Shelterwood is pleased to announce our official AdvancED re-accreditation, awarded in July 2017. This five-year designation builds on our previous 20 years of accreditation, and affirms our commitment to academic excellence and ongoing improvement. “This is something we are very excited about,” shares Shelterwood Principal John Lawrence. “As we continue to make our school better through accreditation, we help our students to grow and learn.”
AdvancED (formerly North Central), with more than 100 years of work in school accreditation, is unique in its commitment to not simply certify a program, but help schools improve. AdvancED accredits more than 32,000 schools worldwide. While the organization no longer offers levels or tiers of accreditation, schools do receive an overall score, also known as the Index of Educational Quality (IEQ). The average score for an accredited institution is 278.34; Shelterwood received a mark significantly above average, at 353.85. This is 27% above average.
“This is a holistic measure of an institution’s performance, and it is a formative tool for us,” Mr. Lawrence explains. “The IEQ, and all the elements that go into it, help us understand our areas of strength, as well as our areas for strategic focus.”
The AdvancED team makes their accreditation decision following a rigorous campus visit. The time on campus included visits to classrooms, as well as discussions with staff, parents, administration, students and board members. Shelterwood was evaluated in three areas: teaching and learning, leadership capacity and resource utilization.
“The team found that we have some unique instructional challenges, as we serve students with a wide range of academic levels, from remedial to accelerated, as well as students with high emotional needs,” Mr. Lawrence adds.
The team remarked that Shelterwood’s purpose played out in every aspect of the school, from academics to counseling to mentorship and everything in between. “They were able to see what our purpose was in everything, and how we’re striving to restore families and help students, doing whatever it takes so these students can be successful.” The team also noted Shelterwood’s tight coordination of student support services and the culture of teamwork as “powerful practices.”
Shelterwood’s re-accreditation means that students’ course credits are accepted by many institutions and easily transferrable. This creates a more seamless transition back home, and helps set students up to be on track academically after Shelterwood. “We can provide students with credits that will transfer to pretty much anywhere, even including universities further down the line,” Mr. Lawrence explains.
Ultimately, Mr. Lawrence says, “the purpose of the AdvancED visit is not only to validate our work here, but also to help us in school improvement. Their visit helps us to prioritize our school improvement plan. It is a good feeling to know when you are doing things right, but AdvancED also gives us direction to address what is important.”