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?
By Liesl Botbyl, Middle School Science
Here’s what we studied:
In our past five meetings, the Accreditation Team has worked through the 12 standards. This is where the excitement begins as we gather all of our accomplishments and findings in order to develop goals that will drive us into our future work.
Working in teams of three people, we looked at the summarized results of last month’s discussions: What do we feel are important areas to focus our attention on for the next 7 years? It was apparent that our conclusions were focused on seven themes: Curriculum, Assessment, Faith Integration, Transition, World Language, Use of Data, and Communication.
Our goal for this month’s meeting was to create two student performance objectives with the understanding that faculty will be able to measure growth in our students. Reflection among the whole team provided us with some clear goals.
Here’s what we found:
After taking time to discuss our thoughts and reflections with the other members of the team, it was rather apparent where our priorities lie.
- Does our curriculum fit our Mission Statement, Core Values, and Graduate Profile as we continue to develop a global awareness and empathy towards diversity in our students and in God’s world?
- Can we better align Biblical perspectives in our classes with the Reformed worldview our school was founded on?
- Can we develop more precise teaching where our assessments are aligned to our curriculum in order to ensure that all of our students can transform the world?
High standards of excellence are expected on all of our campuses and keeping the above goals in the front in our minds will help us to achieve that. At the end of the day it is exciting to look back and reflect on the unity all of us have in developing students that will become transformers of this world. That has been our priority and will always be our focus as we look ahead to the future of ECS for the following seven years and beyond.
Here’s what we hope to accomplish:
Standards 8 and 9 have the greatest direct impact on our students and their growth while here at Eastern Christian so further meetings and decisions will require lengthier discussion time along with the input of the larger community of faculty and staff. The morning portion of our Teacher Inservice Day on May 6 will be devoted to each of the three campuses taking time to receive an overview of the work that the Accreditation Team has been doing over the past several months and then studying Standards 8 and 9 in an effort to analyze our subject areas and identify ways in which we can help all of our students to grow towards fitting the profile we desire our graduates meet.
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