Spring 2014 The Future of Accreditation Is Now - MSA-CESS



Spring 2014 The Future of Accreditation Is Now - MSA-CESS
Spring 2014
From the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools
The Future of Accreditation Is Now
The Future of
Accreditation Is
TASIS Dorado
Believes in the
Middle States SelfStudy Process and
in the Excellence by
Design Protocol
Is Your School
Security and Crisis
The Future
of Teacher
Recruitment in the
Digital Age
Hello. This is
Suzanne Calling
from MSA...
Spring 2014
Message from the President Henry G. Cram Ed.D
a recent education conference I attended in Boston, the New England
Association of Schools and Colleges offered a challenge in a presentation on the
future of accreditation. I am sure it will generate further discussion among the
accrediting agencies about the relevance and value of accreditation.
I know it caused me as President to take stock of the innovations that we have
been implementing during the past decade and to measure those changes
against the call to redesign and promote accreditation as a catalyst for change.
Beginning with the introduction of Accreditation for Growth in 1997 MSA has
pursued a strategic planning model. Today all three of MSA’s accreditation
protocols for schools, while differentiated to address the variance in preparedness
among schools for innovation and transformation, provide the framework for
systemic change.
Our protocols are designed to acknowledge equivalencies as schools are
encouraged to incorporate into the self-study and accreditation process, plans
for improvement and accountability measures that may already have in place,
eliminating redundancies for those schools engaged in related certification
processes or obligated by accountability systems from other agencies.
The accreditation protocols available from MSA are designed to guide schools
in determining what changes may need to be made and encourage them to
redesign their organization and delivery of services using what we are constantly
learning about teaching, learning and the nature of the learning environment.
This type of paradigmatic shift to encouraging schools to innovate versus
simply improve requires of accreditors differentiated processes best matched to
each school’s readiness to accept that challenge. For this reason, MSA’s three
protocols are designed to develop, nurture and eventually sustain a culture for
change, provide the requisite skill sets necessary to plan for change and develop
the capacity to implement systemic change. Our capstone protocol available this
fall, Sustaining Excellence, is an accreditation protocol based on action research
which culminates in the public sharing of the school’s research findings.
In further adapting to the future MSA has introduced a series of program awards
for schools with distinguished programs in several areas including 21st Century
Skills, Visual Arts, Early Childhood Education, International Education, Music,
Service Learning, School Counseling, World Languages and, being introduced
this fall a credential for STEM Education. Recipients of the distinguished program
awards will be networked and serve as resources for schools seeking to improve
or implement similar programs.
(continued on page 5)
TASIS Dorado Believes in the Middle States Self-Study Process
and in the Excellence by Design Protocol
Last week, the TASIS School
where we are today and the
self-study was an excellent
opportunity for us to evaluate
what we had accomplished
thus far. Second, this protocol
encourages the whole school
community to function as one
team, which is how our school
works. We worked hard to have
representation at all levels from
students and parents to faculty,
staff and administration. The
ideas and opinions of all,
obtained through surveys and
committee work, guided the conclusions of the selfstudy and pointed to the areas for growth that became
our objectives.
in Dorado received notice that
we had been reaccredited by
MSA for 7 more years. We
are proud and happy that
the hard work, planning and
commitment to our school
has been recognized and
approved by the Middle States
Association. TASIS Dorado is
a private, independent, English
as the language of instruction,
non-sectarian day school for
boys and girls, from PPK – 12th
grade. We are a relatively young school; just 12 years
old. Our school will graduate our 4th class of seniors,
40 students, this June. We are located in the town of
Dorado, Puerto Rico, about 15 miles west of San Juan on
the north coast of the island, and are affiliated with The
American School in Switzerland (TASIS) and England.
TASIS Dorado offers a challenging curriculum enriched
with hands on learning programs, including integrated
thematic weeks that celebrate each subject area, strong
language instruction in English and Spanish, hands on
math and science, STEM integration starting in middle
school, 15 AP courses and an excellent fine arts
program, all in a beautiful campus setting, surrounded
by lakes and tropical forest, a farm and a greenhouse.
