Shafter Elementary gets national accreditation
April 7, 2010
<b><i>Mainland team assessed school's leadership, governance, curriculum to verify Shafter Elementary's accreditation standards</i></b>
FORTAca,!E+SHAFTER, Hawaii - Shafter Elementary School has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges for the next six years.
"Elementary schools are not required to be accredited," said Robin Martin, Shafter Elementary School principal. "However, at Shafter, we feel it is important for us to continually reflect and improve on what we offer to students."
Only 11 out of 170 public elementary schools in Hawaii are accredited.
"The Accrediting Commission for Schools offers us a process for not only assessing ourselves, but also brings a team of trusted educators from the mainland or other schools to objectively examine all aspects of our school," Martin said.
"This visitation team looks at leadership and governance as well as student support, curriculum, instruction and assessment," Martin said.
The WASC is one of six regional accrediting associations in the United States that assists schools and colleges in achieving accreditation certifications.
"I was very impressed that the teachers and staff were willing to participate in the accreditation process," said Anne Shanks, who has a third grader at Shafter Elementary.
"A tremendous amount of work went into reviewing the school's curriculum, instruction, assessment and student support services, as well as documenting the findings and recommendations," Shanks said. "Our school is extremely fortunate to have such dedicated and gifted educators."
The accreditation process strengthens schools in the delivery of high-quality learning opportunities.
"As a military parent, it is very reassuring to know that my son is attending a WASC-accredited elementary school," Shanks said. "I feel confident that he is well-prepared to transition to his new school. My friends whose children attended Shafter, and have since moved to the mainland, all say that their children easily transition to their new schools."
"There is great parent participation, and the staff is very supportive of the students," said Pam Anderson, parent of Shafter Elementary sixth-grader Kirsten. "The school's student enrollment is small, and the staff really knows the students in all of the grades. The staff is very caring toward the students and 'wears many hats' to allow the students to be able to take part in extracurricular activities and clubs."
"I love the extra activities offered at Shafter Elementary," said Kirsten Anderson. "My sixth grade class has only 15 students, so we have more one-on-one time with the teachers and more computer time since we don't have to take turns. We all get to know each other better. I think this helps us all learn faster."
Shafter Elementary is accredited until 2015, the longest accreditation term available.
"It is because evidence shows that the school, by any standard, is delivering a quality curriculum and best practices in instruction," said Martin. "We want our parents, students and community to understand that at Shafter, we work hard to provide a quality education for our students.
"You can be proud to say that you or your children have attended an accredited elementary school," Martin said.A-"A?