WASC Report – Western Association of Schools and Colleges
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges did complete their four day visit in November of 2010 and left with a very uplifting report. They looked at our self study and the goals that we had set for ourselves as a result of it. I have included some of their comments below that were part of their exit report. They affirmed the goals from our self study, but combined a couple of them, and added a separate data goal. Our final step is to rewrite the six year action plan with the adjusted school improvement goals as recommended by the visiting team. The list below is a summary of the strengths for all categories and the areas of focus to ensure school improvement as we move into the coming six years of accreditation. As quoted directly from their report:
“Synthesize the strengths and key issues from all categories into school wide strengths and school wide critical areas for follow-up. Include the information given below
- School wide Areas of Strength
- The teachings of Christ are an integral part of each student's education.
- Students are supported by many services, activities, and opportunities including differentiated instruction, flexible tutoring, teacher teams (middle school), co-teaching and support by both teacher and aide, and athletics.
- A Christian faculty that dedicates themselves to student learning, is concerned with spiritual development and showing the love of Christ to the CLS family.
- The support of parents, faculty, principal, School Board, and church brings strong continuity to the educational processes on campus
- The core curriculum is sequential and specific providing rigor and engagement allowing high quality learning for the students.
- Strong family atmosphere
- The principal and faculty are valued by the community.
- Board confidence with the principal and staff
- All stakeholders are aware of and support the established vision and mission of school as the basis for all decisions that affect student learning.
- School wide Areas for Follow-Up
- The administration and faculty need to develop a formal system for collecting and analyzing standardized testing, classroom learning and spiritual development. This disaggregated data will be used to determine student strengths and weaknesses. The plan needs to include evidence that can be used to direct future decisions. This examination may yield even greater student learning results.
- Improve capacity to educate in a technological society by providing teacher training, continuing to upgrade computer hardware, software, and infrastructure, as well as, integrating computer use for student instruction, learning and assessment.
- Raise awareness of the recognition of school as the primary local ministry of Christ Lutheran Church.
- Develop a marketing and budgeting plan which includes third source funding, to bring the visibility of CLS to the community.”
We offer a huge thank you to our congregation, our families, the staff, our wonderful students, and all who participated in this accreditation process. It is the teamwork of all that creates the wonderful school that this WASC visit team validated.
Christ Lutheran School has participated in self-study accreditation since 1980.
You may download a copy of the WASC self-study report as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file by clicking on this link.
What is WASC?
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is one of six regional associations which accredit public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the United States.
Accreditation is a voluntary, non-governmental process which plays an important role in developing and maintaining the high quality of education in this country.
Accreditation certifies that an institution meets established criteria or standards and is achieving its own stated objectives. WASC and the other five regional associations in the United States grant "institutional accreditation" after a comprehensive self study followed by an on-site evaluation of the programs and services of the total institution. This means that all diploma or degree programs and educational activities offered by the institution are covered by the institution's accreditation.
The evaluation determines whether or not the institution qualifies for regional recognition. More importantly, periodic self-study and review promote improvement in educational quality and institutional effectiveness.
The Accrediting Commission for Schools has the responsibility for accreditation of all schools below the college level in California, Hawaii, East Asia, and the Pacific Basin.
Included are elementary, junior high/middle, high, and adult schools whether public, private, or church-related. Over 2,900 such schools are currently accredited by the Commission.
Although accreditation serves as an indicator of quality for a school, the primary goal of accreditation is school self-improvement.
An in-depth study and self-evaluation conducted by the school staff and community with the help of instruments developed for specific kinds of schools On-site observation by a visiting committee of education professionals who validate the school report, evaluate its findings, and make a recommendation to the Commission for a term of accreditation.
The Commission studies and discusses the visiting committee's report, with subsequent action to grant, extend, or deny accreditation. The Accrediting Commission for Schools requires the application of qualitative criteria and substantial documentation of student performance rather than mere confirmation of a school's adherence to minimum quantitative standards. Accreditation is granted when there is compelling evidence that the school is:
" substantially accomplishing its own stated purposes meeting the Commission criteria for planning, organization, curriculum, assessment, and student support,
" providing ongoing and stable financial, human, and physical resources adequate for delivery of the school's programs
" successfully promoting student learning in terms of explicit, adopted academic standards
* The above information was obtained from the official WASC website. For more information about the accreditation process visit: http://www.wascweb.org/