The self-study process, which is the foundation of MSA
accreditation, was a challenging two year odyssey
for our school. The Internal Coordinators established
a detailed schedule that required everyone to stay
focused and on task. The Internal Coordinators and
administrators in the school identified point people
to be in charge of each committee. Weekly progress
reports in administrative team meetings kept everyone
moving forward. The gathering of data from all areas
of the school was critical in being able to carefully
review the programs and subject areas. Data on
student ability and achievement in reading, writing
and mathematics, documentation of curriculum, and
identification of benchmark skills was collected and
evaluated. Maintaining a school culture that values
high academic achievement is important to us, as is
supporting the needs of the school community. We
evaluated the opinions of students and faculty regarding
the atmosphere of the school and their feelings
regarding the guidance and
support received in our school.
Through committees, teachers
were able to express their
opinions, give their input and
ideas, and contribute to the
identification of areas where we
could improve our program.
We chose the Excellence by Design protocol for our
recent reaccreditation cycle. At this point in the life
of our school, we needed to reflect on what we had
accomplished and determine the direction that would
take us to the next level. We had worked hard to
establish a complete program including a challenging
curriculum, a strong fine arts program, and a wide
variety of sports and co-curricular activities, while we
built our enrollment.
The Excellence by Design
protocol worked well for our
school, meshing well with
our mission of “Striving for
Excellence within a Culture of
Kindness”. First, this protocol
focuses on a detailed evaluation
of every aspect of the school
and uses that information to
identify areas of growth for
the future. As a young school,
we have worked hard to get
At the end of the self-study,
areas of focus were identified
and the formation of objectives
began. The school reaffirmed
(continued on page 7)
Is Your School Practicing Comprehensive Security and Crisis
Recent events in the international school community
Development, implementation and enforcement of a
broad set of policies (what you do and do not do) and
procedures (how you do it) addressing these questions
will reduce the opportunity and means of individuals
and circumstances affecting the safety and security of
have highlighted the broad threats facing students and
institutions globally. As a crisis planning and security
consultation company we specialize in identifying
and mitigating risks within the international school
community. The current tragedies have prompted us to
further enhance ongoing School Security Assessment
and School Crisis Planning Training programs to
make certain we specifically address the recently
identified issues with regard to on and off campus child
In addition to policies and procedures you can further
strengthen your prevention and mitigation program by:
1. Ensuring your campus has a defined and closed
perimeter made up of walls, anti-climb fences, or
natural barriers with lockable gates on all entrances
and exits.
2. Monitoring your ingress and egress points to allow
for easier supervision and detection of unwanted
and/or suspicious persons.
3. Supplementing physical controls with the use of
appropriate technology and equipment (cameras,
lighting, turnstiles, locks, alarms, and identification
4. Restricting access to areas that should be off-limits
to students (maintenance rooms, equipment storage
areas, staff areas, storage closets, and unused
sections of your campus or buildings.)
Leaders within any school community are generally
aware of the threats and hazards the safety and security
of their students, staff, information and facilities. They
can be manifested in a variety of categories to include
natural sources, technological threats, infrastructure,
biological, and, finally, an assortment of human elements
including civil unrest, bullying, and criminal activity such
as sexual predators. While each threat and hazard may
have unique characteristics, correcting vulnerabilities
and implementing thorough, consistent, coordinated
policies and procedures can help mitigate or prevent
many school risks. Addressing vulnerabilities through
policies and procedures is part of the Prevention and
Mitigation phase of the five-step school crisis planning
cycle, which also includes, Preparation, Response,
Recovery and Communication.
These relatively basic steps, practiced in a consistent
and deliberate manner by all stakeholders will not
eliminate all of your risks, but WILL mitigate and reduce
Is your school practicing comprehensive security
and crisis planning? Where does your school stand
in the area of prevention and mitigation? Take the
quick assessment below to help identify your potential
Clearpath EPM (Emergency Planning Management)
is a leading provider of specialized international
emergency planning services that includes expert onsite consulting and
innovative crisis
webbased tools and
If you answered NO to any of the below questions,
NOW is the time to strengthen your crisis planning
security program.
