Diocese of Rochester Schools recently received accreditation from the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools, the gold standard for measuring and evaluating school performance.
All 19 schools in the 12-county diocese were accredited as a system of schools.
“I congratulate the Diocese of Rochester Catholic Schools for their ongoing commitment to achieving excellence,” said Henry Cram, MSA-CESS president. “Middle States’ systems approach to accreditation examines school systems as a whole, ensuring that all levels are strategically aligned and working collaboratively to meet common goals and help grow and improve student performance.”
MSA-CESS accredits pre-K-12 public, private, parochial and charter schools along with universities, colleges, seminaries, nondegree granting career and technical post-secondary institutions, special purpose schools, supplementary education centers, learning services providers and distance education institutions.
Accreditation is a multifaceted evaluation process that schools and school systems voluntarily use to demonstrate they are meeting a defined set of research-based performance standards. The 12 standards for accreditation are mission, governance and leadership, school improvement planning, finances, facilities, school organization and staff, health and safety, educational program, assessment and evidence of student learning, student services, student life and activities and information resources.
The accreditation process starts with a self-study conducted by the school or school system that requires input from school leaders, teachers, parents and students. After the self-study, a team of volunteer educators from MSA member schools conducts an on-site peer review visit to observe school operations and interview various stakeholders.
The visiting team makes its recommendation to MSA-CESS for approval. MSA-CESS recently voted to accredit or reaccredit 148 schools and school systems in 12 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and six other countries at its biannual meeting in Philadelphia.
“As a system of prestigious Catholic schools, we appreciated that the Middle States accreditation process addressed the uniqueness of each school community,” said Anthony Cook, DRCS superintendent. “Accreditation through Middle States is not only an independent validation of the good work we do, but is a valuable process that has helped us with strategic planning, curriculum design and collaboration.”
For information, visit discoverdorschools.org.