Quality Assurance Process

The Newton County School System ensures quality assurance through internal processes in place to monitor and document improvement. In addition, NCSS utilizes the vision and mission of the system to drive decision-making and provide continuity and consistency for increasing student achievement. Quality assurance requires strong leadership as well as the resources and support to enact change and promote excellence.

NCSS monitors and documents improvement in several ways. First, NCSS utilizes a Strategic Plan to document goals and performance measures. The objective of this tool is to translate strategy into a measurement system that clearly communicates the most important targets that need to be met to achieve success. The Strategic Plan focuses on the most critical needs so that staff are positioned to easily align investments, initiatives, and actions to achieve our vision of students who graduate well-rounded and prepared for the future. Additionally, in Simbli, the board of education’s meeting tool, each board recommendation is aligned to strategic goals and a goal scorecard is generated to ensure the system’s expenditures are in-line with its strategic plan.

The strategic plan was reviewed and revised annually and as a part of the system's self-assessment for accreditation. The system established seven AdvancED committees that are chaired by system- level leaders. Each committee included system-level leaders, principals, assistant principals, teachers, students, parents and business/community representatives. The committees analyzed data and worked collaboratively to determine the progress in each area. Each school also has a process for reviewing data and establishing measurable goals. The schools utilize a school improvement plan with goals primarily focused on student achievement. Each school has the flexibility to develop their own goals based on the needs of their school. Along with guidance from the system, each school uses the school-level data to determine specific strengths and challenges as well as strategies for improvement. All plans are aligned with the district’s five year strategic plan and include strategies, timelines, persons responsible, and possible evidence.

During the 2017-2018 school year, an updated NCSS Strategic Plan was developed to include a Portrait of a Graduate which articulates our vision of what skills and competencies Newton County School System graduates should possess. The Strategic Plan was collaboratively developed and revised with the assistance of students, teachers, leaders, parents, and community partners. The 2018-2019 school year is the first year of implementation of the updated five-year plan. The strategic plan is reviewed with all stakeholders and posted on the system and school websites. Members of the Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology team visit each school to review the School Improvement Plan, monitor results, and offer support from the central office. This team consists of the Chief Academic Officer, the Directors of Elementary and Secondary Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Learning, Director of Special Education, Director of Research and Accountability, the Title Department and other members of the Executive Support Team. The Strategic and School Improvement Plans are dynamic documents as they are updated as data become available and are used to monitor progress throughout the school year. NCSS continues to be transparent by communicating results to the community using a measurable Strategic Plan that is accessible to all stakeholders.

As required by state and federal guidelines, NCSS annually submits narrative descriptors, a system profile, and system improvement plan to the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) as part of the Comprehensive Local Educational Agency Improvement Plan (CLIP). The CLIP is a large part of the Consolidated Application, which is the process used in Georgia to acquire all federal funding as well as available state funds. The development of the CLIP and completion of the Consolidated Application support quality assurance by mandating an analysis of system needs based on data; an examination of the historical demographic features of the district; and a review of curriculum, assessment, and instruction as key components of the teaching and learning process. The school system seeks input regarding the content of the CLIP from all stakeholders.

Other strategies incorporated to ensure quality assurance include the following:

  • The Strategic Plan is presented to and adopted by the members of the BOE for review and posted on the system website for stakeholder feedback.
  • Board Policies are systematically reviewed and updated as needed and required.
  • The Executive Support Team provides updates on programs and initiatives at the monthly BOE meetings.
  • Principals present their School Improvement Plan to their local School Councils.
  • System and school leaders utilize Edivate data to monitor implementation of various instructional techniques and initiatives.
  • System leadership meetings are held regularly to discuss issues, concerns, and suggestions for moving the system forward.
  • Regular meetings between the Directors of Curriculum, Instruction, Professional Learning and Principals and Assistant Principals promote a focus on results.
  • System leaders encourage collaboration and professional dialogue related to improved student achievement through a multitude of Professional Learning Communities including grade/department level meetings, instructional leadership teams, and collaboration among and between schools.
  • The system and schools communicate goals and expectations through a variety of resources: meeting agendas developed to support the Strategic Plan and School Improvement goals, School Messenger calls, monthly BOE reports developed to support the Strategic Plan goals, websites, Simbli, parent/teacher conferences, open houses, the Superintendent's Reports, PTO and School Council Meetings, Community Leader Meetings, the Superintendent's Student Advisory Council, Twitter, Facebook, and various press releases.
  • All Schools utilize benchmark and interim assessment results to monitor improvement and adjust instruction.
  • IOWA assessments are used as universal screeners in grades K-8 and pre and post assessments.
  • The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) appraises the cognitive development of students and is used in conjunction with IOWA assessments to measure student growth.
  • System leaders meet on a regular basis to review established safety and quality improvement initiatives.
  • Facility personnel routinely meet with professional engineers and code officials to ensure compliance with all laws and codes related to design and construction.
  • Safety plans are reviewed and updated throughout the year through the system Safety Committee.
  • NCSS school bus drivers participate in training and school buses are regularly inspected.
  • System leaders monitor breakfast and lunch participation rates, free and reduced lunch percentages and work to implement the wellness program and policies.
  • Inspections are completed on a regular basis by the NCSS Nutrition Staff as well as the Newton County Health Department.
  • The Chief Operations Officer facilitates Professional Learning Communities with the transportation, facilities, procurement, and school nutrition teams.
  • System and school leaders ensure that NCSS offers a comprehensive and rigorous curriculum aligned with the Georgia Standards of Excellence. There is a close alignment between the instructional process, resource selection, and the assessment process so as to ensure students are assessed on what has been taught, and that students and teachers have the necessary resources to support the teaching and learning process.
  • The school system partners with various external consultants in an effort to provide unbiased feedback connected to the performance objectives found in the NCSS Strategic Plan.
  • System leaders monitor student achievement data and work with school leaders and teachers to ensure that progress for all students continues.
  • System leaders monitor the funds spent on indirect and direct support of student learning.
  • School Leaders use the Teacher Keys Evaluation System to observe and monitor standards-based classroom instruction.
  • System Leaders use the Leader Keys Evaluation System to monitor continuous improvement.

The Newton County School System recognizes that its purpose is to contribute to the realization of the vision, mission, and motto of the school system. Quality Assurance is clearly established based on the data-driven decisions, research-based practices, and measurable benchmarks as the driving force for continued improvement.