March 2017
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From the Director's Desk

The 2016-17 school year marks my 15th year in the AdvancED Indiana Operations Office. It has been an exciting tenure, and I have been fortunate to work with some of the very best educators in the country. I have watched schools grow in their capacity to meet the needs of their students, and I have watched budding administrators grow into great leaders. I have seen classroom practices that transform students into learners, and I have watched school systems come together to align their practices so that they operate at even higher levels. I have served on hundreds of teams in Indiana, and I am so very proud of the caliber of educators with whom I have been privileged to work throughout the years. 

During those years, we have all seen many changes as the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) united with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI) to form AdvancED. We then welcomed the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) to our organization. We launched our first web platform, ASSIST™, and are now learning about the next generation platform, eProve™. We have seen changes to our process, both internally, where schools and school systems learn how to look at themselves through the lens of practices from highly effective schools, and externally, where teams focus on practices at the classroom, school and school system levels and on providing institutions with quality guidance for their continued efforts to make their institution a better place for the children they serve. 

Changes in the process continue, and I am excited about the newest iteration, the AdvancED Continuous Improvement System, which bring schools and school systems more tools and diagnostics to use, and to help even great schools get better. I also am pleased that schools will have access in 2017-18 to the eProve™ Effective Learning Environments Observation Tool® (eleot®) as part of their accreditation services. 

As I retire in May, my hope is that Indiana schools and school systems will continue to strive for excellence and always do what is best for their students. I also hope that AdvancED Indiana and the institutions we serve will continue to learn from each other. It has been a great honor for me to serve Indiana’s schools and school systems!

Best wishes,
Leslie Ballard

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