“Preserving Yesterday, Excelling Today, Preparing for Tomorrow” is the new vision statement for the Sloan-Hendrix School District which will establish the purpose and direction for the AdvancEd evaluation that will take place February 27-March 2. Much effort has been put forth over the past couple of months to prepare for the team of educators who will visit our campus and evaluate the educational systems in place at Sloan-Hendrix. This year, the Sloan-Hendrix school board and administration will ask to be granted District Accreditation which recognizes that increasing student achievement involves more than improving instruction. It is a result of how well all the parts of the education system – the district, the school, and the classroom – work together to meet the needs of students.

In 1991, Sloan-Hendrix Elementary School and High School received North Central Accreditation in fulfillment of a goal set by long-time superintendent, Larry Davis. In 2006, the North Central Accreditation Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), and the National Study of School Evaluation (NSSE) came together to form one strong and unified organization under the name AdvancED. It is the aim of the current Sloan-Hendrix school board and administration to continue to receive accreditation which is recognized across the United States and around the world and to gain access to the enhanced benefits of the global AdvancED community.

The AdvancED evaluation process will revolve around the review of seven standards with comprehensive statements of quality practices and conditions that research and best practice indicate are necessary for schools to achieve quality student performance and organizational effectiveness. The seven standards are: 1) Vision and Purpose; 2) Governance and Leadership; 3) Teaching and Learning; 4) Documenting and Using Results; 5) Resources and Support Systems; 6) Stakeholder Communications and Relationships; and 7) Commitment to Continuous Improvement. Each member of the Sloan-Hendrix Leadership Team was assigned an individual standard in which he or she was responsible for evaluating the corresponding indicators and impact statements. Narratives were compiled for each standard that provide an overview of the vision, leadership, instructional components, assessments, professional development, and resources available at Sloan-Hendrix. Through the accreditation process, staff members across the school system will continuously review the standards and indicators to ensure that the standards are being met and to identify areas that may need to be strengthened or improved.

Mr. Rick Tate, Sloan-Hendrix Elementary and Middle School Principal, was responsible for Standard 1: Vision and Purpose. Please read what he shared in his narrative:

• “Preserving Yesterday, Excelling Today, Preparing for Tomorrow” summarizes the philosophies that have been the basis for educating students at Sloan-Hendrix for over 110 years. Since its inception in 1899, Sloan-Hendrix has always been at the forefront of education in Northeast Arkansas. What began as a private academy has grown into a public school district with more than 700 students Pre-K through 12th grade. The faculty and staff, students, parents, and members of the community are well aware that those who have gone before us have set a high standard for excellence in education. All stakeholders of this district expect our students to be competitive today with the best schools in Arkansas. Preparing for the future is not seen as a goal, but as a necessity. Although the words of the vision – “Preserving Yesterday, Excelling Today, Preparing for Tomorrow”– have been a part of the vernacular at Sloan-Hendrix for only a short time, they have been in the heart and soul of the community for generations.

We hope that you will share in our commitment to make the Sloan-Hendrix School District a model school for rural communities. It takes many people with a shared vision to achieve success and to prepare our children for the future. We look forward to demonstrating the practices of our district to the AdvancED visiting team.