DC Undergoes Accreditation Visit
A seven member accreditation team was on campus this week to evaluate Dayton Christian School as we look to renew our accreditation with the Association of Christian Schools International.
According to ACSI, “Accreditation is a process of recognizing and assessing educational institutions for their standards, performance, integrity and quality. Schools that commit to striving for excellence though accreditation are agreeing to a process of ongoing review to strengthen and improve the effectiveness of the school and the quality of instruction for the population it serves.”
“Accreditation is very important,” said DC Head of School John Gredy. “As its core, is it a process of continuous improvement. It affirms what we are already doing well, and it helps point out to us what we could be doing better. This is good for the overall health of school and ultimately affects each student, faculty and staff member and parent.”
Renewal of accreditation takes place every 5 years. For Dayton Christian, this long process started with Mitzi Hanks, Director of Curriculum and Assessment, in July of 2017 when she began assembling the necessary paperwork and developing a framework to make the process happen at DC.
During the 2017-2018 school year, faculty and staff were assigned to teams to study the 8 accreditation standards and provide evidence as to which level (formative, maturing, effective or flourishing) our school meets each one. The ACSI standards are Philosophy and Foundations; Governance and Executive Leadership; Home and Community Relations/Student Services; Personnel; Instructional Program and Resources; Student Care; and Continuous School Improvement.
After the self-study, Hanks submitted narratives on each standard to ACSI. Currently, the ACSI team on campus is determining how well DC aligns to the ACSI standards, given the evidence submitted and their own on-campus interviews and experiences.
The team will identify commendable practices and make recommendations to the school for improvements in a report.
At the conclusion of the team visit, the team’s report will be forwarded to the ACSI USA. The team’s report will be reviewed at the appropriate meeting of the ACSI regional accreditation commission, and action will be taken regarding the school’s status and term of accreditation. A final report will be mailed to the school after the decision on accreditation has been made.
Why should we bother with accreditation?
Given the amount of time invested in accreditation, it is important to remember why it is worthwhile. According to Hanks, there are numerous reasons why accreditation is important to any school:• It documents that the school is true to its own foundational statements (mission, vision, core values (To see DC’s mission, vision, and core values, click here)
- It affirms that the school meets standards of quality established by the international school community.
- It provides validation of the credibility of the school through a peer-review process
- It promotes accountability to the school community
- It improves instruction targeting increased student achievement
- It promotes ongoing instructional improvement through a continuous process of self-assessment and systemic school development
- It encourages the evaluation of Biblical and spiritual integration of the school
- It allows for the transfer of credits between schools and between the nation’s school systems
For all the work put into the accreditation process, Dayton Christian would like to say a huge THANK YOU to Director of Curriculum and Assessment Mitzi Hanks, her administrative assistant Pam Giles, all the members of the DC accreditation standards teams, and all who took part in this huge undertaking!