|PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — The Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS) announced today that the Diocese of Rochester Catholic Schools located throughout a 12-county region in Upstate New York, earned accreditation, the gold standard for measuring and evaluating school performance. All 19 schools in the Diocese were accredited as a system of schools.
“I congratulate the Diocese of Rochester Catholic Schools for their ongoing commitment to achieving excellence,” said Henry G. Cram, Ed.D., president of the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools. “The Middle States Systems Approach to accreditation examines school systems as a whole, ensuring that all levels are strategically aligned and working collaboratively to meet common goals and help grow and improve student performance.”
MSA-CESS accredits PreK-12 public, private, parochial, and charter schools. In addition, MSA-CESS accredits universities, colleges, seminaries, non-degree granting career and technical post-secondary institutions, special purpose schools, supplementary education centers, learning services providers, and distance education institutions.
Accreditation is a multifaceted evaluation process that schools and school systems voluntarily use to demonstrate they are meeting a defined set of research-based performance standards. The Middle States 12 Standards for Accreditation are: mission; governance and leadership; school improvement planning; finances; facilities; school organization and staff; health and safety; educational program; assessment and evidence of student learning; student services; student life and activities, and information resources.
The accreditation process begins with a self-study that is conducted by the school or school system and requires input from school leaders, teachers, parents and students. Following the self-study, a team of volunteer educators from Middle States member schools conducts an on-site peer review visit to observe school operations and interview various stakeholders.
The visiting team makes its recommendation to the Middle States Association Commissions, which voted to accredit or reaccredit 148 schools and school systems in 12 states as well as Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and six other countries the accreditations at its biannual meeting in Philadelphia this month.
“As a system of prestigious Catholic schools, we appreciated that the Middle States accreditation process addressed the uniqueness of each school community,” said Dr. Anthony Cook, Superintendent of the Diocese of Rochester Catholic Schools. “Accreditation through Middle States is not only an independent validation of the good work we do, but is a valuable process that has helped us with strategic planning, curriculum design, and collaboration.”
More information about the Diocese of Rochester Catholic Schools can be found (here).
A full list of schools and school systems that earned accreditation or reaccreditation is available here.
About Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS)