In the next few weeks, you will be hearing a lot about Accreditation…
What is Accreditation? As a consumer, you want to be certain of the value of the product you purchase. If you want to know the kind of car to buy, you might ask a friend about their vehicle. Or you might read advertisements. Savvy consumers also turn to rating services such as JD Powers or Consumer Reports for their neutral, unbiased quality reviews before purchasing an automobile; in education, accreditation is similar to this savvy quest to understand the value of a school. In another way of thinking, accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and National Lutheran School Accreditation is a “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” or a “Better Business Bureau” accolade for a quality educational program. Accreditation is your assurance that Trinity Lutheran School promotes academic excellence and nurtures Christian character.
What does this mean for Trinity? Trinity Lutheran School, Infants to Eighth Grade, is seeking accreditation from two agencies, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and National Lutheran School Accreditation. The services of a consortium called AdvancED creates a framework for determining whether or not Trinity meets standards and criteria for accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and National Lutheran School Accreditation.
Why is Trinity seeking Accreditation? Since 1995, Trinity has been recognized for its quality by National Lutheran School Accreditation (NLSA). Trinity’s School Board believes strongly that Trinity compares quite favorably to other private schools, and has endorsed the journey towards accreditation by the NLSA and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
How does it work? Different groups (parents, teachers, students, church leaders) within Trinity Lutheran School are asked to share their impressions about various aspects of the school program, and committees meet to discuss the results from the feedback and prepare a Self-Assessment report. This Self-Assessment is then studied by a team of inspectors who will follow up their analysis of the Self-Assessment with a fact-finding External Review Team who visits the campus on April 12-14.
What is the Self-Assessment? Information is gathered and studied about five key components of quality schools:
- Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
- Student Services
Evidence is gathered in each of these areas, identifying strengths and areas for improvement. Those matters in need of improvement become the Strategic Plan for the school in the coming years.
Why does this matter? In summary, accreditation is your assurance that Trinity Lutheran School promotes academic excellence and nurtures Christian character!
How can you be involved? Committees started working on the Self-Assessment in March, 2015. In May 2015, parents, school staff, and students completed a battery of surveys about the five components of quality. Now, parents, congregation members and the community at large are all invited to the Trinity campus to meet the External Review Team when they visit on April 13 and 14, and to hear the Final Report at 4pm on April 14 in the Sanctuary of Trinity Lutheran Church.