School of the Nations earned full accreditation status as an international school for the next five years
School of the Nations received its Final School Accreditation Engagement Review Report from our international accreditation agency, Cognia. A five-member team of rigorously trained educators assessed our School’s progress and declared that they would recommend School of the Nations for reaccreditation for five more years!
From October 12 through 16, the Team of evaluators visited all classrooms schoolwide to observe student learning. During their visit, accreditation team members interviewed 48 parents and 132 other stakeholders, including: students, teachers, school leaders, support staff, and Board members. They also visited our administrative offices and assessed the quality of our business and financial practices.
The lead evaluator of the visiting Team, Dr. Dennis Klumpp, former Vice President of Cognia/AdvancED international services, told us, both privately and publicly, how impressed he was with the progress our School has made over the past five years. He said we had achieved a level of impact in so many of the accreditation standards that the Team had a difficult time choosing which of them to highlight in their Exit Report! He commented on the consistently high-level instructional quality the Team saw in classes, the professionalism and enthusiasm of our stakeholders, our commitment to continuous improvement, and the values that permeate our School and make us the strong educational community we are.
Here is an excerpt from the conclusion of the report.
School of the Nations is a community where a most ambitious and strong commitment to a quality educational program and fulfillment of its mission and vision is observed. Significant strides have been made at the school subsequent to its last review five years ago. The school clearly recognizes that its improvement efforts do indeed reflect a journey, a process where it takes all its stakeholders’ feedback into account in defining its continuous school improvement efforts.
In her letter to School staff, Executive Director, Ms. Lisa Perskie said, “You should be so proud of where our School is today and what you did to make this a reality. When we say school, we are talking about an educational community that educates generations of students to become world citizens. Your work is meritorious in that we seek to go beyond academic preparation and educate youth who will change the world — bringing moral light and solutions to society.”
Achievements to Celebrate
Effective Learning Environments Observation Tool (eleot™) – We achieved above-average ratings on all criteria measured by the eleot™. The Team’s ratings of our learning environments were statistically the same as the ratings we gave ourselves, which shows we are using the eleot™ effectively.
Community – We have a strong, supportive school community, committed to continuous improvement.
Mission & Values – The Team found our School’s philosophy (our vision, mission, and strategic goals) coherent, unified, and focused on holistic student development.
Digital Education – Our integration of digital resources and connectivity is significantly impacting student learning.
School Improvement Plan and Process – We have developed quality continuous school improvement processes.
School Spirit – When asked to describe our School in one word, the most common responses from all stakeholders were: We Are One, Family, Humanity, Respect, and Progress.
We do have a few areas to improve. According to the Team, we need to:
provide more opportunities for student leadership within the School
enrich our current support system provided to students with special needs
enhance cross-curricular and interdisciplinary collaboration
What is accreditation, and why is it important? Accreditation is a voluntary method of quality assurance. Accreditation is used by education providers of all types, from traditional schools to distance learning providers, to demonstrate educational quality.
Accreditation engages the school community in meeting high-quality standards, implementing a continuous improvement process, and engaging in quality assurance through internal and external review. Accredited schools demand rigor, use data to make informed decisions, and approach the documentation of results with discipline.
School of the Nations has been accredited internationally through AdvancED/Cognia since January 2010. AdvancED has recently merged with Cognia, which encompasses three regional accreditation agencies – the North Central Association, the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges, and the Northwest Association of Colleges. When reaccredited through Cognia, we will hold accreditation from all three of these agencies. Cognia is the largest school accreditation agency in the world, representing over 36,000 schools in 83 countries.
Cognia offers accreditation and certification, assessment, professional services, and consulting within a framework of continuous improvement. Veteran educators conduct a third-party review to examine the School as a whole. A team of experienced educators gathers evidence to evaluate the quality of learning environments to gain a broad understanding of where a School excels and where it needs to focus resources to continue improvement efforts.
Students are the ultimate beneficiaries of the accreditation process. When the entire school is aligned and focused on a shared vision for student learning, students win. They benefit from the enhanced focus on student performance and greater articulation and coordination as they move from one level of schooling to another.