BY Christopher Lang, Correspondent, @topherlang2, MonroeNow, Oct 23, 2019
MONROE – The high school will maintain its status as an accredited institution with the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools, district officials said at the October Board of Education meeting.
Accreditation is a self-evaluation and voluntary process a school district undertakes to determine it is meeting “a defined set of research-based performance standards,” according to the Middle States Association website.
“The main goal is to foster continuous school improvement,” said Danielle Drust, the high school science department coordinator who was involved in the process. “We undertook a very detailed self-study where we as teachers and the staff as well as students and parents in the community got to focus on several standards … to guide us towards what we wanted our overarching goals to be for improvement.”
The standards are based on 12 areas including educational programming, student life and activities, and school improvement planning.
Completing the self-assessment includes collecting information from community members and a peer review among other areas, and can take two to five years to complete. The review concludes with a visit from Middle States Association representatives and then a decision from the organization’s commission.
Some of the benefits for achieving accreditation entail helping school districts create priorities for improvement using research-based needs assessments, validates the integrity of programs and students’ transcripts and can help build a positive relationship with the community, according to the Middle State Association website.
Accreditation lasts for seven years but requires a report during the third year about progress toward achieving goals.
“This is a major accomplishment for our high school and our community and people in our community of Monroe,” said board President Kathy Kolupanowich.