Eastern Christian School is Accredited by Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
What is Accreditation? Accreditation is the act of granting credit or recognition that maintains suitable standards. Why do we pursue Accreditation? Accreditation is necessary to any person or institution in education that needs to prove that they meet a general standard of quality. When we claim that Eastern Christian School is an excellent school that embraces a culture of constant improvement, we want to be able to back that up. Middle States is a widely known and respected Accreditation body. When we say that we are accredited by Middle States, that recognition is significant. The Accreditation Team, made up of 27 EC parents, community members, board members, administration, teachers, and students meets over an 18 month period to pursue success across various standards of excellence.
In this blog series, we will regularly update the EC community on the results of the team’s findings. Based on community survey feedback, committee thinking and conversation, and prayer, we will delve deeply into these standards with the goal of improving in all areas, and ultimately pass the accreditation review in 2017 with flying colors! We are excited to share these results as a sign of transparency and as a welcome invite to the EC community for feedback on the various topics being discussed. Each Blog Post will be written by a different team member, and will answer three key questions: What did we study? What did we find? What do we hope to accomplish?
Here’s What We Studied
Knee deep now in the self-study process, the Accreditation Team met on the high school campus Monday, February 8 for our third work session. After a brief and encouraging review of the many standards we have already explored, the Team divided into four groups to continue our reflection on Standard 2: Governance and Leadership, Standard 6: System Organization and Staff, Standard 10: Student Services, and Standard 11: Student Life and Student Activities. As with each standard, we also carefully considered the comments and data from our community, staff, and student surveys.
Here’s What We Found
For each standard, our study turned over some very positive reflections. We discovered our stakeholders retain a strong appreciation for the trustworthy, cooperative government of our schools. Parents appreciate our knowledgeable, approachable and professional faculty and staff. We identified an increasing focus on healthy food options at our elementary school and were reminded that our high school students enjoy a variety of athletic and non-athletic opportunities outside of their classroom experiences.
We were equally excited to recognize areas in each of the four standards in which we can grow. In discussion, we considered ways our governing board can communicate more efficiently and effectively with our community. We also looked at the diversity of our faculty and the implications of that on our student diversity. Nutrition was a highlight of our student life discussion. And we spent some time discussing how we can continue to provide meaningful activity opportunities to students at all grade levels.
Here’s What We Hope To Accomplish
Our conversation sparked many great objectives for our team. Moving forward, we hope to:
- review the induction process for new staff
- define and address nutrition at all our campuses
- build upon the strong relationship between our government and community
- consider formalizing student activity opportunities between campuses
The EC Accreditation Team: Tina Bucci, Allison Dalessandro, Liesl Botbyl, Rebekah Sankey, Tom Dykhouse, Dick Van Yperen, Sandy Bottge, Daniel Lazor, Ruth Kuder, Debi Veenstra, Mary Faber, Beth Hoffman, Philip Verrengia, Paul Beverly, Kristen Rudd, Nick Kuiken, Steve Gorter, Rudi Gesch, K.C. Vande Streek, Doug Struyk, Emmanuella Pierre, Diana Ibrahim, Becky Parker, Melanie Castro-Bedoya, Scott Steenstra, Sung Namgung
The committee welcomes feedback from all EC Community members. If you have questions/comments, please contact Internal Coordinator Tina Bucci