Dearborn Public Schools recently received a five-year accreditation from AdvancEd, which praised the district for several initiatives and recruited an administrator to speak on the District’s School Improvement Process.
A team from AdvancEd visited Dearborn Schools for three days last school year to conduct a detailed review of the District. The review included conducting hundreds of interviews with different stakeholders groups and visiting many of the District’s buildings and programs. Dearborn Public Schools is the third largest district in Michigan with 34 schools and a total of 41 programs, 2,700 staff members and a combined budget of $301 million.
AdvancEd praised the District specifically for the Student Advisory Council that provides administrators with a student perspective, for the District’s leadership development programs, and for a multi-faceted long-range planning process. The group also noted that one of the District’s strengths is providing “a culture that reflects a diverse family and embraces inclusiveness.”
Reviewers presented their initial report to the School Board in February. Accreditation was formally presented during a conference in September and is good through June 2023. At the conference, Executive Director of Student Achievement Fatme Faraj was part of a panel discussion on the School Improvement Process (SIP). Prior to being named Executive Director, Ms. Faraj was responsible for overseeing the District’s School Improvement Process. AdvancEd was impressed and highly complimentary of the self-evaluation model developed by the District and used to ensure each school is following its plan to improve instruction and meet the academic needs of students. Ms. Faraj and Superintendent Dr. Glenn Maleyko also presented on the SIP process at the AdvancEd Midwest regional conference, and Ms. Faraj will be part of a 10-member Michigan advisory board for AdvancEd.
The accreditation is through the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), which previously accredited the district. Accreditation is a voluntary method of quality assurance where schools, districts, and universities are held to rigorous standards and heightened accountability. The accreditation covers all of Dearborn Public Schools’ programs.