What is the accreditation process like?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Caesar753, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 22, 2012

    Have you ever participated in your school's accreditation process? What is it like? What did you have to do? Please share any information and advice/tips you may have.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    It was fairly painless. They split us up into groups. Each group was assigned a standard. We further divided ours on our team. We each were responsible for finding evidence, answering four questions, and writing two paragraphs with our partner. Then our group leader got all of that information together and turned it in to our assistant principal. There was one committee that will be in charge of setting everything up when they come, and getting food, water, etc. for the accreditation team. I think we do a really good job of splitting it all up.
     
  4. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    My school's process is similar to MissCeliaB's. But we even have practice interviews before they come to our school. We're going through it this year so I haven't been here yet for the whole process, but it's a huge deal to my school. We spend a lot of time working on it.
     
  5. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    We are a very small faculty (10 including the principal), so each of us had to do one standard on our own. It was a LOT of work--research, gathering data, answering the questions, etc. It didn't help that our previous principal and messed up on the timeline, and we should have started earlier so we were under a major time crunch. It was incredible stressful, but mostly for those unusual circumstances. We'll be doing it again in the next calendar year, and I'm hoping it will go smoothly this time!
     
  6. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    You're doing WASC, right? Our experience was similar to those above. One thing our visiting team really liked was that we had evidence binders and an empty seat waiting near the door each day, so if someone dropped in (I was visited twice, both times for my low-level class) they could sit right down and look over our lesson plan and see an example of previous student work. If you're interested, I'll find the forms that we used when I get to work.
     
  7. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    I have done WASC several times, including being on the committee. It is a lot of work! Evidence, evidence, evidence is what they care about. If your school is good about collecting and analyzing data, that seems to be what they care about. Hopefully, the person in charge is a good writer and is organized. Our last one wasn't, so it was painful! Expect lots of meetings. For the last one, we got a 6 year with no interim visit which is the highest you can get, so it turned out great.
     
  8. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    We just finished did our 5 year with NCA (now called AdvancED).

    It was a lot of work for me because I serve as an accreditation chair. But, for non-chair folk, it was likely very painless.

    In the end, it is a very valuable process.
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I don't know if we're doing WASC. The term that I'm hearing is Northwest.
     
  10. stampin'teacher

    stampin'teacher Cohort

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    We've done both WASC and CAIS accreditation. Both were fairly painless. Since we are a private school we looked at our school objectives rather than standards. We researched evidence for each of our objectives, & another team helped write everything up in our self study. Then when the accreditation team came, they walked around and after school we were split up into different groups and asked a bunch of questions. They wanted our POV, insights, etc. Pretty painless.
     
  11. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Is it bad that I have no idea what you guys are talking about? :confused:
     
  12. GGarcia

    GGarcia Rookie

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    Going through the WASC process this spring. If anyone has any current info to share about what they do when they visit, I would appreciate it.:)
     
  13. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I was part of a team to get a brand new school accredited. It wasn't that long ago but I can't remember the process very well at all. So it couldn't have been too stressful!

    I do remember being told that the visiting team must choose at least two areas that we need to focus upon for improvement. Even if we did everything top-notch, they had to find two things that weren't as stellar. Fortunately the things they picked were all topics we were discussing in school improvement meetings anyhow.

    I had a few people sit in and observe my lessons (maybe a total of four hours) and we had a couple of extra facutly meetings around that time. But nothing else major stands out.
     
  14. GGarcia

    GGarcia Rookie

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    They observed for 4 hours? Wow!!! Seems like a lot. Most of the time people who visit classrooms in my school stay for about 10 minutes and then move on.

    Thanks for the info:)
     
  15. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    There is some difference depending on whether this is an accreditation for a public/charter school or a private school. Which type of school is up for accreditation?

    I have been in private school accreditations. They are rather time consuming if you don't plan far ahead. If you have been through the process, understand it, and begin preparing far in advance, they are much less painful. Confusion and lack of planning are over 1/2 the pain of an accreditation.
     
  16. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    In our area, public or charter (which are public), are evaluated on the same basis by the same organization (WASC).

    The pain isn't usually the visit, but all the work beforehand. We have a large district, so they only see a representative number of classes, which they choose and don't tell you in advance. It also depends on the people on the WASC committee. We have had ones that were super tough and wanted documentation about everything, and others that will a lot more mellow.

    I was on the last two district committees, but I am not on the current one, and it feels like they are behind to me. We are being visited in March.
     
  17. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    It was spread out over three days, I think. At least two. And, there were just a handful of teachers on staff. I think they have a minimum amount of time they have to spend in classrooms, not sure, and with a school as small as ours, that meant more time with each teacher.

    I wish I could remember more details but obviously it wasn't that traumatic if I can't!

    I do remember getting a couple of nice lunches out of it since we had to meet during lunch time :)
     

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