Middle States Accreditation Journey
At its October 2016 meeting, the Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools voted to Award Accreditation to Wheatland-Chili Central School District, grades K-12. The term of accreditation is for seven years; therefore, our school system’s accreditation is for the period December 1, 2016 through December 1, 2023.
Middle States Accreditation is an external process that validates school quality and student achievement, and provides a focus for continuous school improvement. The Middle States Commission delivers one of the highest available forms of accreditation as one of seven United States Department of Education-recognized regional agencies.
To help you better understand the Middle States Standards, our calendar has been organized this year around the Middle States Standards of Mission, Governance and Leadership, Improvement Planning, Finances, Facilities, Climate and Organization, Health and Safety, Educational Program, Assessment and Evidence of Student Learning, Student Services, Student Life and Student Activities, and Information Resources and Technology. As a District, we will use these standards to guide our work toward academic excellence.
In 2012-2013, we began the process of preparing for Middle States Accreditation. This involved our Board of Education’s alignment of their priorities for the District with the Middle States Standards. Our journey continued as follows:
- Beginning in 2012-2013, our school improvement plans developed at T. J. Connor and the Middle/High School were aligned with the priorities.
- We formally submitted an Application of Candidacy to the Middle States Commission in April of 2014.
- Based on our application, we underwent a Candidacy Visit in September of 2014 and met the standards for and were offered Candidacy for Accreditation.
- An Accreditation Self-Study began in 2014-2015, which included surveys of our staff, parents, and students in 2015-2016.
- The next phase toward Middle State Accreditation was the Accreditation Visit by a team of individuals representing the Middle States Commission. This team was a group of six people from across New York State and Pennsylvania who visited our schools, gathered information about our District, and will give us some ideas of how to strengthen the support that we provide to our students, staff, and community. The Middle States Accreditation Visit occurred from Monday, March 7, 2016, through Thursday, March 10, 2016.
As a result of the self-study that we prepared and the observation and analysis completed by the Middle States Accreditation Team, the Team Leader shared on Thursday, March 10, 2016, that a recommendation for a seven-year accreditation is being made to the Middle States Commission.
We are committed to academic excellence for all students and are looking for feedback from the accreditation team to help us improve. Most colleges and universities are accredited, and we aspire to join the public school districts who have also met accreditation standards. Other schools in this area that are accredited include Aquinas, Bishop Kearney, McQuaid, Mercy, St. Pius, St. Agnes, Geneva Central, and Mt. Morris.
We thank our Board of Education and all staff, community members, and students who participated in the Self-Study process. Your contributions were critical and meaningful whether you completed a survey; participated on the Shared Decision Making Team, Curriculum Council, and/or Leadership Team as part of our Planning Team for Self-Study completion; engaged in the review of our curricular areas; or participated in the school improvement planning process.
Attached are informational posters that we prepared and posted in our schools to highlight the Accreditation Visit. Also attached are the twelve Middle States Accreditation Standards (standards for public school districts are highlighted in yellow for reference). Information about the benefits of the Middle States Accreditation can be found at: http://www.msa-cess.org/RelId/33637/ISvars/default/Home.htm.