AdvancED evaluates BSM’s performance

Sara Schlueter

On February 18, students may have noticed Principal Sue Skinner walking around the school halls with board members following behind her. These board members from AdvancED had to observe various classes and listen to student panels as part of the process to keep BSM’s accredidation.

With 23,000 schools to keep accredited, the national and international corporation AdvancED that came to BSM needed to seek evidence that the school is maintaining a quality education program. For a school to receive accreditation, it must meet high academic standards, engage in continuous improvement, and
demonstrate quality assurance through external review.

AdvancED also needs to verify that the school meets seven standards that they set forth which help to measure how well a school can achieve quality student performance. Each standard has guidelines on what must be achieved and these standards range from teaching and learning to the school’s resources and support systems.

BSM has continued to receive accreditation and demonstrates the use of excellence every five years when the board comes. While the school has never had a problem with accreditation, it still takes some preparations to get the school ready. “Before the accreditation board comes, we have various faculty and staff meetings to look for evidence that we are meeting these standards. We also prepare a report and send it to the accrediting agency,” said Principal Sue Skinner.

What the board does when they come to the school is tour the school and listen to panels of students, parents, board members, and support staff. “They want to get a feel for the school culture and to see if we are meeting their standards,” said Dr. Skinner.

Lindsey Clark, one of the board members who came to evaluate the school, found the panels of the students very informative. “We listened to students from every grade. It was a great experience, both for their suggestions and praise [of the school]. They were really able to back up everything they said with examples,” said Lindsey Clark.

In addition to sitting in on classes, walking through the halls of BSM, and talking to people, the board looks at everything that has anything to do with the school. “We show them binders of master schedules,
finances, Knightly news letters, coach’s handbooks, and anything else they need to look at,” said Dr. Skinner.

BSM had a positive impression on the board members that came, and they enjoyed their experiences. “I really like that no matter who you asked about the vision [of the school], there was the general idea of focusing on mind, body, and spirit. In addition, the school shows a lot of pride,” said Julie one of the board members.

The school will get a report about the accreditation in a few weeks, and it will include what the school needs to improve on. “There is no doubt that we will receive accreditation, and we will continue to make the school a better place,” said Dr. Skinner.