A team from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges are wrapping up their visit to the island to oversee the Guam Department of Education’s efforts in District Accreditation.
Guam – Over the years, DOE has been looking to improve the school system and one of the plans is to get all 41 schools accredited as one whole system. DOE and WASC are working together to accredit three schools every year. Fernandez says this year, the team is looking to get Liguan, Price and CL Taitano Elementary Schools accredited. Meanwhile, Astumbo Middle School is undergoing a full self study, and Southern High School and Benavente Middle School are in mid-cycle review. According to a release from GDOE, they have been preparing for the visit for a year now by self-examining the department, checking on new and deliberate practices and placing laser-like focus on the learning of students. The collective effort towards this end is what GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez refers to as the “Blue Seal of Learning.” Also according to the release, the WASC visiting committee will clarify, validate, identify strengths and areas for growth from the department’s District Accreditation report.
According to WASC Associate Executive Director Marilyn George, GDOE has made good progress. She says, “We see the schools now aligning their implementation strategies, their work on a guaranteed curriculum, strong dialogue through professional learning communities, using smart goals in their plans that are aligned to the Stage Strategic Plan, use of a variety of assessments to support learning and the continual teacher sharing and learning so we found a culture that everyone is excited about learning and moving forward. That’s where we found many positive aspects as well as strong district recognition to where they need to go next.”
GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez says he hopes to get all DOE schools accredited by the year 2020.