WASC visits for Three Year Mid-Cycle Report
The purpose of WASC, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, is to make sure schools are effectively preparing all students. They have the responsibility to accredit institutions. The mid-cycle report was completed on March 19 and March 20. On the first day of the visit, WASC visitors not only observed and visited classrooms, they also met with teachers and students from each small school.
In spring of 2015, South East High School was received a 6-year accreditation with a 3- year mid-cycle report. In the past, South East has received a 3-year accreditation in 2006, and a 6-year accreditation with a 3-year mid-cycle report in 2009.
This year,the priority of the WASC visitors is to make sure the five critical areas of follow-up have been dealt with. Ms. Tinajero, the WASC Coordinator, said, “This year they are mainly going to focus on the five critical areas for follow-up that were found during the last visit.” These five areas are: to check for understanding strategies and techniques to ensure students master the content of the lessons, to make sure students with disabilities are actively engaged in daily lessons, to develop career and technical education for students, to develop a schoolwide instructional differentiation plan, and to analyze student achievement in order to improve student mastery of the course content.
In order to improve in the five critical areas, South East promoted Problem solvers, Responsible citizens, Independent resilient individuals, Disciplined learners, Effective communicators or PRIDE and Habits Of Mind or HOM. PRIDE and HOM clearly teaches students to be Responsible, independent, resilient individuals. Tinajero said, “We decided to change the acronyms that are now known as PRIDE, because it used to be ACE, and students didn’t really get it.”
This year the 3-year mid cycle-report was successfully completed. South East showed many strengths, such as having a strong administrative team, staff that has worked diligently to make sure students with disabilities have access to all curriculum and general education peers, among others. The five areas of follow up were completed, but South East still has three critical areas of focus. “This time they’re much more detailed,” said Tinajero. The three areas are: to continue to integrate students with disabilities, to continue to engage students in career focused learning, and to continue to use techniques that engage students and increase student achievement. South East has 6-weeks to update the action plan and upload it to WASC.