The journalism class had the opportunity to interview Dr. Rhodes, the accreditation review team chair, during the accreditation visit.
Sarah Mitchell, SJHS Staff Writer
Front, left to right: Rachel Dockstader, Cassidy Bowers, Sarah Mitchell, and Betsy Vega. Back, left to right: Camryn Rouse, Bianca Trujillo, Lexie Pendley, Becca Dickinson, Dr. Rhodes, Luanei Mulipola, and Katie Johnson.
On April 23rd and 24th, an accreditation review team came to Springville Junior High School. They gave SJHS a very good report! According to Mr. Ken Van Ausdal, SJHS principal, they told SJHS that they were impressed with the wide variety of stakeholders involved in the process, the school leadership, and that the report from SJHS to the review team was professional.
Many people don’t even know what accreditation is. Dr. Mary Rhodes, a co-chair on the accreditation team, said, “The accreditation process is when the Utah State Office Education reviews a school, and they decide whether you can earn credits toward high school. The community also looks at the process.” The school itself also has to do things before the accreditation team comes. Ms. Tiffanie Miley, journalism Teacher at SJHS, said, “One of the things we do to prepare for accreditation is to analyze our school to see how we’re doing in a variety of areas.”
When the accreditation team came they looked for a lot of different things. According to Dr. Rhodes they look for curriculum, instruction, assessment, the school’s action plans, and Desired Results for Student Learning (DRSL’S).
In order to prepare for accreditation, the SJHS staff got together and made action plans. According to Ms. Miley, an action plan is a plan for improving our school. Our school has four action plans. Our action plans include a common core implementation and school-wide writing program, a professional learning communities and teaching kids to have higher thinking skills, school culture ownership and community, and meeting student needs by providing mentors.
According to Mr. Van Ausdal, there are many things that our school has to do to prepare for an accreditation visit. Our school had to rewrite our school profile, get together a group to compare school practices, analyze what is going on with the school, and set action plans and goals.
SJHS got the highest score possible from the accreditation team. Dr. Rhodes said, “I like the chance to visit and see other schools. I like talking to the teachers and being able to take ideas from other peoples schools and apply them to our school.” Mr. Van Ausdal was also very impressed with the way our school did.