Accreditation Improves SJHS

Submitted by tiffanie.miley on Fri, 03/11/2011 - 22:10

Every five years secondary schools that offer graduation credits go through a process called accreditation. This process is a way of finding things in the school that could use improvement. The school has to meet academic standards in order to continue to issue graduation credits.

The program has seven different groups: Curriculum Development, Quality Instructional Design, Quality Assessment, Culture of Continuous Improvement, Educational Agenda, Leadership of School Improvement, and Community Building. These groups are made up of teachers, parents, and students. The purpose of these groups is to find out how the school is performing in these areas. “I like how they have student opinions so we get our say too,” said Amanda Ripley, an eighth grader at SJHS.

The reason that we have focus groups is so the school can be improved, so we can have a more perfect learning environment, and so we can continue to issue graduation credits. When the focus groups report their findings, the faculty will get to see things from student, parents, and teacher points of view. “The teachers and parents don’t see things the way the students do and the students and teachers don’t see things the way the parents do and the students and parents don’t see thing the way the teachers do, so it allows us to see a more perfect picture,” said Mr. Van Ausdal, the principal here at Springville Junior High School.

When accreditation was first started, the student representatives were called to a meeting in Ms. Miley’s room. When the students got there during seventh period they where shocked when they where told to get a doughnut and some chocolate milk. The students were told about accreditation and given a permission slip. The next meeting was held in the library where they went through the rubric (a set of standards used to evaluate a school's performance) and met their entire group for the first time. They talked about the purposes of their group. After that, all the individual groups will meet on a monthly basis to find ways to better the way students are taught and the way that they learn. After the focus groups figure out how the school is doing, new committees will make action plans to improve our school.

Klade Smith, SJHS Staff Writer