Do you conduct comprehensive suitability investigations to include multi-jurisdictional police records checks,
employment verifications and reference interviews on all personnel who have or could potentially have
unsupervised access with your students?
Do you have and enforce access control policies at your facility?
Do you utilize identification media for permanent staff, contractors and visitors while they are on campus?
Are non-vetted contract workers escorted while on campus and in the presence of students?
Does your school have a written and practiced social/emotional curriculum that promotes student voice?
Do you have a method known to students, staff and parents to report, and procedures for promptly investigating,
reports of suspicious or inappropriate activity/behavior?
Do you utilize sufficient and balanced teams of vetted chaperones for after hours and off campus activities?
Do you have a child protection team?
The Future of Teacher Recruitment in the Digital Age
Social media and digital technology are transforming the way teachers find jobs and apply for them - and in
response, schools are changing the way they recruit teachers too. Over 700 million people worldwide log into
Facebook every day, sharing insights into their lives, making the site home to the biggest captive audience ever
created by a media platform. From the point of view of a hiring manager, the potential of such an enormous and
diverse crowd cannot be ignored.
An ever expanding ‘social reach’ allows for effective, targeted job promotion with far greater visibility than any
traditional recruitment methods. Social media tools and strategic adoption of information technology provides the
foundations to directly target the ideal demographic of educators to be hired and determine candidate’s suitability
for roles more effectively and efficiently than ever before. Teach Away has taken the lead on these opportunities
and as a result now maintains its advantage of an expansive and active online presence.
How can social media and online technology support your search for the best teacher talent?
• Extend your reach. Social media offers the capacity to reach out to thousands of prospective candidates
from around the world. Teach Away has an online reach of over 500,000 educators; a talent pool harboring
potential for every teaching position.
• Networking made simple. Another valuable feature of social media is the ability to share. When users
engage with job postings, it publishes this activity in the news feeds of their colleagues and friends, meaning
awareness is raised in exactly the right circles. There are tools available to promote jobs in certain locations
and to people with select career levels, for example.
• More effective communication. Cloud-based document systems allow for faster and clearer communication
with school administrators and hiring managers. They can be kept updated in real time and remain fully
involved throughout the process, no matter where they are in the world.
• Source first-rate candidates. Sophisticated digital databases are capable of managing the details of
thousands of highly qualified job seekers, who can be filtered on the basis of many specific requirements.
Comprehensive systems mean that only genuinely suited candidates progress onto the pre-screen stage. As
a result, even short notice vacancies can be filled quickly and effectively.
• Build Community. Schools are an integral part of thriving communities. Social networks and online
communities too can foster the same values and can provide support to teachers, parents, students, and
education leaders in a much more convenient manner - in a manner they’ve come to expect.
Navigating the ever-changing social media and technology landscape requires constant attention to keep up with
the latest trends. Hiring managers and HR staff are recognizing the need for formalized training in social media
management and are looking to programs such as the Advanced Social Media Strategy course, offered by the
Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University and social media experts, Hootsuite.com, in order
to equip themselves with the critical understanding and skills.
In order to deliver a true match between teachers and school demands, it’s crucial to consider the significance of
using social media to enhance traditional recruitment methods and bring the process up-to-date. Embracing social
media and appealing to an online target audience, can make the difference between settling for suitable teachers
and selecting exceptional educators, who will benefit the future of both your school and your students.;
Teach Away Inc. is the world’s leading international teacher recruitment company, in part due to an extensive
insight into the social media landscape and use of the latest web-based
tools. Teach Away partners with private schools and Ministries of Education
worldwide, striving to match institutions across the globe with the best
Hello. This is Suzanne Ogle calling from MSA…
in Maryland that disrupted team
visit activities a few years ago.
