What is WASC?
The Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACS WASC) is one of six regional accrediting associations in the United States. The Commission grants a status of accreditation when a school demonstrates the capacity to implement, monitor, and accomplish its action plan. A visiting committee is assigned to each school and bases its status recommendation on evidence contained in a school’s self-study report and encountered during a school visit. The full accreditation cycle is six years.
When is our next visit?
On March 13-15, 2017, a team of WASC representatives will visit BCMHS to evaluate progress since the last full visit in 2011. Since then, focus groups comprised of staff, faculty, administrators, parents, board members, and students have been established to address key schoolwide criteria to be used in the final self-study report to WASC due in February.
How does it work?
The ACS/WASC accreditation process fosters excellence in elementary, secondary, and adult education by encouraging school improvement. A six-year cycle guides schools through an ongoing improvement process that includes implementation, assessment, and refinement of the schoolwide action plan on an annual basis.
Who is involved?
The Leadership Team is comprised of a representative group of staff, admin, parents, and students. The entire staff and faculty also participate in some way on at least one of the Schoolwide Focus Groups—as researchers, writers, resource personnel, and/or evidence gatherers. Greater parent, student, and community involvement will also be pursued at various stages throughout the self-study cycle.
What is a Schoolwide Focus Group?
There are five Schoolwide Focus Groups that inform the self-study: Organization, Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment & Accountability, and Student Culture & Support for Student Personal and Academic Growth. Representatives of each of these groups are tasked with assessing the entire school program and its impact in relation to schoolwide learner outcomes, academic standards, and ACS/WASC criteria.
How can I participate?
Participation can include joining a focus group or gathering evidence to demonstrate progress in a particular area. Proof readers and/or editors are also needed as the individual group reports come together to form the larger, comprehensive report to WASC. There’s something for everyone, and we’re happy to work around your schedule. Even a little participation goes a long way—especially toward improving your own understanding of how BCMHS operates. For more information about how you can get involved, email Sandy Ohara or Mike Boles to join a focus group.
For more information on WASC, please visit their website: http://www.acswasc.org/