What’s New at New Hope? How About Accreditation!
Dear Family and Friends of New Hope,
It has been a long year and a lot of work getting ready for our accreditation site visit. Phil Meager, associate director of AdvancED and team leader, spent Monday evaluating our school. The rest of the site visit team spent all day Tuesday going through our self study, meeting with students, parents, and staff, observing classes, reviewing documentation, etc.
As expected, they were very impressed with New Hope and are recommending us for full accreditation with NWAC/AdvancED. We should receive official word sometime in June. Our full accreditation will be good for 5 years, at which time we go through another site visit.
I want to thank each of you who had a part in this. I also want to thank all you former staff, volunteers, and board members for your many years of service to New Hope, building a firm foundation and making our school what it is. There is no way that this accreditation is the result of the last two years of work…this is the culmination of decades of labor by everyone involved.
Ultimately…our accreditation is the result of the Lord’s faithfulness to His school. May we continue to honor Him as long as New Hope exists.
Dear New Hope Families and Friends,
Over the past few weeks, I have been communicating with NWAC (Northwest Accreditation Commission), who were recommended to us by the University of Oregon. NWAC is a regional accrediting body for primary and secondary schools in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.
At their encouragement, Marsha and I filled out their application and did a school self-study based on NWAC’s “Standards and Annual Report Form”. This report assesses whether or not a school meets their accreditation standards.
On Friday, May 4, Dr. Dick Darst (Oregon State Director of NWAC) and Dr. Phil Meager (Regional Consultant for So. Oregon NWAC) made a site visit to our school. They spent several hours with Joesett Dirling (School Board Member), Marsha (Assistant Administrator), and me. During their visit:
- They reviewed our report, asked a number of questions, made a number of observations, and made some very helpful suggestions.
- We then took them on an extensive tour of our school, where they had opportunity to meet and talk with staff, students, and parents.
- At the end of the day, Dick and Phil met with Marsha, Joesett, and me to give us their final assessment.
They were very impressed with our school. Throughout the day, they continually commended our:
- Staff, students, and parents
- School atmosphere for radiating a sense of safety and caring, even stating that New Hope is obviously a great place to educate students
- Academic program, number of electives, and extra curricular activities offered
- Website, facilities, International Student’s program, and numerous other commendations
Marsha, Joesett, and I were continually impressed with their professional, yet caring and helpful demeanor.
At our final assessment meeting, the team gave us their decision:
- New Hope has gone through the initial accreditation site visit with the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC).
- The visiting team is recommending to NWAC that New Hope receive a provisional accreditation.
- This means that our accreditation would be good for the next two years. We will put together and work with a School Improvement Plan to prepare for a full external team visit by June of 2014, which will enable us to continue our accreditation status for another six years.
- The team is confident that their recommendation for New Hope’s accreditation will be approved by the commission. However, formal notification of our accreditation will be sent to us pending the commission’s final review and approval of the team’s recommendation, at their June 18 NWAC’s meeting.
- The team recommended that we make our accreditation retroactive to the beginning of our current 2011-2012 school year. This year’s seniors would then graduate from New Hope as an accredited school. We agreed, believing this to be wise counsel.
- They also suggested that we consider accrediting the entire K-12 school, not simply the high school. Our initial plan was high school only, but will certainly include our entire secondary now. We will also consider our entire K-12, depending on other factors.
As of July 1, NWAC becomes part of AdvancEd (a nationwide association). I will communicate more about this and how it will affect New Hope’s accreditation after receiving official notice from AdvancEd.
The accreditation team’s May 4th decision is the result of God’s grace and divine leading. It is also the result of our entire staff, school families, and school board’s commitment and professionalism. I praise God for His leading and am so pleased with all of you. Kudos to each of you!
Continuing in His Grace,