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SAIS Accreditation Training for Teams Led by Visiting Chairs

SAIS Accreditation Training for Teams Led by Visiting Chairs

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SAIS Accreditation Training for Teams Led by Visiting Chairs

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  1. SAIS Accreditation Training for TeamsLed by Visiting Chairs

  2. The mission of SAIS is to strengthen member schools by providing high quality accreditation processes, comprehensive professional growth opportunities, and visionary leadership development programs. DEFEND·CONNECT·INFORM

  3. The only thing an independent school is compared to is its mission. Never should an accreditation visit evaluate a school in comparison to another school. How well a school meets standards and adheres to best practice as it pursues its mission is the focus of an independent school accreditation.

  4. CONCLUSIONThe visiting team finds: • That the schoolis in compliance with all standards of the SAIS accreditation process. • That the self-study conducted by the school meets the standard of quality and thoroughness required by the SAIS accreditation process and answers the four critical questions as outlined in the Guidebook. • That the schoolis unanimously recommended for SAIS accreditation.

  5. A FUNDAMENTAL BELIEF schoolis for students :: accreditationis for a school

  6. Key Ideas • Authenticity and Engagement: • A school MUST be authentically engaged in the accreditation process. • Journeys and Destinations • Accreditation is a process for demonstrating the shared educational journey which a school is on. In our schools, we believe that education is not about the destination, but about the journey and the path we put our students on in life. Inspection is ComplianceAccreditation is Growth

  7. Three Legs of Accreditation • THREE LEGS OF SAIS ACCREDITATION • Adhere to community and research basedstandards • Conduct a thorough self-study that leadsto institutional goals for strengtheningmission fulfillment • Host an external review from peereducational leaders

  8. The Accreditation Process Standards and Indicators

  9. Five Standards (2013 and beyond) • MissionThe school commits to a mission that leads to continuous improvements for teaching and learning. • Governance and LeadershipThe school provides a governance, leadership, and organizational structure that promotes its mission. • Teaching and LearningThe school provides a curriculum and instructional methods that facilitate achievement of all students in support of its mission. • Stakeholder Communications and RelationshipsThe school develops and maintains effective communication and relationships to further its mission. • Resource and Support SystemsThe school has the resources, services, and policies necessary to support its mission.

  10. How to Respond to Indicators • Affirmative response • Description of how the school believes it is in compliance • Evidence: • traditionally accepted measures or criteria (e.g. degrees of teachers, data management process, bylaws and policies) • documents or certificates - audit, safety inspection certificates, policy manuals. • minutes of official meetings where decisions were made or policies addressed.

  11. Sample Response to Indicators (2013) 2.8 Assures that the governance structure provides for stability in transitions of leadership. The governance structure provides for stability in transitions of leadership. Please see the minutes from the 2010 Board of Trustees Meeting and the committee report presented and accepted at that meeting. The school has considered multiple scenarios for the transitions of Board and Head succession planning and addresses this topic annually. See File: Board of Trustees Meeting minutes, April 2010.

  12. School must be in compliance with all indicators • Presented as a self-contained document and sent to chair about two weeks before pre-visit and to Team about four weeks prior to visit. • Chair reviews school’s responses at pre-visit • Team helps see responses in action, but compliance has pretty much already been demonstrated. • DON’T GET BOGGED DOWN BY STANDARDS!!! Standards / Indicators

  13. The Accreditation Process Self Study and School Report

  14. Self-Study: why, what, how, when • WHY DO WE STUDY OURSELVES? • The individual brain learns in fits and starts • The organizational brain learns in fits and starts • WHAT IS A SELF STUDY? • Mission driven: self reflective examination • Comprehensive • Inclusive and engaging stakeholders • HOW DO WE DO IT? • Your school’s strategic planning process • Recognized self study or strategic thinking model • OTHER (be creative! but please talk to us) • WHEN SHOULD WE START? • Cyclical • RESULTS OF SELF STUDY • Several specific and meaningful areas of school improvement Choosing its own best method of self-study may be one more example of an expression of a school's independence.

  15. Very Generic Method • Surveys and benchmarks • high level analysis of what perceptions are at the school; what does the school value and perception of how well is the school performing at delivering on those important characteristics • Focus groups • on the key elements of the surveys and benchmarks • to establish 2-4 clear areas of improvement for the school, • Study and work groups formed around the 2-4 clear areas • Where is the school currently with regard to the study area (Profile); • Where does the school want to get to (Vision); • What are strategies, tactics, and best practices that may be adopted by the school (Plan); • How will the school continue to monitor progress and demonstrate growth (Results).

  16. School Report: Addresses 4 Critical Questions • Where is the school right now? (Profile) • Where does the school want to go? (Vision) • How will the school get there? (Plan) • How will the school track its progress? (Results) “The key to success will be creating measurable milestones for the journey”

  17. School Report Sample: Five Parts • Introduction of the school • Profile of where the school currently is with respect to school-wide strategic goals • Vision for where the school wants to be with respect to school-wide strategic goals • Plan for achieving the vision • Resultsmeasures of progress towards visionsSchool Report submitted to the Visiting Team at least four weeks prior to the visit (via Portal).

