PARKERSBURG, W.Va. -- Wood County's school system is one step closer to becoming the first in the state to be accredited by the national AdvancED program.
An AdvancED evaluation team recommended accreditation for the school system on Wednesday following interviews and evaluations this week.
The recommendation now goes to the AdvancEd board, which is expected to make a decision in mid-January.
"To be at this point - a recommendation based on our findings - the only district in the state is commendable," Walter McClean, a member of the evaluation team, told school officials and personnel on Wednesday during a special meeting.
The AdvancED academic accountability and accreditation program has five guiding principles: purpose and direction, governance and leadership, teaching and assessing for learning, resources and support systems, and using results for continuous improvement.
Team members were impressed by the school system's Partners In Education programs, its comprehensive program to improve graduation rates and its commitment to high-quality teachers, McClean said.
The team also noted that students at all levels are well-behaved and respectful.
"It was a lot of extra hours, but it will direct the county in the future," said Tad Wilson, a member of the Wood County Board of Education.
Board member Lawrence Hasbargen said that the county has a reputation of being a leader in the state.
"We'll see how many follow us," he said.
Wood County Schools Superintendent Pat Law began working three years ago to implement the AdvancED program in the county system.
"We made our own path, but the work was yours," Law said.
McClean called Law a visionary for his work to direct the process.