District Accreditation

  • What is the purpose of accreditation and what does it mean?

    Cognia defines accreditation as “a process of continuous school improvement through which an institution is evaluated and monitored for adherence to a set of standards in support of teaching and learning, along with organizational effectiveness. This serves two main purposes: quality assurance (a status) and quality improvement (a process).”

    “Cognia’s continuous improvement centered accreditation process uses research-based, regularly reviewed performance standards to emphasize quality and effective practices.”

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  • What are the Cognia Performance Standards, and did CCS successfully meet them?


    Cognia identifies four key characteristics critical to the success of any educational institution as:

    • Culture of Learning
    • Leadership for Learning
    • Engagement of Learning
    • Growth in Learning


    Accreditation is primarily based on the evaluation of evidence that reflects an institution’s ability to meet expectations as defined by the Cognia Performance Standards. These standards define the elements of quality that research indicates are present in an effective institution.


    CCS met or exceeded the Cognia network average in 29 out of the 30

    Performance Standards evaluated under the four key characteristics

    and proudly exceeded the network average in 26 of the standards.


    Continue reading for more information on Accreditation Status and Index of Education Quality®.

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  • How did CCS perform overall?


    CCS earned an IEQ of 350. Cognia provides the Index of Education Quality (IEQ) as a holistic measure of overall performance.









    Through the Cognia Accreditation Process, highly skilled and trained evaluators gathered first-hand evidence and information pertinent to evaluating CCS’s performance against research-based Cognia Performance Standards. Using the standards, evaluators assessed the quality of the learning environment to gain valuable insights and target improvements in teaching and learning as well as the operation of the district. A comprehensive evaluation was built and the findings compiled in a report called the Accreditation Engagement Review. The results of the Accreditation Engagement Review assist Cognia with making a final determination concerning an institution’s accreditation status.  


    CCS was awarded Accredited status by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC), and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI). The three listed regional agencies provide CCS with a highly regarded accreditation that is recognized throughout the world. This action was conferred by the Cognia Global Commission on June 27, 2024.

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  • What Noteworthy Practices were identified in the process?

    Noteworthy Practices reflect significant areas of strength in the work of the district. Although there are numerous examples of the district's level of quality, the recognition of Noteworthy Practices reflects the greatest strengths of the district.


    Noteworthy Practice #1

    Currituck County Schools’ leadership team and staff members effectively prioritize learners' well-being by integrating it into their core principles and practices and fostering a supportive environment for all students. By integrating well-being into core principles and practices, the leadership team and staff at CCS demonstrate their commitment to fostering a positive school culture where all stakeholders feel valued, supported, and safe, thereby enhancing academic achievement, promoting student engagement, and ensuring a sense of belonging throughout the school community.


    Noteworthy Practice #2

    Currituck County Schools' leaders model and promote a collaborative continuous improvement process among professional staff, cultivating collective leadership to address learners' needs and enhance their educational experiences. By fostering a collaborative continuous improvement process among professional staff, Currituck County Schools' leaders ensure that educators are equipped with the tools and support necessary to address learners' needs effectively, which enhances the educational experiences of students, promotes their academic growth, and contributes to the overall success of the school district.

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  • What Areas for Improvement were identified in the process?

    Based on information collected and reviewed during the process, two areas for improvement were identified. These areas, which already have evidence supporting them in current CCS practice, will be a focus for CCS's ongoing continuous improvement process efforts as we look to strengthen these areas district-wide. The Areas for Improvement will be revisited when the district conducts Cognia's Progress Report.


    Area for Improvement #1

    Develop and implement a comprehensive professional development program focused on data analysis to inform instructional decisions.


    Area for Improvement #2

    Establish and implement systemic processes that promote student voice, responsibility for learning, and collaboration.

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