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Charter School WASC Update

posted Oct 18, 2014, 2:00 PM by Laurie Becker   [ updated Dec 19, 2014, 9:22 AM by Rhonda Schlosser ]
I will be updating the Charter community about our WASC process as the date of our visit draws close.   Parent and Student involvement is an important component of the process and is shown shown through surveys, classroom participation, testimonials, program/committee involvement, testimonials.
What is WASC?
Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

What is Accreditation?
Certification from WASC that validates the integrity of the school, fosters on-going improvement, supports student learning and assists the school in setting goals for improvement.  Accreditation is a way of certifying that our school meets standards expected by educators, employers and institutions of higher learning. WASC accreditation schools meet an acceptable level of quality, in accordance with established, research-based WASC criteria.

How long does it take?
WASC is an ongoing process that cycles every 6 years. The accreditation process is a perpetual cycle of assessment, planning, implementing, monitoring, and reassessment (self-study, visit, and follow-up). It is designed to mirror the School Site Plan, or for Charter schools, our Charter renewal process.

What will the WASC committee want to know?
Our WASC report is centered around the Focus on Learning process guide. The accreditation principles enables a school to demonstrate:
  • High achievement of all students in relation to schoolwide learner outcomes (Character, Communication, Citizenship, Critical and Creative Thinking) and academic standards.
  • Our use of multiple ways to analyze data about student achievement including student and staff perceptions/interviews, examining student work, and observing students engaged in learning.
  • Evaluation of the program effectiveness in relation to -impact on student learning based on Schoolwide learner outcomes, critical learner needs, and academic standards: and -meeting an acceptable level of quality in accordance with the WASC criteria.
  • Alignment of prioritized findings to a schoolwide action plan focusing on student achievement
  • Ongoing improvement/accountability
  • Total involvement and collaboration of all stakeholders.
Who cares?
Students and parents should care because many universities require it, Cal Grants require it, many districts accept credit only from accredited schools.  The Charter staff cares because it is a renewal condition of our Charter document. The school board cares because it is validation of an ongoing six-year cycle of quality, demonstrating capacity and competence in support of high-quality student learning and ongoing school improvement. 

So, where are we in the process?
We are currently writing and revising our Self Study report, in preparation for our March visit.  Our visit for WASC accreditation status is scheduled for March 9-11, 2015.  We received WASC candidacy status in August 2011.

What can you do now to help us?
You are an important part of our WASC process.  Charters are public schools of choice, and we know that you chose us for a reason.  We would like to hear from you and your student!

Please email us your testimonial.  Why did you choose to come to us?  How is your experience?   How is our school (your program) helping to meet the educational needs of your student/family? We want to include personal words in our Self Study and have them posted on the Charter website.