The Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS) announced today that 193 schools and school systems in 16 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and 22 other countries have earned accreditation or reaccreditation, the gold standard for measuring and advancing school improvement.
“Accreditation is a powerful tool that helps schools identify priorities for growth and improvement, set measurable goals to address those priorities, and then establish a plan to achieve their objectives,” said Lisa Marie McCauley, Ed.D., president of MSA-CESS. “I commend our accredited schools and their leaders for their commitment to accreditation and for recognizing the value Middle States accreditation brings to their school communities.”
Middle States accredits preK-12 public, private, parochial, and charter schools. In addition, MSA-CESS accredits non-degree granting career and technical post-secondary institutions and learning services providers.
Middle States 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 12 Middle States 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 a peer review visit.
Traditionally, Middle States peer review visits are conducted onsite. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Middle States is conducting all visits virtually for the 2020-2021 school year. Where possible, the chairperson of the peer review team may go onsite for one day. The peer review team makes its recommendation for accreditation or reaccreditation to the Middle States Association Commissions, which voted on the recommendations at its biannual meeting, held virtually because of the pandemic, this week.
A full list of schools and school systems that earned accreditation or reaccreditation is available here.