The Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools voted at its biannual meeting this month to accredit or reaccredit 173 schools and school systems in 21 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and 18 other countries.
Among the schools that earned accreditation or reaccreditation are more than 30 Catholic schools and several learning service providers, career and technical post-secondary institutions and charter schools.
“Throughout the Middle States accreditation process, schools and school systems are encouraged to look closely at the work they are doing and celebrate their successes,” said Henry G. Cram, Ed.D., president of MSA-CESS. “At the same time, Middle States helps schools bring together school leaders, teachers, parents and students, to develop a strategic plan for the future that is built around continuous school improvement.”
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 an on-site peer review visit to observe school operations and interview various stakeholders.
A full list of schools and school systems that earned accreditation or reaccreditation is available here.