“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.” Phil. 4:6
So much has been happening around the school this last month. Two big highlights are the Mission trip to Binjae, near Medan and the Accreditation team coming to the school. The people on the mission trip had a great time and I want to thank all of you for your support of this trip. However, without minimizing that trip, I want to focus this letter on the accreditation team being here.
The joint accreditation team from WASC/ACSI was here with us last week. As you can imagine there was heightened nervousness and anxiety as we wanted to show our best side. This was the culmination of the last six years of work preparing for this reaccreditation visit. But at my house someone had written the verse above. It proved to be a real source of encouragement and grounding throughout the week. In the same way if you are facing an anxiety time this month, big or small, I encourage you to give it to God and let his words encourage you in the face of whatever is before you.
The accrediting team had a very positive visit and I want to share with you some of the feedback they have given to the school because you have played a big part in the success. Thank you!
The team recognized many strong points and commended the school in the following areas. We are proud of our good school and thank you all for the part you play in it.
- The school regularly reviews and frequently communicates the core documents and statements of the school to build a common foundation and continuity that regularly reminds the school community of its priorities.
- The whole community of WIS is committed to the unity and the values of the school, along with strong support for school leadership and teaching staff.
- The teachers have a strong commitment to the mission of the school which demonstrates highly commendable service to the students and families.
- The administration and teachers have a clear commitment to embed the ESLRs within the instructional life of the school which supports student development.
- The Administration is committed to improve and increase the technology available to teachers to support their classroom instruction.
- There are well maintained facilities at the school which promote a conducive learning environment and the opportunity for students to engage in a variety of extra-curricular activities.
- The Board, Administration and Faculty have a clear commitment to the Christian principles of the school as laid out in the core documents which directly support the goal of “Raising up Christians”.
- The students display strong character, Christian disciplines and a commitment to service in their daily lives contributing to the positive environment at Wesley International School.
It is always nice to have the commendation outnumber the recommendations but the accreditation cycle is a process of school improvement, so we also expected a number of areas that they would leave recommendations to work on. There are commendations and recommendations for all areas of the school, but I will share with you the five major recommendations they left us, the big things that we have to address over the next six years.
- That the director devise a means to evaluate the members of the administrative team so that professional standards of competency are maintained for the well being of the school at large.
- That the supervision and evaluation process be reviewed to determine how it can be used to improve student achievement and promote best practices. Based upon information gathered from the evaluation process it is recommended that the Leadership also develop a focused professional development plan which aligns to the CSIP and improves student learning.
- That Administration and Faculty implement a curriculum framework within the school and a more defined curriculum review cycle to provide increased definition, and common approaches within the school to improve student learning.
- The leadership and faculty define and implement a set of school wide expectations for gathering and analyzing disaggregated external and internal assessment data to inform curriculum development, and drive instructional changes in the school in order to increase student achievement and make effective decisions on how to differentiate instruction.
- That the Leadership and Faculty develop assessment tools for evaluating student achievement of the ESLRs which will provide longitudinal data for program and instructional improvement.
These will now need to be folded into our Continuous School Improvement Plan, so that we can address these issues over the next 6 years.
Again thank you for the support and help that you all are in making this school such a great place to serve and minister. I know that we will be able to walk together and work together to meet these next set of challenges give to our school so that we can continue to grow.
Director – Wesley International School