching for a school, it shows ours are at a different level.”
Cothran said the schools needed and are now providing more mechanisms for survey and feedback from parents and students. The schools now provide more feedback, including a transition survey for students moving to middle and high schools and upon graduation.
Another deficiency the school is addressing is its district-wide curriculum and pacing guide. Cothran said a change in state standards meant the curriculum and pacing guides mandated revising.
“Some of our strengths include the dedication of the staff, from bus drivers, to custodians, and faculty to principals,” Cothran said.
“First and foremost they care about kids. From every aspect, they want students to succeed and make sure everyone has what they need.”
Cothran added the entire district, with 10 schools, has a passion for education.
“We put an emphasis on what students do when they leave us,” Cothran said. “We want them to be prepared for the real world beyond high school. To that end we have our reality store and focus on education that is important on what students will do with the rest of their lives.”