The model has already garnered the interest of school districts throughout the Western Region, including Hawaii and California.
Guam – The Guam Department of Education is proud to announce that they received the first-ever District Accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez says it took designing and piloting an accreditation model and two years of hard work, but he’s proud that Guam is the first-ever to achieve district accreditation. So what’s the difference between school accreditation and district accreditation? Basically, Fernandez explains, that by granting GDOE district accreditation, it’s WASC’s way of saying that the school system or the district as a whole is focused on student success and has its own way of monitoring and correcting. Fernandez says now, instead of WASC reviewing each school, they take a look at the superintendent, the deputies, division heads and the central office and make sure they support all the schools with the objectives of the State Strategic Plan.
He says, “So the new thing about this is now you’re looking at the board, the superintendent and deputies, all our division heads and central offices and we’re asking the question, ‘how are we helping to support our school level efforts, what challenges do we face in making sure those efforts are successful, and what are those opportunities we need to take advantage of to make sure that as a central office we’re aligned with our schools and being a positive support for all our efforts.”
However, Fernandez explains that since 1/3 of the GDOE schools are not yet accredited, they’re going through two accreditation phases. He explains, “By 2020, every school should be accredited. All our teachers, staff and administration would’ve gone through the accreditation process and that’ll help them strengthen their ability to improve. So the district accreditation at this point is really looking at the central office and leadership are supporting those efforts. They do align. What we do here is integrated into the school level, but until all the schools are accredited, we’re still going through two processes, district accreditation and expansion of school accreditation. What we hope to do now is a better alignment of the accreditation process.”
Fernandez says GDOE has a six-year accreditation with an annual review and a mid-visit in 2019.