I’ll be spending a few days early next week at Mount St. Mary as a member of an ANSAA accreditation team. As I’ve prepared for the visit reading their self-study, evaluating their curriculum maps, and developing an objective understanding of their school operations, I’m reminded of our accreditation visit just 10 months ago.
One of the most beneficial aspects of an accreditation process is the self-study. The introspective process forces everyone inside an organization to identify, with objective lenses, the strengths and weaknesses of the organization (or as ANSAA says, “commendations” and “recommendations”). And no matter the organization, there are always strengths and weaknesses.
Ten months ago we identified some of our commendations and recommendations. We commended ourselves on the things built into our culture— a mission mindedness and a deep sense of community. We were also commended for our parent/community involvement and our board leadership.
In regards to recommendations for improvements, this year we are focused on improving our professional development and collaboration (PLCs, grade-level, and department meetings) as well as the spiritual formation of students and faculty. We are still striving to be a strong community while still making improvements towards excellence. These aren’t things that can be “fixed” overnight; rather, they are works in progress that we hope become the fabric of our school.
I’m looking forward to spending time at Mount next week.
Just like us, their parents, students, teachers, staff, and administrators are proud of their school and their mission, and I enjoy seeing that in others.
Just like us, they are not a perfect organization, and I’m glad to know we’re not the only imperfect organization around.
Just like us, they want to improve, and I’m glad I can help them do that.
Just like us, they will benefit from the accreditation process because I know we certainly did.
And just like us, they’ll be happy Tuesday afternoon when the accreditation visit concludes because we’ve been there and we know that feeling as well.