Camillus - West Genesee gets accredited



West Genesee re-accredited until 2013

By Kimberly A. Michalak

West Genesee High School has been re-accredited until 2013 by the Middle States Association's Commission on Secondary Schools.

The decision to re-accredit West Genesee High School was made following a three and one-half day visit to the school in April. The visiting team of educators were from member schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools appointed by the Commission on Secondary Schools.

"The school has been accredited since the early 1960s," Brian Kessel, assistant principal and internal coordinator said. "A team comes out to make sure that our school is meeting the highest of standards."

During the visit, the Middle States team met with and interviewed representatives of the school's stakeholders, including teachers, students, parents, and administrators, as well as representatives of the West Genesee Board of Education. Team members also toured the school's facilities, studied the school's strategic plan for school improvement and other documents related to the school's work, and observed teaching and learning in classrooms.

To be accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools, a school must meet the Middle States Association's standards for each major area of a school's work and activity.

These areas include the school's philosophy/mission/beliefs/objectives, governance and leadership, organizational design, learning media services and technology, student services, student life and activities, facilities, health and safety, finances, assessment of student learning, and planning.

"The school board and community think that it is important to have an outside agency with high standards that looks at us truly from an outside perspective," Kessel said. "Meeting their standards shows us opportunities for growth."

West Genesee High School went above and beyond and elected to use the Accreditation for Growth protocol, which meant the school was required to do more than meet the Association's normal standards for accreditation. Accreditation for Growth (AFG) is a unique accreditation process that uses strategic planning as a vehicle for school improvement and growth in student performance.

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