Ogle will be retiring
from MSA at the conclusion of the
spring semester of team visits.
While most of our members know
her name very few volunteers
have ever met her. She has served
as the Manager of Peer Review,
one of two positions, responsible
for the management of MSA’s
thousands of volunteers.
Before joining the Middle States
Association in 2000, Suzanne
who holds an associate degree
from Villanova University, worked
in the travel industry as both a
travel agency manager and as
an administrative assistant to the
North America Manager of an
international airline. For the past
14 years she has been arranging
“free trips” for our volunteers
to hundreds of MSA accredited
It is fitting that Suzanne loves to
do volunteer work herself. Most
recently she was part of a mission
trip to Long Island to help Hurricane
Sandy victims. Among her fondest
memories was using her travel
benefits to bring children adopted
through international agencies
to their new families. Her related
experiences made her MSA’s
in house expert on soliciting
volunteers and matching them to
specific assignments as visiting
team members and chairs. Once
you answered the phone and heard,
“Hello this is Suzanne Ogle calling”
you knew you had better pack your
bag. Every semester right down to
the 11th hour she would work the
emails, faxes and phones to make
sure that every team had as full a
roster as was practical.
Managing our volunteers and
staffing the accreditation teams is
a stressful job. And Suzanne won’t
miss waking up in the middle of the
night and worrying about the status
of teams, last minute cancellations
or the endless challenges presented
by unpredictable weather events
and even less predictable news
events like the I-95 sniper shootings
What she will miss are the
friendships she has made with
her co-workers in the Philadelphia
office and the hundreds of friends
she has made over the phone
who were always there when she
needed them to fill the ranks of
the visiting teams. “My gratitude
to them is huge” she said at a
recent Commission dinner where
she was recognized for her years
of service. She also shared some
of the great stories she has
collected over the years about the
visiting teams, the team chairs
and the encounters she has had
with them. “This was never a 9-5
job but I loved it” she said.
Suzanne hopes that retirement will
provide her with more time to be
a volunteer herself, and to pursue
her many hobbies which include
following Philadelphia sports and
politics (she was once an elected
official), travelling, cooking and
gardening. In addition, “I have an
endless to do list of projects around
the house and I may finally have
time to get a dog”.
I know all of our volunteers join the
staff in wishing Suzanne a long,
healthy, happy and well deserved
retirement. Is that your phone I hear
What is the value of Accreditation? It’s about getting things done!
(continued from page 1)
MSA networks with more than 23 accrediting agencies, increasing the availability of our protocols, distinguished
program awards and services beyond our more than 2,700 members in the U.S. and in over 90 countries. Our
collaboration with these agencies is designed to share best practices, to gain broader experience, to inform
our own ongoing self-improvement efforts and to fulfill our mission of promoting educational excellence and
recognizing it where we find it.
