What is accreditation?
Accreditation is a way to ensure that schools around the world maintain a certain standard of quality. Not every school is accredited, but when a school is accredited, it gives the institution a higher level of credibility. Through the Middles States Commission validation of applications are conducted by other education professionals who work with similar populations. For example, those educators responsible for validating the Carlos Rosario School application most likely also work with adults and/or English as an Other Language learners.
The process is intended to strengthen and sustain the quality and integrity of a school. Carlos Rosario has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools/Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools for the last 14 years.
Who is Middle States?
MSA-CESS (Middle States Association – Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools) accredits educational institutions around the world ranging from traditional preK-12 to non-degree granting career training programs and from technical post-secondary institutions to distance education programs. They have been around since 1887!
Why do we need to be accredited?
To be a charter school in Washington, D.C. we have to be accredited. And beyond this we believe that the regular process of self-reflection aligns with our School’s commitment to continuous improvement. The following is a list of improvements we have made thanks to previous accreditations:
- Libraries with dedicated staff librarians
- Classroom libraries
- Literary arts magazine
- The academic review process
- Digital and tech literacy curricula
What happens during accreditation?
Self-Study: Review Foundational Documents
During this first part we review the three foundational documents as outlined by MSA: school’s mission, beliefs, and profile of graduates. Input will be gathered from the school community in revising these documents. Then we create a report with any updates or plans to update as well as summarize the context of our school and the profile of our students’ performance.
Review Organizational Capacity
In this part we review survey results in areas such as governance and leadership, school improvement planning, finances, facilities, school climate and more. Additional topics include: health and safety, educational programs, assessment and evidence of student learning, student services, student life and activities, and information resources. We gather evidence to show where we are on a template provided by MSA.
Action Plan Development
We prepare an action plan that the school will implement during our next seven-year cycle
Site Visit: MSA visiting team
We host a visiting team of educators and school leaders from MSA who will meet with our school community in October 2018 and evaluate our preparation, facilities, and programs. During the visit they will sit in on classes, interview staff and write reports.
Who is on the accreditation team?
Internal Coordinators: Frank Alvarez, Liz Fuentes-Hernandez, Vincent Scott
The larger planning team is comprised of students, staff, teachers, and volunteers.