Polk County Public Schools is committed to achieving academic excellence as well as addressing the social, emotional, and physical needs of our students.
To this end, our school district is preparing to undergo a rigorous review of its schools, programs, and policies. This voluntary process — known as accreditation — helps our local school system explore our strengths and identify areas for improvement.
In 2016, PCPS first earned districtwide accreditation. Five years later, our school district is preparing to once again renew our accreditation status.
This webpage provides more information about accreditation, and how this self-evaluation process demonstrates our commitment to the school district’s mission: providing a high-quality education to every student … because our students always come first.
What is accreditation?
Accreditation is a voluntary method of quality assurance that takes place every five years. PCPS will undergo an extensive evaluation process by the Cognia Network, a global nonprofit and the world’s largest accreditation network. Our school district will be measured against nationally accepted standards for education quality. Areas of strength will be found as well as opportunities for improvement. Ultimately, this process will provide meaningful analysis to help us better support students.
Why does accreditation matter?
Educational institutions must seek innovative ways to operate more efficiently and effectively. Accreditation is designed to help educational institutions enhance their ongoing efforts to improve student and school performance. Undergoing accreditation through an organization like the Cognia Network provides valuable analysis on how our school district can operate more efficiently and effectively in the three Domains of Leadership, Learning and Resources.
What does accreditation mean for our students?
When an educational institution is accredited, our students’ diplomas have validity granting them admission into post-secondary institutions, giving them access to federal loans, scholarships, and eligibility for other post-secondary options that require students attend an accredited institution.
How do we accredit?
PCPS is already moving forward with preparations for our upcoming accreditation. We are assessing many different aspects of our educational institution and collecting data for the Cognia Network Engagement Team.
The accreditation process culminates with an independent, virtual engagement review on Feb. 14 – 16, 2022.
During this review, various stakeholders, including parents, students, teachers, administrators, school board members and many more, will participate in focus groups with the Cognia Network Engagement Team. While normally held in person, per Cognia’s request these discussions will be conducted virtually due to the ongoing pandemic.
The Engagement Team will be evaluating whether PCPS is in compliance with the Cognia Network’s performance standards.
Polk County Public Schools Accreditation Engagement Review: Feb. 14 – 16. 2022