Categorized | Education

Waimea Middle Schools earns ‘candidacy for accreditation


In what represents a major step forward recognizing schoolwide academic progress, Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School has become a “Candidate for Accreditation.”

This was approved by the Schools Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and comes after an Initial Accreditation Visit on April 13, 2012, covering the school’s entire 6th, 7th and 8th grade academic programs.

WASC Accreditation of a school is considered the “Good Housekeeping Seal” of approval.

WMS’ Initial Accreditation Visit Report cited the following Schoolwide Areas of Strength:

* The entire school staff for remaining on a steady course of action keeping students focused on their work, unified in purpose consistent with their mission and vision

* A dedicated staff that put kids first, creating the best experiences possible for them
* Data-driven instruction and decision-making in collaboration with various stakeholder groups
* Well run facilities, adequate instructional space and significant room for expansion
* School leadership and staff for providing a variety of learning experiences that support the needs of middle school learners
* School leadership, staff, parents and students for consistent academic growth over time and exceeding benchmarks for average daily attendance
* Administration, teachers and staff for providing a safe, secure learning environment with disciplinary referrals below statewide middle school averages
* School leadership for strong, coordinated community involvement in planning the future of WMS
* A Local School Board – Hookakoo Corp. – for establishing a consistent, systematic improvement path for its charter schools tied to specific multi-year Indicators of Success dashboards

For WMS, Candidacy for Accreditation means the school-community has agreed to collaborate on a written report to the WASC Commission that addresses progress that is being made in meeting the recommendations of the Initial Visiting Committee. This report will be due no later than June 1, 2013.

Also, prior to the end of the term of candidacy, the school must complete a self-study that evaluates the effectiveness of the school’s programs and operations to support high achievement of all students.

The self-study will include a schoolwide action plan that will serve as a guide for ongoing improvement.

Once the self-study and schoolwide action plan are completed, WMS will be visited by a WASC Visiting Committee to evaluate the school’s programs and operations and the impact on student learning. The team will review the school’s self-study findings and supporting evidence, conduct classroom observations, and dialogue with all stakeholders.

As a result of this visit, the Visiting Committee will recommend a term of accreditation to the WASC Commission, which may then grant or deny accreditation.

Supporting WMS through the accreditation process are Kamehameha Schools, Hookakoo Corp., and the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools (HAIS).

Leading WMS’ accreditation process are former WMS Principal Pat Rice, science department head-teacher Naui Murphy and counselor Mary Martinson, though the entire school-community participates.

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