For MSA the future of accreditation is now.;
Spring 2014 Accreditation Actions
their Spring 2014 meetings,
the Middle States Commissions on
Elementary and Secondary Schools
took the following actions:
Actions Taken by the
Commission on Elementary
Accreditation Seven Years
Academy of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
School, Tenafly, NJ
Albrook School, The, Basking Ridge, NJ
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta School,
Schwenksville, PA
Cambridge School, Pennington, NJ
Christ the Teacher Catholic School,
Newark, DE
Colegio Mater Salvatoris, San Juan, PR
Colegio San Benito, Humacao, PR*
Colegio San Jose Elemental, Colegio San
Jose Elemental
Corpus Christi School, Lansdale, PA
Drexel Neumann Academy, Chester, PA
Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom
Public Charter School, Washington, DC
Holy Family Academy, Hazelton, PA
Holy Family School, Erie, PA
Holy Innocents Area Catholic Elementary
School, Philadelphia, PA
Holy Name of Mary School, Valley Stream,
Immaculate Conception School, Pen Argyl,
Lehigh Christian Academy, Allentown, PA
Mary, Mother of the Redeemer School,
North Wales, PA
Meridian Public Charter School,
Washington, DC
Monsignor McHugh Elementary School,
Cresco, PA
Notre Dame of Bethlehem School,
Bethlehem, PA
Open Door Christian Academy, Fort
Washington, PA
Our Lady of Lourdes School, West Islip,
Our Lady of Port Richmond Regional
Catholic School, Philadelphia, PA
Our Lady Star of the Sea Regional School,
Atlantic City, NJ
Our Mother of Consolation School,
Philadelphia, PA
Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey, River
Edge, NJ
Saint Agnes School, Clark, NJ
Saint Agnes School, West Chester, PA
Saint Albert the Great School, Huntingdon
Valley, PA
Saint Benedict Catholic School,
Johnstown, PA
Saint Bernadette School, Drexel Hill, PA
Saint Cyril of Alexandria School, East
Lansdowne, PA
Saint Ephrem School, Bensalem, PA
Saint Francis de Sales School, Aston, PA
Saint Gabriel Independence Mission
School, Philadelphia, PA
Saint Gregory School, North East, PA
Saint John Vianney Regional School,
Allentown, PA
Saint Joseph the Carpenter School,
Roselle, NJ
Saint Joseph-Saint Robert School,
Warrington, PA
Saint Mary Interparochial School,
Philadelphia, PA
Saint Patrick School, Malvern, PA
Saint Peter School, Reading, PA
Saint Theresa School, Kenilworth, NJ
Saint Thomas the Apostle School, Glen
Mills, PA
Accreditation Six Years
Grace Lutheran School, La Plata, MD
Accreditation Remainder of Term
Sacred Heart Regional School, Allentown,
Recognition of Accreditation
Page Private School of Beverly Hills,
Beverly Hills, CA
Page Private School of Garden Grove,
Garden Grove, CA
Page Private School of Hancock Park, Los
Angeles, CA
Page Private School of Newport Mesa,
Costa Mesa, CA
Actions Taken by the
Commission on Secondary
Accreditation Seven Years
Abraham Lincoln High School,
Philadelphia, PA
Academy of the Holy Cross, Kensington,
Baldwin High School, Pittsburgh, PA
Bishop Timon-Saint Jude High School,
Buffalo, NY
Chaminade High School, Mineola, NY
Colegio San Jose, San Juan, PR
Connellsville Area Senior High School,
Connellsville, PA
Delaware Military Academy, Wilmington,
Duke Ellington School of the Arts,
Washington, DC
Edison High School, Edison, NJ
Francis Scott Key High School, Union
Bridge, MD
Hempfield Area High School, Greensburg,
Hoosac School, Hoosick, NY*
Immaculate Conception High School, Lodi,
Indiana Area Senior High School, Indiana,
Innovations in Online Education, Inc.,
Spara, NJ
James Caldwell High School, West
Caldwell, NJ
John P. Stevens High School, Edison, NJ
Long Island Lutheran Middle & High
School, Brookville, NY*
Mount Saint Michael Academy, New York,
Pearl River High School, Pearl River, NY
Rahway High School, Rahway, NJ
Saint Joseph Regional High School,
Montvale, NJ
Saint Mary’s High School, Manhasset, NY
Shawnee High School, Medford, NJ
Suitland High School, Forestville, MD
Warren Hills Regional School District,
Washington, NJ
Warren Hills Regional Middle School
Warren Hills Regional High School
Washington Mathematics Science
Technology Public Charter School,
Washington, DC*
York Preparatory School, New York, NY
Accreditation Five Years
Fusion Academy Park Avenue –
Manhattan, New York, NY
Fusion Academy Westchester, White
Plains, NY
Fusion Academy Woodbury, Woodbury, NY
Accreditation Remainder of Term
Alexander Muss High School in Israel,
