What is the Middle States Association?. . The Middle States Association (MSA) is a private, non-profit organization that provides leadership in school improvement.. . Pond Road Middle School is participating in a challenging and rewarding process of self-assessment as part of the Accreditation for Growth Process. The Accreditation for Growth (AFG) protocol, developed by the Middle States Association and the Commission of Elementary and Secondary Schools, asks schools to examine their current29
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1. The Accreditation For Growth Process at Pond Road Middle School
2. What is the Middle States Association?
3. Pond Road Middle School is participating in a challenging and rewarding process of self-assessment as part of the Accreditation for Growth Process. The Accreditation for Growth (AFG) protocol, developed by the Middle States Association and the Commission of Elementary and Secondary Schools, asks schools to examine their current performances, identify objectives and develop a plan to better achieve the objectives.
4. In January 2005, Washington Township School District began the formal process of accreditation. Two internal coordinators and a Planning Team, comprised of teachers, students, administrators, parents, community and a Board member began working together to assure that all stakeholders had a voice in the process.
5. Why is accreditation important?
Because our world is in a constant state of change, there must be a continuous overview of the curriculum to ensure that it remains fluid and changing with the culture of the school and education. Accreditation provides an approach that requires the school to examine and reflect upon the current curriculum, teaching methodology, and standards to provide an environment which is developmentally appropriate, culturally sensitive, and challenging. Accreditation provides a way to manage the change through regular assessment, planning, implementation and reassessment.
6. What does AFG mean for my child?
By choosing the AFG accreditation protocol, our school is committed to improve student performance. As we begin the process of examining the objectives that are chosen, our focus will be on improving the skills of all students and to prepare today's students to successfully meet the challenges of tomorrow.
7. What is our task? Our task is to align our curriculum with the New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards, improve our assessment strategies, and continue to develop student-centered activities that promote higher thinking skills. Through the gathering and analysis of data collected, we will be able to measure whether these objectives have been met. AFG shows our community’s commitment to the welfare of our students.
8. What does AFG mean for parents?
The Accreditation Committee is committed to provide the parents with feedback of the accreditation process through various avenues such as the district report card, newsletters and the district website: www.wtpsmercer.k12.nj.us
9. What Does Accreditation For Growth Require?
Requires the commitment of all stakeholders
Commits to continuous review
Agrees to peer review and external validation
10. What happens during the AFG "visit" to the school?
The purpose of the Middle States Association visit is to validate the District's strategic plan by reviewing the vision, objectives, school improvement efforts, and supporting written data. The visiting team of educational professionals will interview members of the school and community to determine whether the Middle States Association expectations and standards are being met. If all standards are met, the Validation Team offers an accreditation recommendation to the Commission and accreditation is granted.
11. What happens after the visit?
AFG is an ongoing process. The school will continue to meet the requirements of the action plans that have been put into practice and will continue to move closer to meeting our objectives. Each year we will conduct an annual review to chart and analyze our progress. The Middle States Association requires that a mid-point progress report is completed. In addition, the Middle States Accreditation Commission requires that each school is revisited by the validation team every five years.
12. To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means you know where you are going so that you better understand where you are now so that the steps you take are always in the right direction. -- Stephen Covey Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change