What is WASC and why is it important to DHHS?
Every public high school and college must conduct a self study in order to be accredited. The organization that determines the accreditation term is called the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The organization gathers a group of administrators, teachers, former teachers, and/or district personnel from around the state to formally visit our school and verify a report that our school generates as a result of our self study. This report is written collectively by the staff and must be submitted to the school board for approval. Because the DHHS WASC visit is scheduled for the spring of 2018, we began the process of the self during the fall of the 2016-17 school year and are continuing the process until the visit by representatives from WASC. From now until the visit, focus groups will be meeting to discuss various issues during late start collaboration time. Parent and student volunteers will be working alongside teachers, staff members, and administrators to examine school programs, support services, and academics among other pertinent topics. Our goal is to produce a valuable report and receive the best accreditation.
Why is it important to students?
Schools that are granted a commendable accreditation term (6 years is the best!) have shown themselves to be highly capable of producing competent, college-bound graduates. Schools that are not granted a good accreditation term (3 years to 1 year) are not looked favorably upon by colleges. Students generally want to go on to college after high school. If DHHS is not accredited well or at all, students’ high school diplomas will not be valid for college admission.
What do students need to know?
Students need to know that their teachers use the Common Core Standards as the foundation of all that they do in the classroom. Students also need to know that DHHS expects graduating seniors to have accomplished the School-wide Learner Outcomes (SLOs) upon graduation. The SLOs are as follows:
- Innovative thinkers, problem solvers, and lifelong learners
- Culturally sensitive citizens
- Effective communicators
What will happen during the WASC visit?
The visit will last from a Sunday through a Wednesday in the spring of 2018. The visiting committee members will visit every classroom throughout their stay, interview staff members, parents, and students. Students will be randomly selected by the visiting committee members to talk about their experiences at DHHS.