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WASC report grants a six-year accreditation to SCHS

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A recent report on May 9, 2018, by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) confirmed SCHS is approved for accreditation for the next six years, through 2024, with visitation at the three-year mark.

“Fundamentally, WASC Accreditation means your diploma counts….that colleges can trust our transcripts,” Principal Gregory Shelby said.

During the process for accreditation, the school conducts a self-study to pick out ineffective areas, and crafts an action plan to improve those specific areas.

For example, one major change since SCHS’s previous accreditation is the expansion of AP Equity, or the effort to offer more AP classes to students.

Furthermore, a visit is required to approve the self-study and action plan. The WASC Visiting Committee, which acts as a delegate for WASC, includes seven educators from different schools to analyze the self-study and action plan, and, based on their report, WASC determines the years of accreditation.

A student’s diploma is still valid with a shorter accreditation, but for full accreditation, which is necessary for its corresponding action plan, another self-study is required and the timeline for the action plan would be pushed back. However, a full accreditation means the steps toward the six-year action plan for SCHS can begin immediately.

School culture is one of SCHS’s areas of strength, according to the WASC report. The WASC Visiting Committee gauge’s school character by discussing with individuals as well as groups of students, looking at the healthy kids’ survey and analyzing the school’s activities, such as the walkout for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that occurred during its visit.

Shelby stated that the main concern is departmental communication, or teacher and staff collaboration.

“We have a lot of truly fantastic educators, but we don’t necessarily have a lot of great ways for them to share their practice with each other,” Shelby said.

This means teachers of the same course should be consistently meeting to review their curriculum, common assessments and self-conducted data in order to find out how effective their work is for students.

Research to identify the best collaborative model will start next year, and full implementation will begin the following year.

Overall, the three main goals for improvement are to increase school communication between teachers, parents and students, improve student’s education through collaboration within the same course and provide more opportunities for students through AP equity.

“The one thing about schools, if you ever think you’re good enough, you’re not. Good schools are marked by constant improvement,” Shelby said.

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WASC report grants a six-year accreditation to SCHS