High Schools Hosting Decennial Accreditation Teams through 2019
Member schools are required to undertake a Self-Study every ten years in preparation for the Decennial Visit. The purpose of a Self-Study is to draw and substantiate conclusions that the school has built about how well it aligns with each Standard for Accreditation. These conclusions will subsequently provide guidance regarding ways to strengthen and support the school's on-going efforts to improve its practices related to teaching and learning. The Visiting Team’s conclusions, informed by the school's Self-Study and other sources of evidence, ultimately provide the Commission on Public Secondary Schools with information that will affect the school's continued accredited status.
Overview of the Process
The Self-Study typically takes two semesters. However, based on other variables such as the size of the faculty, the allocation of release time, and the amount of time needed to complete existing initiatives, the time needed for this process may vary.
The decennial visit is the second phase of the Accreditation process in which the school hosts a Visiting Team of peer reviewers for three and a half-days. The task of the Visiting Team is to determine the extent to which the school aligns with the Standards for Accreditation and what it needs to do to improve and better meet its stated mission and expectations for student learning.
The Visiting Team will ensure examination of Self-Study findings by talking with:
• school Self-Study committees
• groups of parents
• groups of students
• groups of teachers
• individual teachers
• school administrators
• school committee/board members
• central office personnel
• support staff
• community representatives
In addition to the many conversations that will occur with groups and individuals, the Visiting Team will also hear a panel presentation from the school, attend a brief reception hosted by the school, shadow representative students for a half-day, and review a collection of student work.
At the end of the final day of the visit (usually Wednesday), the chair of the Visiting Team will deliver closing remarks to faculty, administration, the superintendent, and school board/committee. This presentation will be devoted to a summary of the highlights of the Visiting Team’s report. The Commission has ruled that no members of the press should attend the presentation, and no notes should be taken or recordings of the comments should be made.
The accredited school should not expect to receive a comprehensive evaluation of every school program or department. The team will look at these areas only to determine how they contribute to the school's adherence to the Standards for Accreditation. The school will receive a full report from the visiting team within three months, and the Committee on Public Secondary Schools will act on that report at its subsequent quarterly meeting.