  18. The Accreditation Process The Team and the Visit

  19. Be professional • Respect the school’s culture • Be as unobtrusive as possible • Confirm compliance with standards • Conduct interviews, observe school activities and culture, examine artifacts • Help write visit report Visiting Team To-do-list

  20. Do not continually reference your own school • Do not impose your cultural or educational biases • Do not appear overly judgmental • Do not interrupt the school day any more than is absolutely necessary Visiting Team Not-to-do-list

  21. Data Collection • Interviews: not inquisitions. • Interview small groups (or break large into small tables) to hear as many representative voices as possible. • “MEK” Frequency of Response method for stakeholder interviews: • Ask the same questions of each stakeholder group • Questions can be what do you consider the school’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for growth, impediments to growth: SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, threat • Analyze which responses occur with highest frequency and you should have good recommendations and commendations. Which are general in nature Team Visit

  22. Classroom Observation: • ethos, not teaching: you are looking to see the mission lived out in the classroom. It is not necessary to visit every classroom (check with your team chair to make sure this matches the school’s expectation). You should stay no more than 3-5 minutes. • Artifacts: examine documents in support of the school’s accreditation efforts • Confirmation of school’s efforts • Visit Report • Post Visit Survey Team Visit

  23. Written as a single, unified voice • Substantiate findings • Use clear language and appropriate grammar • Incorporate data collected from interviews, observations, and artifacts • Relate findings to student learning and organizational effectiveness • Do not name individuals, prescribe a monetary solution, endorse specific products or programs • Avoid personal biases not specific to compliance with standards or best practices Writing the Visit Report

  24. Use active voice • Should read as one voice • Complete sentences • Useconsistentfont • Proofread the report • Make sure all sections are complete Writing conventions and formats

  25. Noteworthy, events, actions, practices, factors • Actions not typically observed or expected • Practices that yield meaningful results • Procedures that can be leveraged to strengthen other areas. Commendations

  26. The academic departments have implemented comprehensive Professional Learning Communities which have resulted in documented student achievement. • The maintenance programs are committed to using resources wisely to maintain the 100-year-old facility utilizing new technologies and green products in concert with the school’s initiatives. • Communication with stakeholders throughout the accreditation process has been excellent, with an increased use of the school’s web page to disseminate and collect information. Commendation examples

  27. Address areas preventing school from effectively meeting their potential • Actions having the greatest impact • Recommend expanding positive practices • Recommend improving areas where compliance with standards or best practices are marginal • Substantive and supporting the evidence • Visionary, strategic, process oriented • Your recommendations should be at 20,000 feet and allow the school help the school continue to meet its mission. Recommendations

  28. Consider formulating a clear process to track graduates and collect information about their future schooling, their professional choices, interests, families. • Continue efforts to communicate the mission to the larger community (alumni, town, local university) • Review facilities and long range planning in order to address future growth, classroom size, and number of students in each classroom. An enrollment plan and management system should be designed, so that an orderly growth of the student population will occur. The plan should ensure that students are representative of the school’s Mission Statement. Recommendation examples

  29. You are NOT required or expected to give an explanation or rationale about your recommendations and how they will effect the school • This is contrary to the SACS only accreditation process regarding commendations and required actions. Special Recommendations Note

  30. IS THERE ANYTHING WRONG? • The school should consider the addition of new building space, dedicated to the use of the middle school students. • This is far too specific, calls on the school to spend money, and targets only a section of stakeholders. To be appropriate, perhaps it should address long range campus master planning. • The school should consider adopting a policy for undergoing regularly scheduled financial audits • The school is required to have a full audit to be in compliance with Indicator 5.11. • Ensure that dedicated time is set-aside during pre-planning for the math department to focus on curriculum mapping to target students' strengths and weaknesses, without interruption of other pre-planning activities. • Curriculum mapping or instructional methods mapping are good things a school should probably be engaged in for all departments, not only the math department. It should be left to the school to determine how and when to engage the faculty in this activity: it may not work for them to do it during pre-planning.

  31. IS THERE ANYTHING WRONG? • To improve teacher observations/evaluations process, consider the following: • A component where teachers observe other teachers. These observations can be either formal or informal. Seeing other teachers in action will not only provide an opportunity to see what others are doing in their classroom but also allow teachers to learn from each other and help each teacher maximize their teaching potential. • Reviewing the formal observation process to lessen the Principal’s responsibility and share this obligation with other administrators such as the Vice Principal, Curriculum Coordinator, and Department Head. • There are multiple transgressions in the writing of this recommendation. The basic idea is excellent – how would you write it to allow the school the flexibility to implement in their own unique way?

  32. The online tool for managing accreditation for SAIS member schools and visiting teams. SAIS Accreditation Portal™

  33. SAIS Accreditation Portal

  34. SAIS Accreditation Portal OR

  35. SAIS Accreditation Portal

  36. SAIS Accreditation Portal

  37. SAIS Accreditation Portal • Help files are in the Portal • The school has already written an overview of its own history that is automatically part of the final report (so no need to repeat) • One writer at a time can actively edit a section (Introduction, Commendations, Recommendations, Summary and Conclusion). • Follow the guidelines in the Portal!!