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Cazenovia High School seeks accreditation

Staff, students, parents to assist in forming new goals, improving performance

On Nov. 21 and 22, students of Cazenovia High School competed surveys, rating how well they thought the school currently meets the 12 standards the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools requires of all institutions seeking accreditation. By spring of 2013, high school administrators and faculty hope to have earned accreditation, developed a seven-year strategic plan and updated mission statement.

On Nov. 21 and 22, students of Cazenovia High School competed surveys, rating how well they thought the school currently meets the 12 standards the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools requires of all institutions seeking accreditation. By spring of 2013, high school administrators and faculty hope to have earned accreditation, developed a seven-year strategic plan and updated mission statement. Photo by Pierce Smith.

— Cazenovia High School is preparing to add another line to their long list of accolades and accomplishments. Administrators and faculty have recently begun to work towards earning accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Over the next year, the current state of the school will be evaluated by students, staff and parents. An updated mission statement will be fashioned, and a seven-year strategic plan will be established.

“Accreditation is a means of showing confidence in a school’s performance. We know we are an exceptional school, but now we will have the evidence to back up that claim, and continue to earn this title,” said Cazenovia High School Vice Principal Susan Vickers, one of the internal coordinators of the project. “The intent throughout the process is more than to focus on shortcomings; the chief goal is to seek remedies for inadequacies and to identify and nurture good practices. As our motto reads, we have a commitment to excellence at Cazenovia.”

First established in 1887, the Middle States Association is the oldest of the six regional accrediting agencies in the United States. MSA offers educational institutions assistance in improving their inner-workings and performance, by evaluating the school’s effectiveness in meeting standards set forth by organization, as well as the school staff and community members. The non-profit organization has worked with schools across the east coast, as well as institutions in Canada, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

The process, which Cazenovia High School hopes to have completed by the spring of 2013, aims to assist the institution in crafting an updated mission statement, while improving the performance and internal relationships between staff, students and parents.

MSA measures schools seeking accreditation against 12 standards: Understanding of the institution’s own philosophy/mission statement, governance and leadership, school improvement planning, finances, facilities, school climate and organization, health and safety, educational programming, assessment and evidence of student learning, student services, student life and student activities as well as information resources and technology.

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