School receives official ‘seal of approval’ to teach through WASC accreditation

Marigot Fackenthal
Head of school Lee Thomsen

In late April, the school received a seven-year accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS).

This means that SCDS is officially considered a dependable school for students’ education.

It’s kind of like a seal of approval from an objective organization,” head of school Lee Thomsen said. “For example, a college might choose not to accept classes that are taken at an unaccredited school. It’s sort of like acting without a license.”

According to Thomsen, schools are graded on a variety of points, including financial practices, mission statements and governance structures.

Schools also have to submit a self-study, which Country Day submitted on Dec. 1.

Later a team of seven, usually made up of CAIS members and one WASC member, visited the school and wrote a team report. The team, led by Jurian Bull, visited March 13-15. They submitted their report on March 15. The report was an assessment of the school’s submitted self-study, an assessment of the school’s performance based on 16 accreditation standards, and a major recommendation summary, which consisted of only six items.

“We earned a seven-year accreditation with a one-day midterm visit,” Thomsen said. “So (in) three-and-a-half years, a member of the visiting team (will) come back and check in on our progress (in completing the recommendations).”

That check-up, which has not yet been scheduled, will be in 2020-21.

By Emma Boersma

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