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    Friday, December 14, 2018-11:13:08A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Review team: PSS has made significant improvements

THE Public School System has made significant and important improvements, according to AdvanceED mentor-lead evaluator Agnes Smith.

A 10-member review team from AdvancED, a non-profit organization that accredits primary and secondary schools in the U.S. and other countries, visited the CNMI to evaluate PSS.

She said the last time an AdvancED evaluation team visited was five years ago.

“We have noticed that some facilities have been upgraded as more funding has become available,” Smith said in an interview.

She said the review team also took note of the use of new technology in the classrooms.

She added that PSS has implemented a very clear system of testing children to determine exactly their level of proficiency. “They have been collecting data and analyzing that data. Those are significant and important improvements on the part of  PSS.”

Interim Education Commissioner Glenn Muna said the review team was impressed with what they saw in the classrooms. “They were also impressed with the school system’s partnership with the community, stakeholders, the Legislature, the Board of Education,  and businesses, along with our teachers and staff.”

The AdvancED review team poses with education and other officials, principals and teachers in the new cafeteria of Marianas High School.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. LirioThe AdvancED review team poses with education and other officials, principals and teachers in the new cafeteria of Marianas High School. Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

He added, “There is evidence of growth compared to the review team’s last visit, and they commended us on that.”

But Smith also reminded PSS to work on “differentiated instruction” and make sure the system meets the needs of all students.

In addition, she said PSS must evaluate the effectiveness of  professional development to ensure it improves instructional delivery and increases rigor. There is also a need to improve the system leadership in conjunction with legislative support for fiscal resources to attract and retain personnel who support the system’s goals, Smith said.

Muna said PSS is already working on these recommendations.

In the past, Muna said the review team did not visit all schools. “Now, it is a system-wide accreditation. All schools are visited. Whatever findings, commendations and recommendations they have are all consolidated into one —  how the school district supports learning, how it supports schools and provides education to students.”

He said when they were first evaluated in 2013, the review team  had six recommendations. “We have addressed all six, and today they leave with four recommendations. We are very pleased with the results.”

He added, “We want to continue to get better. Things are changing, and we have to be on top of those changes.”

Kagman High School principal Leila Staffler said the results of the AdvanceED’s review are an acknowledgement of their hard work.