Accreditation is inextricably linked to institution and educational system improvement. All non-charter public schools in the District are fully accredited by Cognia formerly AdvancEd, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools ("SACS"). The Broward County School District is the second-largest, fully accredited, school district in the nation and Florida's first fully accredited school system since 1962.
The accreditation process asks institutions and systems to critically evaluate their vision, strategies, priorities, leadership, programs, and resources. Accreditation is designed to help educational systems boost their ongoing performance efforts for the benefit of their students. Cognia insists on a relentless pursuit of excellence – for itself and for the institutions it accredits. This ethic of excellence ensures that institutions will find rich benefits from accreditation and that parents can confidentially make informed decisions about their children’s education, knowing their child’s school is accredited. Accreditation matters because our students deserve the highest level of educational excellence possible.
Why Does Accreditation Matter?
Students benefit from their institution or educational system’s commitment to raising student performance and achievement. Students that attend an accredited institution gain greater access to federal loans, scholarships, postsecondary education and military programs.
This ethic of excellence ensures that institutions will find rich benefits from accreditation and that parents can confidently make informed decisions about their child(ren)’s education, knowing their child(ren)’s school is accredited.
The accreditation process leads teachers to critically evaluate teaching and learning with a focus for academic excellence.
For Communities and Businesses
As a result of schools exhibiting educational excellence, communities are viewed as desirable for economic growth and business expansion.
Broward County will continue to strive for excellence in education. District Accreditation, as a Quality System, has validated Broward County's outstanding accomplishments as well as recognized the efforts of every Broward County School District employee.
Standard 1: Leadership Capacity
The capacity of leadership to ensure an institution’s progress toward its stated objectives is an
essential element of organizational effectiveness. An institution’s leadership capacity includes
the fidelity and commitment to its purpose and direction, the effectiveness of governance
and leadership to enable the institution to realize its stated objectives, the ability to engage
and involve stakeholders in meaningful and productive ways, and the capacity to implement
strategies that improve learner and educator performance.
Standard 1.1: The system commits to a purpose statement that defines beliefs about teaching and learning,
including the expectations for learners.
Standard 1.2: Stakeholders collectively demonstrate actions to ensure the achievement of the system's
purpose and desired outcomes for learning.
Standard 1.3: The system engages in a continuous improvement process that produces evidence, including
measurable results of improving student learning and professional practice.
Standard 1.4: The governing authority establishes and ensures adherence to policies that are designed to
support system effectiveness.
Standard 1.5: The governing authority adheres to a code of ethics and functions within defined roles and
Standard 1.6: Leaders implement staff supervision and evaluation processes to improve professional
practice and organizational effectiveness.
Standard 1.7: Leaders implement operational processes and procedures to ensure organizational
effectiveness in support of teaching and learning.
Standard 1.8: Leaders engage stakeholders to support the achievement of the system’s purpose and
Standard 1.9: The system provides experiences that cultivate and improve leadership effectiveness.
Standard 1.10: Leaders collect and analyze a range of feedback data from multiple stakeholder groups to
inform decision-making that results in improvement.
Standard 1.11: Leaders implement a quality assurance process for its institutions to ensure system
effectiveness and consistency.
Content source: © AdvancED
Standard 2: Learning Capacity
The impact of teaching and learning is the primary expectation of every system and its institutions.
The establishment of a learning culture built on high expectations for learning, along with quality
programs and services, which include an analysis of results, are all key indicators of the system’s
impact on teaching and learning.
Standard 2.1: Learners have equitable opportunities to develop skills and achieve the content and learning
priorities established by the system.
Standard 2.2: The learning culture promotes creativity, innovation and collaborative problem-solving.
Standard 2.3: The learning culture develops learners’ attitudes, beliefs and skills needed for success.
Standard 2.4: The system has a formal structure to ensure learners develop positive relationships with and
have adults/peers that support their educational experiences.
Standard 2.5: Educators implement a curriculum that is based on high expectations and prepares learners
for their next levels.
Standard 2.6: The system implements a process to ensure the curriculum is clearly aligned to standards and
Standard 2.7: Instruction is monitored and adjusted to meet individual learners’ needs and the system’s
Standard 2.8: The system provides programs and services for learners’ educational future and career
Standard 2.9: The system implements processes to identify and address the specialized needs of learners.
Standard 2.10: Learning progress is reliably assessed and consistently and clearly communicated.
Standard 2.11: Educators gather, analyze, and use formative and summative data that lead to demonstrable
improvement of student learning.
Standard 2.12: The system implements a process to continuously assess its programs and organizational
conditions to improve student learning.
Content source: © AdvancED
Standard 3: Resource Capacity
The use and distribution of resources align and support the needs of the system and institutions
served. Systems ensure that resources are aligned with its stated purpose and direction and distributed
equitably so that the needs of the system are adequately and effectively addressed. The utilization of
resources includes support for professional learning for all staff. The system examines the allocation
and use of resources to ensure appropriate levels of funding, sustainability, and system effectiveness.
Standard 3.1: The system plans and delivers professional learning to improve the learning environment,
learner achievement, and the system’s effectiveness.
Standard 3.2: The system’s professional learning structure and expectations promote collaboration and
collegiality to improve learner performance and organizational effectiveness.
Standard 3.3: The system provides induction, mentoring, and coaching programs that ensure all staff
members have the knowledge and skills to improve student performance and organizational
Standard 3.4: The system attracts and retains qualified personnel who support the system’s purpose and
Standard 3.5: The system integrates digital resources into teaching, learning, and operations to improve
professional practice, student performance, and organizational effectiveness.
Standard 3.6: The system provides access to information resources and materials to support the curriculum,
programs, and needs of students, staff, and the system.
Standard 3.7: The system demonstrates strategic resource management that includes long-range planning
and use of resources in support of the system’s purpose and direction.
Standard 3.8: The system allocates human, material, and fiscal resources in alignment with the system’s
identified needs and priorities to improve student performance and organizational
Content source: © AdvancED
In October of 2016, we hosted a 50-member accreditation team that brought in educational experts from around the country. The team spent 3 days in Broward completing a comprehensive review of our system, interviewed over 1600 staff members and stakeholders and reviewed hundreds of our documents. The exit report announced another 5 years of accreditation and validated the quality of our school system.
The district-wide accreditation process involves the following:
- a 5 year cycle where we host an external review of our school system
- provide a mid-cycle (2 ½ year) progress report
- conduct an internal review
- complete the cycle by hosting another accreditation visit at the end of 5 years
- after each accreditation visit the visiting team leaves commendations (accomplishments) and required actions for continuous improvement.