Public elementary/middle schools

Accreditation Process 2019 - Public elementary/middle schools

Accreditation Process 2019

Public elementary/middle schools which hosted an accreditation visit by the end of 2019 will continue to use:

2014 Standards + 2019 Accreditation Process

Elementary and middle schools hosting Visiting Teams through the end of 2019 are required to submit a Two-Year Progress Report and a Five-Year Progress Report as per the protocol associated with the 2014 Standards. The Commission may also request additional special progress reports from schools. After each school's decennial visit, Commission staff present regional Follow-Up Seminars to provide schools with information about the progress reports that will be expected in an effort to assist schools in addressing recommendations and implementing school improvement plans. School will receive invitations to attend the seminars.

Two-Year Progress Reports

Submitting the Two-Year Progress Report is a requirement for all schools that have undergone a team visit. It is a "progress report", sent to the Committee office two years after the team visit and designed to demonstrate to the Committee that the work for school improvement through good follow-up planning and action is taking place.

In the report, the school outlines the plan of action it has established to address each of the recommendations found in the visiting team's report. In particular, the school should report on the status of work begun or completed on those highlighted recommendations identified in the Commission's notification letter received following the decision on accreditation or re-accreditation.

After the visiting team report has been received by the school, a follow-up committee should be formed to review the document and devise an implementation plan. The plan should include the organization of sub-committees, the establishment of timelines and the reporting system for the sub-committees. The Two-Year Progress Report is a benchmark established by the school and Commission to identify and assess the school’s process for school improvement.

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Five-Year Progress Reports

Every member school that undertakes a self-reflection and invites a visiting team to its building must participate in a Follow-Up procedure that seeks to have each recommendation found in the visiting team report addressed and/or resolved within a five year window. Schools are expected to identify the status of each of the recommendations using the following rubric set: Completed; In Progress; Planned for the Future; No Action; and Rejected. The Five-Year Progress Report lists the recommendations and provides a comprehensive description of both the process and the results of the school’s work for each one with the expectation that a very high percentage of recommendations will have been identified as Completed.

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Special Progress Reports

When the Commission has concerns about a school’s capacity to meet one or more of the Standards for Accreditation, it may request a Special Progress Report(s) to assess, on a periodic basis, the school’s progress toward meeting the particular Standard(s).

Once the visiting team report has been reviewed by the Commission, there may be recommendations or areas which do not meet the expectations of the Commission. The Commission then uses the Special Progress Report as a means of monitoring how the school addresses those concerns as well as for observing the school’s commitment to the accreditation process and its Standards. The Commission sets different time limits for the Special Progress Report(s) depending on the severity of the situation and maintaining a realistic expectation of the school’s ability to accomplish the task. However, a school is generally asked to report back to the Commission in one or two years, based on the depth of the concern, the need for planning, an understanding of the fiscal situation and an overall understanding of the school itself.

There is a Special Progress Report cover sheet which can be accessed by the link below. The letter requesting the Special Progress Report should detail what information is required, and the presentation should be in narrative form accompanied by whatever supplementary materials are needed. Schools should read the letter of request carefully. There is no need to send more information than what is requested.

Once the Special Progress Report is received, it is reviewed and discussed by the Commission at its next meeting, and response is sent out soon after. The response may include a request for continued Special Progress Report(s) until the issue has been resolved to the satisfaction of the Commission.

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Directed Visits

When the Commission determines that a written report is not sufficient to monitor a concern or need, it may require that the school host a Directed Visit. Directed Visits are conducted by one or two educators who represent the Commission and will spend a day or a portion of a day in the school. The purpose of the Directed Visit is to ascertain firsthand the progress a school is making toward resolving the Commission's concerns, and to validate the steps the school is taking to lessen the concerns. During the Directed Visit, Commission representatives may visit classrooms and meet with members of the educational community.

The school may be requested to prepare materials to be used during the Directed Visit. However, the formal Directed Visit Report is written by the Commission representatives and submitted to the Commission for action. After review by the Commission, a letter summarizing the visit conclusions is sent to the school.