New Accreditation Status

At the culmination of the 2021-2022 school year, USD 480 reached the end of its KESA 5-Year Accreditation cycle. The Kansas State Board of Education voted on July 12, 2022, to approve the recommendation from the Accreditation Review Council and grant USD 480 the status of “Conditionally Accredited.”

Beginning in August, USD 480 will begin a new 5-year Accreditation cycle under the “Conditional Accreditation” status from the Kansas State Department of Education. The State Board of Education requires each school district to be assigned an accreditation status based upon the extent to which it has met the criteria established by the State Board of Education.

The “Conditional Accreditation” status means USD 480 remains in good standing with the Kansas Board of Education and either did not provide conclusive evidence of growth in student performance or was not able to provide conclusive evidence of an intentional, quality growth process. 

“An accreditation process like KESA provides an external review of the school district. The information helps us assess where we need to focus our efforts and resources as we move forward,” said Dr. Todd Carter, superintendent.

According to the KSDE website, KESA is the K-12 accrediting model for Kansas, dedicated to creating systemic change in school districts by reaching goals in five areas: social-emotional factors measured locally, kindergarten readiness, individual plans of study, high school graduation and postsecondary success. The process encourages redesigning school systems for continuous improvement.

Based on the KSDE Accreditation Review Council report, USD 480 assuredly demonstrated significant gains in meeting the expectations of the Kansas Vision for Education and State Board Outcomes. The recommendation for conditional accreditation was because of an increase in chronic absenteeism and a decline in state assessment scores. Read USD 480’s full Accreditation Summary here.

“We received valuable feedback during our accreditation cycle and have used it to make adjustments as well as plan for the next five-year cycle,” Carter said.

USD 480’s Outside Visitation Team wrote the following, “the OVT feels that USD 480 has put a process for school improvement in place that connects the building and district goals. The district plan seems well-conceived and is not dependent on people [at the district office] to ensure success – the goals are embedded into each school. It is expected that continued improvement will be seen during the next cycle.” Read the full report from the USD 480 Outside Visitation Team here.

“I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the input from the community, parents, students, and USD 480 employees on the direction for the district,” Carter said. “The input is being used to guide our district improvement efforts for the next five years. We are looking forward to working together as we start the 2022-2023 school year.”

USD 480’s accreditation status will be reviewed again at the end of the 2022-2023 school year. At that time, USD 480 will be required to show how the district has addressed chronic absenteeism and state assessment scores as well as continued improvement in the State Board Outcomes.