Accountability Group (AG)
The governing board will create a committee called the Accountability Group (AG). The group is essential to the effective operation, management and control of the school. The Accountability Group is a committee that reports to the governing board. The AG’s primary function is to advise the governing board and to submit recommendations regarding school program effectiveness, parent satisfaction and school safety. The governing board may expand the goals of the Accountability Group.
The AG shall be made up of no less than 7 members and no more than 10. The group should include the school director, no more than 2 governing board members, parents, teachers, community members and members from the Parent Volunteer Group (PVG). When evaluating student achievement, the accountability group may gather student performance data from a variety of sources including performance on standardized tests, such as CRT, DIEBELS Next, IOWA, or NWEA, as well as regular classroom assessments and student portfolios. Student grade promotion, graduation rates, and matriculation rates provide information on student preparedness. The accountability group should also ascertain whether the school is providing extra intervention to struggling students and challenging material for advanced students.
The group will also report on the effectiveness of the strategic plan goals to assist the governing board in its determination of achieving the schools vision and mission. The group will also design surveys that are designed to measure academic progress, school safety, parent satisfaction and other criteria as the board may need. The governing board will approve all surveys and forms.
Monitoring progress on strategic plan goals and accreditation goals is also part of the AG’s purpose. In addition to the strategic plan, the school will have an improvement or accreditation plan. The Northwest Accreditation Commission accredits district secondary schools and all charter schools. Every charter school must have an accreditation plan. The charter school must submit an accreditation report on an annual basis. There are 4 accreditation levels: Approved, Advised, Warned, or Dropped. A school may be approved with comment when it is only slightly out of compliance or Provisional if it is a new school with less than three years of operation. Accreditation is determined by an evaluation of eight standards in the areas of teaching and learning, support, and school improvement.
Teaching and learning standards include: 1) mission, beliefs, and expectations for student learning; 2) curriculum; 3) instruction; and 4) assessment. Support standards include: 5) leadership and organization; 6) school services; and 7) facilities and finance. And, the school improvement standard is 8) culture of continual improvement.
The accreditation plan will include school specific goals (DRSLs) related to the accreditation indicators. Like the strategic plan goals, these accreditation goals should also be monitored with the assistance of the accountability group. The accountability group may make recommendations to the governing board regarding these goals which may include recommendations for timelines, benchmarks, performance indicators, and data sources. Once the accreditation plan is developed, the governing board should formally adopt the plan.
The board will follow up by developing and adopting policies based on any implications in the accreditation plan. The governing board may assign the accountability group with ongoing monitoring responsibilities as part of the reporting structure of the group. As a committee of the governing board, the accountability group provides summary data reports, school survey progress and summary reports, and goal progress reports directly to the governing board.
The school staff regularly distributes and manipulates data internally. Comprehensive reports are submitted to the accountability group for evaluation. The accountability group then submits summary reports to the governing board. In addition to student achievement data, accreditation data, and school survey results, the accountability group may also report on data reflecting the school’s values, data required in the charter application, or data required in the Charter Agreement. From time to time, the principal may request specific data targets from the accountability group to facilitate school improvement. In addition, the governing board may request data specifically needed for financial decision making, such as needs assessment or resource allocation data.
Depending on the goal or purpose, the accountability group may look to numerous sources to support the administration and board’s needs. In addition to student achievement data, and school accreditation goal data, the accountability group may review school climate data, demographic data, discipline and attendance records, parent involvement records, and resource acquisition records. This is not an all-inclusive list; however, each of these data points provides valuable information for decision -making.
The reporting structures for the accountability group should be established by the board and put into writing. The accountability group should be meeting regularly on its own and reporting at least quarterly to the governing board. The accountability group should provide summarized data reports, school survey progress and summary reports, as well as any written recommendations to the governing board.
The governing will formally report to the authorizer on an annual basis through state required reports and school-specific reports as indicated in the Charter Agreement. The governing board may request that the accountability group provide a year-end summary report to parents, investors, and other stakeholders in the community. In addition, the accountability group should keep minutes for all meetings and make those available to the governing board or other stakeholders.
The accountability group will regularly monitor data and progress toward goal accomplishment, the accountability group may also provide written recommendations to the governing board. These recommendations may include goals or targets for school improvement, areas where the school may benefit from a formal needs assessment process, or recommendations for the allocation of resources. The accountability group may make recommendations requesting certain resource acquisition or re-allocation in the school building in order to accomplish school goals. An example might be a recommendation to allocate funds for teacher professional development that would
support student achievement goals. A program evaluation process and accountability structure is essential.
The accountability group exists as an accountability structure to monitor and ensure academic progress, school safety, parent satisfaction, and successful attainment of goals. The primary functions of the accountability group include: evaluating the program for effectiveness, monitoring progress toward accomplishing goals, providing summary reports to the governing board, and making recommendations for school improvement. Data driven decision making should occur at all levels of the school, including the accountability group.