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SAIS Needs You! Join an Accreditation Team Today

Friday, June 22, 2018  
Posted by: Christina Mimms
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The people behind an accreditation review perform highly valuable work for SAIS member schools. While the visiting team might make everyone on campus a little bit nervous, they also can commend a school for its many accomplishments, provide valuable insight and advice, and help a school to get on a path for future growth. People visiting from outside the school community offer a fresh perspective that schools undergoing accreditation truly enjoy and appreciate. The team members also gain ideas and typically enjoy the experience so much that they are eager to serve again. So how do you join an accreditation team?

 

SAIS performs about 90 school visits per year. Each member school undergoes reaccreditation every five years. About 130 administrators are qualified team chairs. [To learn about chairing a team, read more.] A team usually consists of a chairperson and four administrators or faculty members from different schools, typically located outside of the city of the school undergoing review. Team members are vetted to ensure there is no conflict of interest with the school in question.

 

Serving on an accreditation team requires two days away from work and some preparation time. Team members receive documentation from the school they will review several weeks ahead of the visit.

 

During a visit, team members will tour the school campus and meet with various groups, including trustees, administrators, the accreditation steering committee, parents, alumni, faculty, and students. They also visit as many classrooms as possible to observe learning in action. The team may even have the opportunity to participate in a school event, such as an assembly or a chapel service. After meetings and classroom visitations conclude, the team will work on the official SAIS reports. As a group, they decide on commendations as well as recommendations for the school.

 

Throughout the classroom visits and many conversations with teachers and others in the school community, visiting team members may well learn about new programs or new methodology to try out at their home schools. The visit can provide a valuable form of professional development.

 

While team members must arrange for classroom substitutes or move other work around in order to be on a visiting team, the benefits are great, both personally and professionally. The experience also helps their own school. That person often will be asked to provide their expertise on the next steering committee, which is a positive professional recognition within their own community. “You may be better able to help your school when your reaccreditation comes around,” said Joanne Andruscavage, SAIS director of accreditation. “Being on a team is a great way to return the service given to your school, and it’s a wonderful re-energizer for you and your school.”

 

“Thank you for the opportunity to take part in this experience. I learned an extraordinary amount about the SAIS accreditation process and feel better equipped to return to my school as a school leader. In short, this was professional development in the most wonderful and practical of ways,” said Brooke Depelteau, who is academic dean at Christ School in Arden, NC, and who recently served on a visiting team. 

 

If you would like to serve on a visiting team, contact Joanne at (678) 231-2908, or visit sais.org/SignMeUp to complete an online form. 

 


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Institute for Heads
June 19-22, 2018 | Asheville, NC
This retreat offers an opportunity for thoughtful dialogue and engagement with colleagues on key issues facing heads of school and their spouses.

Dean of Students Symposium
June 27-29, 2018 | Asheville, NC
Develop a network of peers, discuss best practices on current issues, and gather practical ideas from colleagues.

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