Oconee County Schools

S T U D Y : Effective Evaluations
Oconee County Schools
The Oconee County School System uses eBOARD to help manage their unique governance
structure to assess and evaluate their system to maintain accreditation and accountability.
Oconee County Schools
# of Students: 6,437
# of Schools: 10
How does a school
system effectively manage and provide each
school’s governance
team with effective and
efficient tools to excel in
its work?
The district, including
each school, uses
eBOARD to manage its
own governance
meetings and internal
staff meetings, as well as
local school improvement
plans and communication. Policies are managed at the district level.
conee County, Georgia is neatly
located in the central northern section of
the state and within close proximity to the
University of Georgia.
This rural county with a population of a
over 33K is know for its strong sense of
community and rich agricultural lands.
Oconee proudly touts the designation of,
“The Best Place to Live… Raise a Family,”
given by the Progressive Farmer Magazine three times from 2006-2009.
The county believes that an educated approach to economic development is essential to a successful place to live and work.
Education is a key component to the way
of life in Oconee. In a school system with
a student population of nearly 7,000 and
ten bustling schools, current Superintendent, Dr. Jason Branch is laser focused
on, “Sustained Excellence and Continuous
Improvement.” Oconee Schools takes
pride in their 91.5% graduation rate for
the 2011 cohort.
This graduation rate has garnered support from the community, which has
created involvement and collaboration
throughout. The pride in their educational
system ranges from organizations such as
the Chamber of Commerce to the County
Commission and business and industry.
As recognized by Oconee it takes a village to raise and educate their youth.
The Governance Team Self-Assessment,
which is based upon the Georgia State
Board of Education Standards for Effective Governance, provides the board and
superintendent a status review on the
implementation of identified best governance practices.
Oconee’s governance team, consisting
of the board and the Superintendent
conducted their Governance Team SelfAssessment through the eBOARD Evaluation Module. They provided evidence
to support each of the Standards and
created an Action Plan for next steps.
Oconee utilized best practices by aligning
the eBOARD Meetings Module and Policy
Modules data to the actual instrument.
In 2013 Oconee conducted the system’s
accreditation using the eBOARD Evaluation Module as well. Through unique and
innovative thinking the Oconee School
Board tied their use of eBOARD using
each module to align the work of the
district to meet the standards of accreditation.
S T U D Y : Effective Evaluations
OCS Quick Facts
Awarded America’s
Most Challenging High
Schools: Oconee High
School & North Oconee
High School
GaDOE Top Mid-Size
District for Title I Student
Oconee County Schools
Awarded Re-Accreditation 2013
2013 eBOARD Awards
for the Best Use of the
Evaluation Module
2012 Title I Distinguished
Schools Award
2011 AP District Honor
2011 Pacesetter Award
for Special Achievement
Oconee realized the full potential and
capabilities of eBOARD specifically within
the Evaluation Module. By tying each
district and school self-assessment to the
module they were able to create a climate
of transparency and accountability. It
is important to develop a cycle of continuous improvement and evaluate that
progress on a consistent basis.
The school system was able to align all
of their work to the standards of the accrediting agency and hold the schools
and personnel accountable for sustained
The Oconee School Board demonstrated
the leadership necessary to know how
to manage expectation, address gaps or
issues and to create transparency and accountability within the system to improve
student achievement.
ABOVE: Representatives from the Oconee School
Board accept the award for Best Use of the
eBOARD Evaluation Module.
BELOW: Oconee School Board, from left to right,
Tom Odom, Mark Thomas, Mike Burnette, Jason
Branch, Kim Argo & Wayne Bagley
Oconee County Schools has taken full advantage of the entire suite of modules that
eBOARD offers. Oconee has been able
to effectively implement each with success,
support and control. This school district
through its forward thinking and strive for
technology has stremlined their work to
focus on their most important issues.
The Oconee County School Board uses
eBOARD to streamline their governance
and accountability to produce a high
quality education for students.
“eBOARD is essential to the management of the school system in
order to ensure we are effective, transparent and accountable to
the people who matter most... our students.”
Dr. Jason Branch, Superintendent, Oconee County Schools
S T U D Y : Effective Evaluations
Oconee County Schools was asked to answer four questions for their submission for the 2013
eBOARD Awards of Excellence Program. Here are their answers.
How does eBOARD help your district with transparency and
Strategic Plan
Communications 80
Overall Score
# of Meeting Type
managed: 16
# of Strategic System
Improvement Plan: 1
Used eBOARD to
Manage Governance
Team Self-Assessment:
Used eBOARD to
organize for
accreditation: YES
Used eBOARD to
manage Evaluation
“Feedback”: YES
Oconee County Schools is currently utilizing the Meeting, Policy, Strategic Plan
Module, document, news, performance, resources, calendar and the evaluation
modules. The Oconee County Board of Education and Superintendent are committed
to being transparent about the decision-making that occurs at the governance level.
Therefore, the Meeting Module is utilized for all Board of Education meetings and the
members of the Executive Cabinet post all supporting documents for items of information and action items on eBOARD. Additionally, the minutes are posted on eBOARD
in an effort to communicate with stakeholders about governance decisions. The school
system posts all board policies and regulations on eBOARD in order to ensure all staff
and stakeholders have access to the rules that govern the system. Oconee County
Schools completed a district SACS/AdvancED review this year. The system and each
of the schools utilized the eBOARD Evaluation Module to communicate the results of
the self-assessment and share the artifacts with the community. The eBOARD modules
provide multiple layers of transparency and accountability.
How does eBOARD help your district align your work
(plans, meetings, and policies)?
eBOARD provides the system with the perfect tool to ensure that all of our work is
aligned. For example, the system was able to link policies, meetings, and the system
improvement plan to the SACS/AdvancED standards and indicators in preparation for
the external review. The External Review Team was very impressed with the accessibility of information as well as the alignment of the work.
How does eBOARD provide cost savings and efficiency to your organization?
The system uses the eBOARD meeting module for Board of Education and system meetings. The system saves a significant amount of money in copying materials due to the
fact that the agendas and supporting documents are all posted prior to the meeting.
Additionally, the electronic platform of the meeting module saves system personnel time
that would normally be spent making copies for meetings.
What advice can you give other school systems wanting to maximize their use of
We highly recommend that school systems spend time visiting other systems'
eBOARD site to see how they are utilizing the tool. I also encourage system leaders to
partici-pate in the eBOARD User Conference to learn from other eBOARD users.
The mission of eBOARDsolutions is to promote excellence in governance and leadership by providing
innovative technology and services. www.eboardsolutions.com
5120 Sugarloaf Parkway
Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043
Phone (770) 822-3645
Toll Free: (877) 404-7707
Fax (770) 962-5392