PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — The Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS) announced today that the Point Pleasant Beach public schools in Ocean County, Nj. have earned accreditation, the gold standard for measuring and evaluating school performance. Both the elementary school and the high school were accredited as a system.
“The Middle States Systems Approach to accreditation looks at the big picture,” said Henry G. Cram, Ed.D., president of the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools. “Examining schools as a system is a cost-effective approach to accreditation that helps ensure that the curriculum aligns as students progress from pre-K through 12th grade.”
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 167 schools and school systems in 17 states, as well as Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and 15 other countries at its biannual meeting in Philadelphia this month. Accreditation is the gold standard for measuring and advancing school improvement.
“The Middle States accreditation process helped us foster collaboration among our school community and examine our school system as a whole to identify opportunities for growth,” said Point Pleasant Beach School District Superintendent William T. Smith. “Not only does Middle States accreditation serve as independent validation of the good work we do, it is also a valuable tool for strategic planning, curriculum alignment and coalition building.”
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)
Based in Philadelphia, the Middle States Association is the worldwide leader in accreditation and school improvement. For over 125 years, Middle States has been helping school leaders establish and reach their goals, develop strategic plans, promote staff development and advance student achievement. With more than 2,700 accredited schools and school systems in 34 states and nearly 100 countries, MSA-CESS is proud of its continuing legacy and its ongoing innovations to meet the challenges of improving education in the 21st century. For more information visit www.msa-cess.org.