The Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools is an organization whose mission is to identify and commend schools that aim to uphold standards of educational excellence and continually desire to improve student performance. Each accredited school has undergone a self-study followed by peer evaluation. The self-study involves identifying the school’s philosophy and mission, along with an intense examination of its educational programs, community components, student services, leadership, climate, resources, facilities, and finances. It also requires the school to make realistic plans for its future growth. A school must repeat this process every seven to ten years and submit annual reports to demonstrate continued progress to keep its accreditation.
MIDDLE STATES UPDATE
In the fall of 2018, the faculty and staff of Presentation BVM School began to prepare for the renewal of its Middle States accreditation. The process started with the selection of Internal Coordinators who would facilitate the self-study process. Faculty meetings were held to determine which curriculum areas of the school would be the focus of the Excellence by Design protocol. Faculty and staff were assigned to committees that would self-assess the school’s adherence to the Middle States Standards as well as the curriculum areas chosen.
The curriculum committees developed student performance objectives during the beginning of the 2019 – 2020 school year. These objectives are the foundation of the school’s action plan for improvement. The action plan for improvement will be completed by December 2019.
The school visit has been scheduled for March of 2020 and a visiting team of educators has been assigned for the three-day visit.
MIDDLE STATES HISTORY AT PRESENTATION BVM SCHOOL
Presentation B.V.M. School achieved its first accreditation by the MSCES in 1994. As its initial accreditation, Pres underwent a complete self-study. This entailed surveys of the school community followed by the faculty answering questions on every facet of the school and community, publishing this information in a book and sharing this book with MSCES. Next, the MSCES appointed a team of educators to come to Pres for a period of four days. They interviewed the pastor, the principal, each faculty member, parents, and students and also visited classrooms during the school day to ensure the accuracy of the information in the book. The staff also made a video of the school in operation. This initial self-study granted the school community a better understanding of who they were, of how they were changing, and of what they would hope to become.
In 2004 Pres decided on a project-based re-accreditation process. The faculty chose anti-bullying as its project. The faculty had to develop a complete program and present it to MSCES. The Presentation B.V.M. School community concentrated their efforts on devising a program to combat bullying based on the tenants of the Olweus Program. The school community still implements and updates the ideas and the protocols developed during this re-accreditation process. The Anti-Bullying Program concentrates on empowering the bystander, the child who stands and watches a bullying incident and may feel helpless to intervene. As a continual reminder, every day the children recite a pledge that emphasizes the role they all play in combating bullying.
In 2013 Pres again began the periodic re-accreditation process. This time the process involved a modified self-study and focused on the subject areas of religion, English language arts, mathematics, and preschool education. Presentation received its re-accreditation in the fall of 2014. This process has once again affirmed the school community’s strengths and directed the school community’s plans for the future. Its aims include the full integration of technology in the curriculum by students and teachers, the implementation of the Common Core State Writing Standards to all areas of the curriculum, and the expansion of the preschool program.