WASC Accreditation committee shares feedback on MVHS strengths and weaknesses

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On Wednesday March 6, the Western Association of School and Colleges
(WASC) completed their periodic accreditation process of Mountain View High
School and reported their findings.

An in-depth process that culminates in meetings with staff, administration,
and students as well as in-class visits, preparation for the approval begins more
than a year in advance. A similar accreditation last occurred six years ago.

In their official report, the Visiting Committee stated:

In terms of student achievement this is an excellent school. State testing results
are very strong and the school is closing its identified achievement gap. The open
access to AP and Honors classes results in very high enrollments there, and students
matriculate to college at a very high rate. The VC feels, based on student, parent, and
staff input that there may be a gap in service to students who do not see themselves as
college bound. The school has begun to address this and has further plans for next
year. Room for improvement remains.

The school’s strengths include:

1. New Teacher Support
2. Academic Support and Intervention: AVID, ELD, SDAIE, Tutoring Center,
Homework Club
3. Caring and Nurturing Staff
4. Support of English Language Learners
5. High Expectations of Staff and Students
6. Implementation of Cycle of Inquiry Model and Initiating Curriculum Alignment:
Common Formative and Summative Assessments, Common Grading Practices,
Common Course Information Sheets
7. Districts Commitment to Provide Requested Data to Instructional Staff

“The demands (from staff) of students and on each other is only going to make
this place better,” one committee member said, speaking to the MVHS Staff. “You’re
really taking steps forward in your student’s lives rather than accepting the status
quo.”

The committee also provided a list of areas in which the school as a whole could focus on for improvement.

School wide Critical Areas for Follow-Up:

1. Resume the Process of the Creation of School Wide Mission and Vision which
Reflect Current Reality and Includes School Wide Learning Outcomes
2. Continue the Focus on Improving School Wide Communication to Promote
Collegial Conversations Amongst Certificated Staff
3. Develop Structures to Provide Whole Staff Meeting Time to Clarify Objectives
and Celebrate Successes

4. Continue to Explore Curricula Opportunities for all Postsecondary Educational
Experiences and Educate Community on Value of a Variety of Postsecondary
Options
5. Continue Efforts to Reduce Achievement Gap
6. Determine Next Steps for Appropriate Targeted Professional Development
to Support Departments in Regards to Curriculum Alignment, Common
Formative, and Summative Assessments, Common Grading Practices, and
Common Course Information Sheets

In discussing areas of improvement, one committee member mentioned, “get a
common view of where you’re going to go next,” describing the need for a clearer
vision.

“Celebrate some of your successes; you have a lot of them. Some are successes in
data, but there are others. You had your first football night game—that should be a
success,” another committee member said, generating laughter among many of the
staff.

“At a school where you could easily throw those kids (who are struggling or
don’t get it) away and no one would know—we aren’t going to…we have a moral
and ethical responsibility as educators to them,” another committee member
said about MVHS’ focus on academic support programs and efforts to close the
achievement gap. “You choose to be progressive. You choose to challenge yourselves
and move forward. We commend you for that.”

In a conclusion that resembled the relieved and accomplished mood in the
room, the committee chair pointed out the new time the completed accreditation
process will give staff.

“Now that this process is over, take the new time to focus on your kids.”

 

Naib Mian
Naib Mian, News Editor of the Oracle, has been on the staff for four years. His work with the San Jose Mercury News Mosaic inspired him to reach as high of a journalistic standard as possible, and he enjoys writing articles that break the news, spark controversy or discussion, or shed light on the less known yet noteworthy parts of life. He relishes Gothic Literature, food stands, layout design, and occasional runs.
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