A three-year process that ended with visits to schools by a team of educators resulted in and several other Suffolk County schools being accredited by the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools.
St. Patrick School in Huntington, in Smithtown and Our Lady Queen of Apostles Regional Catholic School in Center Moriches were accredited by the Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools.
The Knox School in Saint James, accredited since 1983, and in West Islip, accredited since 1989, earned re-accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools.
The in East Northport, accredited since 1998, earned re-accreditation through MSA-CESS.
Each school completed an intensive three-year process culminating with a three and one-half day visit to the schools by a volunteer validation team of educators. During the visits, the Middle States team met with and interviewed stakeholders of each school, including teachers, students, parents and administrators, as well as representatives of the schools’ governing bodies. Team members toured the facilities, studied the schools’ strategic plans for improvement and other documents related to each school’s work, and observed teaching and learning in classrooms.
St. Patrick in Huntington is part of the Education Department.
“These schools join a prestigious network of Middle States-accredited schools committed to a more fair and comprehensive assessment of achievement and success that goes beyond standardized test scores and students’ performances to encompass programs, services, and facilities,” said Henry G. Cram Jr., MSA-CESS president. “The school communities are to be commended for their commitment to ensure that every student reach his or her fullest potential.”
To become accredited through a MSA-CESS protocol, a school must meet the Middle States Association’s standards for: mission/beliefs/objectives, governance and leadership, organizational design and staff, educational programs, learning media services and technology, student services, student life and activities, facilities, health and safety, finances, assessment of student learning and planning.
According to Cram, school quality is best measured by individual student growth over time and the value added to each child by the educational experience the school provides.
“Accreditation can help a school and its community better understand not only how it is doing, but more importantly, learn what it needs to do to improve, a key element of most state assessments,” said Cram.
The Middle States Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools accredits public, non-public and charter elementary, middle, intermediate and secondary schools as well as non-degree granting career and technical postsecondary institutions, special purpose schools, supplementary education centers, educational service units and distance education institutions.
Based in Philadelphia, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools accredits more than 3,500 schools in Delaware. Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and overseas schools primarily in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.