Adapting the High School Performing Arts Program
What does it mean for ANC to be an “accredited” school?
Every seven years ANC undergoes a process of accreditation. The process takes several years to complete and involves a top-to-bottom self-study that ends in identifying a number of areas in which we hope to improve, and a plan to achieve those objectives over the subsequent seven year period.
The organization that determines our accreditation is called the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, which grants accreditation to most schools in the mid-Atlantic states, as well as U.S. schools that are overseas.
Last week a team of educators and administrators from various schools within the Association visited ANC; this time around it was a virtual visit due to Covid-19, although the visiting team chair did visit campus while we were still holding school in person.
It is an exciting time for our school. Over the past several years we have sent surveys out to parents, students, and faculty to get feedback on how ANC is doing in the twelve evaluated areas of our school, most importantly our educational program and our student activities; we have worked in committees of teachers and other staff, parents, board members, and students to determine what sort of graduates we want to produce, and what we can do to ensure that we are graduating students who live up to that ambition.
This time around we have identified four specific objectives, along with action steps, to help us improve: 1) We want to strengthen our students in those non-academic characteristics that we value most of all, things like exhibiting kindness and showing perseverance; 2) we hope to do a better job of monitoring and remediating the Reading Comprehension skills of those students who come to us scoring below the 50th percentile in standardized testing; 3) we are implementing and monitoring a more effective means of orienting new members of our Board of Trustees; and 4) we intend to use a national survey called ATLIS to determine each year where to focus our energies to keep up and to improve in the use of technology in education.
The Middle States organization has already looked over our self-study. The visiting team liked what they saw last week, and they will be recommending to the governing body that the Academy of the New Church Secondary Schools be granted a further seven years of accreditation, something that is important to parents who want to send their children to ANC, to colleges considering accepting our graduates, and to our peers in the educational world.
Thanks to all those who have contributed to this effort.