Wednesday, November 16, 2016

SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT: Colstrip Largest Nationally Accreditated School District in Montana

by Robert "Bob" Lewandowski

Administration Team members receive System Accreditation
Certificates at the November 2016 Board Meeting
Colstrip Public School District #19 is all about school improvement. Getting better is what drives this school system. There are a number of high schools and elementary schools that are nationally accredited by AdvancED in the state of Montana, but there are only four systems that have been accredited in this state and Colstrip Public School District is the largest.

What is a system? A system includes all educational levels and buildings: kindergarten through the twelfth grade. A system must work effectively together for school improvement in order to be nationally accredited. System accreditation is a measure of all schools and all of its parts including the board, administration, business department, students and community. In this case, each and every part of our district effectively contributes to the outcomes of our students and has been recognized for meeting identified national standards of excellence.

National accreditation through AdvancED has been issued to Pine Butte Elementary School, Frank Brattin Middle School, Colstrip High School and Colstrip Pubic School District #19.

With this recognition comes the confidence that students that are sent to an institution that is accredited will attend a system that meets educational standards of excellence.  Here lies a few of the reasons why national accreditation is important to our community and the students we serve in our district:
Accreditation lays the groundwork for success for schools and students. Parents have long held education as a key to their child’s preparation and success in life.  Equally, educators have known that a quality education is of the utmost importance for a child’s future. Quality and success are not mutually exclusive in the education process.  Quality and student success go hand‐in‐hand and are why many schools seek accreditation.  
 Accreditation benefits parents and students. When a school or school system achieves accreditation, parents and the community can be assured that the top priorities are: 
  • increasing student achievement 
  • providing a safe and enriching learning environment 
  • running an efficient operation   
Students benefit from accreditation as well.  Students are assured: 
  • qualified teachers who are working to improve their methods 
  • more focus on student learning 
  • better transition from grade to grade 
  • a rigorous, diverse, and sound curriculum based on quality standards 
  • a range of student activities and support services 
  • smoother transfer of credits from school to school   
  • eligibility for special programs, grants, and scholarships

These are just a few of the reasons for accreditation and the meaning it holds for students attending our school. It is with pride, and a great deal of effort, that Colstrip Public Schools can attest that they are currently the largest nationally accredited school district in Montana.

Principal Shay Grinsell receives building accreditation in behalf of PBES.
Principal Pax Haslem receives building accreditation in behalf of FBMS.
Principal Mark Ator receives building accreditation in behalf of CHS.
Superintendent Bob Lewandowski receives
System Accreditation in behalf of  Colstrip Public Schools.



"Get out in front and stay there!"

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