We’re pleased to announce that the final step in our seven-year-long dual accreditation process with ISACS (Independent School Accreditation of the Central States) and AMS (American Montessori Society) is coming as we prepare for our team site visit at the end of the month.
We will be hosting nine education professionals which include teachers and administrators (both Montessorian and non-Montessorians alike) who will spend four days with us. During this visit, every aspect of the school is examined and documented, including governance, curriculum, fiscal and personnel policies, facilities, health and safety practices, teacher preparation, and learner outcomes.
So, what exactly does this dual accreditation mean? Accreditation, for ISACS and AMS, begins with an intensive self-study, by the school, involving the school’s entire community. Our whopping almost-200-page self-study goes over every aspect of our school. At the end of the self-study period, a thorough onsite peer visit is conducted. In addition to determining whether the school meets the over 200 AMS and ISACS standards, the visiting team evaluates the school to see how well it is achieving its mission and goals—whether the school is what it says it is and does what it says it does.
ISACS is a membership organization of more than 230 independent schools from 13 states in the Midwest region. The purpose of ISACS is to promote the development of active learning communities characterized by high achievements, social responsibility, and independence of governance, programs, and policies. This goal is achieved partly through a rigorous school accreditation process.
While the United States Department of Education can only recognize accrediting bodies for higher and adult education, ISACS accreditation is recognized by the U.S. Government. AMS accreditation affirms that a school meets a standard of excellence recognized within the Montessori community and by educators worldwide. Because AMS is accredited by the National Council for Private School Accreditation, schools that are AMS-accredited also gain accreditation by the NCPSA. Additionally, accreditation assures families that their child's school is a quality one and that it is accountable to a larger body. Finally, we will receive a report with commendations and recommendations from the visiting team which will help us grow as a school.
We will be in great company as our peer ISACS or AMS schools include: Near North Montessori, Brickton Montessori, Ancona School, Avery Coonley, Beacon Academy, The British School, The Latin School of Chicago, Francis W. Parker, Rogers Park Montessori, Countryside Day School, and University of Chicago Laboratory School.
A special thanks to the Steering Committee: Roxy Krawczyk, Nicole Cochrane, Phoenix Holt, and Alex Valera. Thanks again to everyone who has supported this incredible journey, and we can’t wait to celebrate our final steps.
A blog by various Alcuin staff members.