Sunday, October 20, 2019

Acknowledging Innovative Excellence – Iredell-Statesville Schools

As a school system, Iredell-Statesville K-12 Schools (I-SS) are committed to igniting a passion for learning and are rigorously challenging all students to achieve their academic potential. Regardless of the fact that I-SS has per-pupil operations expenditures ranked among the lowest in North Carolina, the 2008 Baldrige Award winner’s average SAT scores have drastically increased in the last 10 years. They have a strategic plan to keep moving forward, realizing high student performance, and long-term student success.

I-SS isn’t succeeding by motivating faculty and staff alone, but instead have implemented a number of research-based best practices to raise achievement and close gaps. By implementing formative assessments, essential curriculum, and collaborative teams, a learning-centered atmosphere has developed. I-SS asked themselves questions such as, What do students need to know?, How will they learn it?, and What will we do if they already know it? Quarterly performance measures are generated based on “customer” requirements and satisfaction, stakeholder requirements, how services will be provided, and how I-SS will know if the services are operating efficiently and effectively.  When student performance does not meet targets, the gap is addressed through the systematic use of a Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycle to identify and implement improvements.

Iredell-Statesville Schools has a drop-out rate of 2.36%, ranking it the 7th lowest in North Carolina. However, back in 2002, before implementing the Baldrige Criteria, I-SS had a drop-out rate of 6.5%. Its overall academic ranking in the state in 2002 was 55th; in 2010 they climbed up the ladder to 38th. They increased the number of highly qualified teachers on staff from 6% in 2002 to 11% in 2010 (As defined by No Child Left Behind). Recently, I-SS successfully opened two early college programs, in addition to receiving full accreditation as a quality school district by AdvancED.

One of North Carolina’s strategic goals for the 2011-2012 school year is that North Carolina public schools will be governed and supported by 21st century systems. I-SS has refined this further, aiming to maintain a top-10 rating as measured by the per pupil expenditure/academic performance composite. Specific, measurable goals like these are what will continue to lead organizations like Iredell-Statesville Schools to the top.
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Posted in: Baldrige

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