Canisius High School, Buffalo, NY
Red Bank Regional High School, Little
Silver, NJ
Recognition of Accreditation
American School, Lansing, IL
Elevation Preparatory Academy, Sarasota,
Heritage Academy, Inc., Monterey, TN
Actions Taken by the
Commissions on Elementary
and Secondary Schools
Accreditation Ten Years
American International School – Chennai,
Escuela Campo Alegre, Venezuela
International School of Aberdeen, United
(continued on page 7)
Spring 2014 Accreditation Actions (continued)
(continued from page 6)
Accreditation Seven Years
Academia Santa Maria Reina, Ponce, PR*
American International School Kuwait,
American International School of Zagreb,
American School, Bayamon, PR
Anglican International School, Israel
Baltimore Actors’ Theatre Conservatory,
The, Baltimore, MD*
Biondi School @ Leake and Watts, The,
Yonkers, NY
Camelot Education, Austin, TX
Caribbean School, Ponce, PR
Christian Academy, The, Brookhaven, PA
Colegio Ponceno, Coto Laurel, Ponce, PR
Commonwealth Connections Academy,
Harrisburg, PA
Dubois Area Catholic School, DuBois, PA*
Episcopal Cathedral School, The, San
Juan, PR
Girard College, Philadelphia, PA
Glenelg School of Abu Dhabi, United Arab
Griggs International Academy, Berrien
Springs, MI
International Academy of Suriname,
International School of Ouagadougou,
Burkina Faso
Kathmandu International Study Centre
(KISC), Nepal
King’s Christian School, The, Cherry Hill,
Lavelle School for the Blind, Bronx, NY
Learning Community International, The,
Columbia, MD
Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter
School, Bethlehem, PA
QSI International School – Minsk, Belarus
Rabat American School, Morocco
Southampton Public Schools,
Southampton, NY
Southampton Elementary School
Southampton High School
Southampton Intermediate School
TASIS School in Dorado, The, Dorado, PR
Verdala International School, Malta
Virgin Islands Montessori School and Peter
Gruber International Academy, Saint
Thomas, VI
Accreditation Five Years
Citrus Park Christian School, Tampa, FL
Evangelical Christian School, Fort Myers,
Accreditation Remainder of Term
Colegio Bautista de Caguas, Caguas, PR
Colegio Espiritu Santo, San Juan, PR
Colegio Marista El Salvador, Manati, PR
Accreditation Removal of
Christian International School of Prague,
Czech Republic
Pine Tree Academy, Freeport, ME
Accreditation Removal of
Jeddah International School, Saudi Arabia
Probationary Accreditation
Montrose Christian School, Rockville, MD
Recognition of Accreditation
Chief Leschi Schools, Puyallup, WA
Clay County Christian Academy, Ashland,
Clonlara School, Ann Arbor, MI
Harvest Christian Academy, Barigada,
Ogburn School, Inc., The, Ferrandina
Beach, FL
Rosedale Baptist School, Baltimore, MD
*Accredited with Stipulations
TASIS Dorado Believes in the Middle States Self-Study Process and in the
Excellence by Design Protocol (continued)
(continued from page 2)
its commitment to excellence in academics by establishing four specific goals to improve scores in reading and
writing, in both English and Spanish. In addition, a fifth objective committing to establishing a STEM program
was developed. As if that weren’t ambitious enough, to complete the alignment with our mission, we created
two objectives related to excellence and kindness in our school. These
objectives may be more difficult to measure, but they are as important to our
school as the others. To reach them we have established developmentally
appropriate goal setting programs and opportunities for community service,
special programs and support within the school to maintain a positive
atmosphere for all.
It is a long, challenging path to reaching the goals we have set for our
school. Yet, as we like to say, we will continue to strive for excellence within
a culture of kindness, teaching our students that it takes grit to keep trying
to reach the bar that we set ever higher. We take this journey seriously, so
much so, that we hired an energetic and experienced educator to supervise
the implementation of the new programs related to our objectives and to
collect the data necessary to measure our progress. We are just beginning
the long road toward achieving our objectives and taking our school to the
next level of excellence. Even so, we are confident that we have mapped
the road we are to follow thanks to the self-study we completed through the
Middle States accreditation process.;