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The State Board of Education (SBE) approved Achievement for All Children (AAC)–a non-profit organization based in Forest City, North Carolina–to be the Innovative School Operator for Southside Ashpole Elementary in Rowland, NC beginning in the 2018-19 academic year. Dr. Eric Hall, Superintendent for the Innovative School District (ISD), recommended AAC to be the operator at a special called meeting of the state board held via conference call on March 19. Dr. Hall reiterated that recommendation during yesterday’s state board discussions.

“I am grateful to have AAC on board to partner with the ISD. It’s been an arduous process to get to this point; that was intentional. We had to make very sure that we had the right fit for the school, students and community. That is critical to our success. Besides AAC’s strengths in the areas of instruction, and capabilities to address the specific needs of the school, their team has demonstrated throughout this process that they are highly commitment to engaging with the local community, building effective relationships with a broad network of stakeholders and being effective and responsive partners with the ISD as we work toward a common goal,” Dr. Hall emphasized.

The next step is for the SBE to contract with AAC to clarify the terms of engagement with the ISD. Board chair, Bill Cobey, expressed his support for the AAC as the operator and the selection process that was used: “This is new and challenging work for everyone and I commend Dr. Hall and his team, as well AAC’s leadership and staff for working so thoughtfully and diligently to get us to this point. I am encouraged to see the ISD get to this important next stage where what was only an idea just a short while ago is now developing into a genuinely innovative approach to improving conditions in low-performing schools. Most encouraging of all are the tremendous and, frankly, surprising inroads of support that have been built in Rowland and the inspiration and hope that the ISD brings to that community.”

Moving forward, AAC will partner with the ISD to select and hire a school leader/principal; provide a proven curriculum and instructional model; deliver coaching and talent development to school leadership and staff; align resources to support all school transformation efforts; and engage a broad network of community stakeholders. The ISD will employ the teachers and support staff at the school; monitor, assess and provide oversight of the operator to ensure compliance and progress towards school improvement; and continue to partner with the local community to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction with the students, parents and local community.