WASC is a world-renowned accrediting association and one of the six regional accrediting agencies in the United States. It evaluates more than 5,000 schools and collaborates with other organizations, including as the California Department of Education (CDE). The accreditation process helps schools identify and implement improvement needs, support accountability, and align with the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). The WASC accreditation process is integral to MVLA’s cycle of continuous program improvement based upon student achievement.
The accreditation process requires that schools complete a self-study based on the previous WASC self-study and action plan to identify and implement school improvement needs. MVLA administrators and teachers dedicated hundreds of hours over a year and a half to research and write their self-study reports, covering topics such as school culture, leadership, enrollment and participation, discipline, and numerous other topics. The report gives structure and details for site visits by a WASC team of administrators and educators.
In the next five years, the schools will conduct an annual assessment of progress on their action plan and refine the plan as needed. There will be a mid-cycle visit in 2022 to ensure that schools have made progress on the action plan, and the accreditation will be up for renewal in June 2025.
Among the top priorities reflected in the MVLA plans are continued supports for English learners and use data to allocate resources equitably.
The WASC accreditation process:
- Offers certification to the public that the school is a trustworthy institution of learning
- Validates the integrity of a school’s program and student transcripts
- Fosters improvement of the school’s programs and operations to support student learning
- Assures a school community that the school’s purposes are appropriate and being accomplished through a viable educational program
- Provides a way to manage change through regular assessment, planning, implementing, monitoring and reassessment
- Assists a school/district in establishing its priority areas for improvement as a result of the perpetual accreditation cycle that includes:
- School self-assessment of the current educational program for students
- Insight and perspective from the visiting committee
- Regular school staff assessment of progress through the intervening years between full self-studies.
The accreditation reports are the culmination of several days of site visits, the purpose of which was to understand each school’s purpose, programs and operations.