Bennington External Review Results

Bennington External Review Results
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Bennington Public Schools recently underwent an external review with Cognia.  The external Accreditation Engagement Review looks to evaluate the current performance of a school district and continue to provide accreditation for those districts. On April 28th, the final report was submitted to the Superintendent detailing the findings from hundreds of pages of evidence in support of 31 standards with five key concepts each, 116 Zoom interviews, an Executive Summary of the District, and an internal analysis of our current performance.BPS is proud to share that our IEQ was 321.13. This places our institution at the Impact level and well above the average range of 278.34 – 283.33 for all Cognia Improvement Network (CIN) institutions evaluated for accreditation in the last five years.

An Index of Educational Quality (IEQ), which comprises the Standards Diagnostic ratings from the three Domains: Leadership Capacity, Learning Capacity, and Resource Capacity, was provided. The IEQ results are reported on a scale of 100 to 400 and provide information about how the institution is performing compared to expected criteria. The criteria are categorized into the performance levels: initiate, improve, and impact. 

An IEQ score below 250 indicates that the institution has several areas within the Initiate level and should focus improvement efforts on those Standards within that level. An IEQ in the range of 225–300 indicates that the institution has several Standards within the Improve level and is using results to inform continuous improvement and demonstrate sustainability. An IEQ of 275 and above shows the institution is beginning to reach the Impact level and is engaged in practices that are sustained over time and are becoming ingrained in the culture of the institution.

These excellent results do not mean our work as a District is complete. Improvement is a continuous process as we strive for continued excellence. As the Engagement Review Team evaluated our system they identified themes of strength and growth opportunities to guide our next steps in the improvement journey.  The themes were as follows:


  • BPS embodies a collaborative system where the involvement of stakeholders is valued and embedded into the district, prioritizing students' growth, and excellence.

  • The leadership of BPS effectively engages each stakeholder's unique capacity.

  • Throughout BPS, the organizational leadership provides an effective foundation as the district grows and focuses on continuous systemic improvement.




Opportunities for Improvement 

  • A review of crucial concept ratings indicated that BPS is building a data culture that collects data from multiple sources; a process to analyze longitudinal data, inform instruction, and guide improvement throughout the district is emerging. The team recommended building a data culture within a process to analyze data for continuous improvement with actionable feedback. The data culture should include a strategic plan to identify quality data, data collection, warehousing, benchmarking, analysis of trending over time, and a communication plan on who gets the data, how it is delivered, and how it is used.

  • Increase the documentation, knowledge communication, and resource management processes beyond positions of leadership. District leadership is encouraged to evaluate the adequacy to provide the framework of developed, defined processes, support, management, and evaluation with present identified positions. Implementing formalized systems will provide the next steps toward continuing the established standard of excellence.

One thing that was made clear throughout the Accreditation Engagement Review was our collaborative culture that prioritizes student growth and excellence. Phrases like the “Bennington Way” and “Badger Pride” were highlighted in the report. Our continuous improvement processes will include a focus on the two opportunities of suggested improvement, but also actions to further enhance our strengths. If you would like to view the full Accreditation Engagement Review Report, you may follow the link. Please take a moment to celebrate the success of this visit and know you are an important contributor to the Bennington Public Schools.
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