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The results of the AdvancEd External Review Team’s three day audit are in and Newton County School System has been recommended for reaccreditation. Overall the district scored 312 out of 400 on the Index of Educational Quality.

“As someone who visits schools and school systems, I always ask myself this question, ‘would I send my children there?’ And I would tell you I would send my kids to the Newton County School System in a heartbeat,” said Lead Evaluator, Ray Poplus.

During his presentation at the special called board meeting, Poplus noted that the External Review Team conducted a total of 239 interviews and 62 effective learning observations. They conducted an analysis and evaluation of the impact of teaching and learning, leadership capacity, and resource utilization in the district. Poplus said the team found several powerful practices in Newton County Schools. They include the following:

  • Newton County School System has developed policies and procedures that provide clear operational direction for the effective administration and oversight of the system and its schools;
  • Newton County School System utilizes a structured process to recruit, employ, acclimate and retain staff who have the skills, knowledge, and commitment to the system’s mission and vision;
  • Newton County School System has unique partnerships with parents and other community stakeholders who support the vision and mission of the school system through meaningful participation in the education of children; and,
  • The system has made a commitment to providing technology at all levels to support, manage, train, and use technology to improve the performance of students and staff members through the implementation of instructional technology in the classrooms.


“We were told there is a relentless stride to become better,” said Poplus. “We were told that the district and the people in the district have a passion for individual learning and you also have a passion for the community you serve… that teachers care and that one of the important things about Newton County School System is that it provides good customer service not only to the public but also the staff and teachers.”

Poplus also provided the district with two required actions to make the school system even better. They are:

  • Develop and implement a rigorous, continuous program of professional learning that is aligned with the system’s vision and mission to ensure that all professional and support staff are adequately trained; and,
  • Design and implement a plan to ensure all professional and support staff members are trained to evaluate, analyze, interpret, and use data to further the mission and vision of the system.

“Based upon our findings, we recommend that Newton County School System be accredited for another cycle of five years, so congratulations,” said Poplus. “Congratulations to you for all the work and effort that you’ve put into this and for the work that you do every day on behalf of children. This is just a wholehearted recommendation here, no doubts at all.”

According to Poplus, the report will be finalized and will be submitted to the AdvancEd office and within 30 to 45 days the district will receive the final report. The district would receive official accreditation in June after the AdvancED commission meets and reviews the findings.

“I am so very proud of the hard work, dedication, and focus of the school system team,” said Samantha Fuhrey, Superintendent of Newton County Schools. “Each and every member of the Newton County School System has contributed to the recommendation for reaccreditation.  Our team has worked diligently to ensure we are on our way to being the best. I am grateful for the continued support of our parents and community partnerships.  It is through our collective efforts that our students become the primary focus of our community.  The reaccreditation process confirmed that our efforts are focused in the right area.  With the continued focused work of the employees of the school system and the support of our parents and community, our students are destined to ‘be the best.’  We are ready to face the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead!”

For more information, contact Ms. Sherri Davis-Viniard, director of public relations for Newton County Schools at