January 6, 2012
Dear SAIS Member,
I am happy to report that SAIS has once again successfully advocated for your school’s interests to retain the “independent school context” in your accreditation process. Mark Elgart (CEO of AdvancED) and I signed an agreement this week that defines and clarifies the requirements for SAIS schools that choose to seek AdvancED accreditation in conjunction with their SAIS accreditation. The accreditation process for SAIS schools remains substantially unchanged from the way that SAIS has managed it for schools over the past decade: by successfully completing the SAIS requirements for accreditation, and without anything extra or invasive, you will continue to be eligible for AdvancED/SACS accreditation.
SAIS accreditation is built upon the concept that schools are constantly evolving and are driven by a growth mindset. Your school makes great efforts to deliver customized and individualized educational experiences to all of your students by meeting them where they are and celebrating the uniqueness of each student. SAIS accreditation was built by educators from SAIS schools and is driven by SAIS peers who believe that an accreditation process must be flexible enough and bold enough to focus on the needs of a school, not on the needs of an association or an outside entity.
For member schools that choose to seek accreditation from both SAIS and AdvancED, the accreditation process will be managed for you by SAIS. AdvancED may offer your school access to their new ASSIST data management system as a means to self-monitor your school’s improvement, however, it will not be utilized as an accreditation management system for SAIS schools.
I will be happy to have individual discussions on this matter as I see you over the coming months. For those of you that plan to attend the Governance & Leadership Institute or the Planned Giving Symposium at the end of January, we will carve out some time to discuss this issue then if needed. For those not attending these events, I will be around the region throughout this spring semester and will be available to discuss the topic at any stop, as will Damian Kavanagh, SAIS Vice President of Accreditation. Additionally, there is more information available here.
Continue the good work in your schools and we will continue to work hard for you and your school communities. Let us know how we can assist you at anytime.
Stephen Robinson, Ph.D.
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