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Version 4 of A New Approach to Accreditation

Presentation for 1/25/14 CAIS Trustee-Heads Conference

Damon Kerby

on 24 January 2014

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Transcript of Version 4 of A New Approach to Accreditation

A process that will promote school improvement

A process that will engender more reflection from all constituencies

A process that will help ensure quality education for all students in our schools
A New Approach to Accreditation
The Larger Purpose of Accreditation

Tax return vs. growth opportunity
Unique mission vs. general standards
Spending minimal time vs. cultivating depth of thought
Generation and analysis of information and moments of truth
Looking with new eyes: professional feedback
Catalyst for needed change
Assistance in marketing
Re-envisioning the Self-Study Process
Other Notable Changes
I. Philosophy and Purpose
II. Governance
III. Finances
IV. Development/Fundraising
V. Administration, Faculty, Staff
VI. Students
VII. Community of the School
VIII. Program
IX. Residential Life
X. Library
XI. School Plant
XII. Health and Safety
XIII. Action Plan
Current Organization
Revised Organization
Financial Sustainability
Institutional Stewardship and Leadership
Institutional Improvement and Sustainability
1. Mission
2. Educational Program
3. Student Learning Experience
4. Faculty and Pedagogy
5. Climate and Community
6. Residential Life (if applicable)
7. Pre-school (if applicable)
8. Admissions and Enrollment
9. Finance
10. Advancement
11. Human Resources
12. Facilities: Buildings and Grounds
13. Health and Safety
14. Governance
15. Administration
16. Self-Assessment and Decision-Making
Institutional Core Values, Purpose, Aspirations
Teaching and Learning
Re-oriented self-study around teaching and learning
Replaced "criteria" with standards, indicators and base-line requirements
Created Independent School Dashboard
Added pre-school section
Provided greater flexibility in structuring educational program review
Moved to seven-year cycle
Allowed option to coordinate action plan and strategic plan
Sample Questions
Cite concrete examples – a major event or achievement or crisis or challenge – where the character of the school community clearly showed itself.

Take 10 pictures or five 30-second videos that most richly convey the climate of your school. Please submit them with an explanation of why you made these particular choices and how the samples were created.

What are the recurring rituals and traditions in the school that feel “sacred” to students and adults? How do they capture or express the school’s identity and core values?
From Climate and Community
Sample Baseline Requirements
The school has a written, published mission statement, formally adopted by the governing board. Yes____ No____
Faculty and Pedagogy
The process of faculty evaluation is regularly undertaken and documented. Yes____ No ____
Using a recent significant Board-adopted school policy, explain its origin and the process by which it became a policy. How does it support and strengthen the school? How do its adoption and implementation demonstrate the separate roles of the Board and administration?
Self-Assessment, Decision-Making, and Change
Using three major change initiatives in the past five years, demonstrate how data was used to identify a challenge and formulate the needed change. How does the school assess the effectiveness of the new initiatives?
Independent School Dashboard
To place greater emphasis on data in the accreditation process
To help the visiting team access accurate data easily
To enable schools to gather, use and share data more effectively
Independent School Dashboard is:
One Excel workbook, consisting of:
worksheets for each of 10 categories
space for data entry
charts that will populate based on data entered
Adapted from NAIS Trustee Dashboard
Will be downloadable from CAIS website
Annual Budget
Additional worksheets on:
Enrollment by grade
Student attrition
Faculty compensation
Staffing levels
Financial aid
Our hope:
To facilitate probing use of data during accreditation process

To enable schools to have access to the dashboard at any time, making it possible to analyze data and to share it with trustees, faculty/staff, and parents in clear, understandable way
In Conclusion
something entrusted to another
Accreditation = trustworthiness
History: until 1960s UC and colleges accredited schools
Accreditation assumes value in:
Observations, judgments of professional peers
Ethic of continuous improvement
The Nature of Accreditation
We sought to:

Reducing number, but enhancing quality, of questions
Minimizing redundancies
Integrating appendices and statistical supplements into body of self-study

School description requirement
Visiting team report, to ensure conciseness and help schools build on strengths
Using concrete examples, describe how significant change has occurred in the past at the school. When it has been successfully proposed, implemented and embraced, what factors have made this possible? When proposed change has not been implemented or when it has been implemented but has not been successful, what has impeded it?
How does the school evaluate and, if necessary, change the "culture of giving" among trustees, current parents, alumni/ae, alumni/ae parents, and employees of the school?
The Larger Purpose of Accreditation
Re-envisioning the Self-Study Process
The Independent School Dashboard
News from the Field: Findings from Pilot Schools
We've endeavored to create:
Promote reflection and analysis
Help schools grapple with change
Design a self-study process to reflect independent school priorities
We sought to streamline by:
We sought to reconceive:
Maintain our partnership with WASC
News from the Field:
Pilot Schools' Experiences
Differing Approaches
Assigning Questions and Chapters
Writing and Editing: Google Docs
Including all voices, defining access
Common Themes
Inclusion of All Constiuencies
Deep, self-reflective conversations
Tension between Efficiency and Inclusion
Dashboard: Positive Feedback
Full transcript