What Is Middle States?
The Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools, building on the rich history of the Middle States Association, aspire to improve the quality of education in the United States and around the world by assisting schools in achieving excellence through the process of accreditation, by affirming to the public a member school’s trustworthiness and commitment to continuous improvement, by providing the network and resources for the promotion of proven practices.
MSA believes that:
- Education is important to the quality of life in our global society.
- All children deserve access to a quality education.
- All schools can achieve excellence in both teaching and learning through innovation.
- Self-assessment, external validation, and accountability are essential to school improvement.
- Achieving excellence through accreditation promotes a commitment to a shared vision of continuous improvement, diverse stakeholder support, and sustained effort over an extended period of time.
- Accreditation is a collaborative partnership grounded in professionally recognized and accepted research-based standards.
Why is it important?
Involvement in an ongoing accreditation protocol recognizes achievement and fosters and facilitates ongoing school improvement.
- Provides a systematic process that requires a school to justify its existence, establish a vision of its future, and determine specific objectives to realize that vision.
- Reveals information that serves as a sound basis for school or district improvement, strategic planning, restructuring, and staff development.
- It takes a holistic approach, examining the entire school's philosophy and goals, community, programs and services, facilities, and financial stability.
- Provides the means to manage change through regular assessment, planning, implementation, and reassessment.
- Helps schools/districts establish priorities for improvement by using comprehensive, research-based needs assessments rather than faddish approaches to improvement.
- Requires the establishment and implementation of a multi-year improvement plan based on the school’s vision of the future.
- Provides an excellent growth experience for staff, who participate on volunteer visiting teams to evaluate other schools
Accreditation provides a means for public accountability by:
- Validating the integrity of a school’s program and student transcripts.
- Assuring that the school’s purposes are appropriate and accomplished through a viable educational program.
- Justifying the faith and resources others place in the school.
Accreditation fosters stakeholder involvement and commitment by providing opportunities for greater involvement in charting the direction and future of the school. Accreditation offers a mechanism to involve constituent groups in creating a vision of the future, not just allowing it to happen.
Accreditation builds positive community and stakeholder relations by:
- Providing opportunities to emphasize the positive and demonstrate the strength and effectiveness of the school.
- Broadening the staff view of community expectations and fostering closer school and community collaboration.
- Articulating and communicating opportunities between school levels and among stakeholder groups.
Blessed Sacrament School was reaccredited in 2023 for the next seven years.