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'Candidacy For Accreditation'

To review WMS FINAL Self-Study & Action Plans, please scroll to the bottom of this page, click on document to download and print.

 

April 2014 

Accreditation Visiting Committee Commends WMS!

Accreditation is a never-ending process. It’s all about “continuous improvement” and our faculty and staff are committed to this.

But — really — it’s time to celebrate!  Last week’s formal Visit for Accreditation culminated 2+ years of hard work involving the entire faculty and staff and also many families and community friends. We won’t know the specific recommendation made by the Visiting Committee  to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) for a few more weeks, but the committee did share major Commendations and Recommendations. We anxiously await the written report but for now, we are happy to share several major Commendations:

C They commended WMS administration, faculty and staff for creating a safe, nurturing environment where students can focus on their learning.

C They commended students for embracing schoolwide core values and demonstrating them in their relationships with staff, other students, and the community.

C They commended the faculty and staff for their dedication to student learning as evidenced by their involvement in co-curricular and extra-curricular programs, their participation in school decisions, and their willingness to overlap roles and work beyond the required hours to ensure the work is done.

C They commended the school and its community partners who individually and collectively help to create meaningful, relevant learning experiences that extend far beyond the classroom to promote quality student learning and achievement.

There were other Commendations and many Recommendations and we will share these when they are finalized. But for now, we are celebrating everyone’s collaborative hard work and professionalism focused on what’s best for our students.

Mahalo to everyone who contributed to this process with a special Mahalo to our Ho’okako’o Local School Board and staff, our volunteer Local Advisory Panel, our internal Accreditation Steering Committee, and to the families and friends who attended last week’s LAP meeting (almost 50 strong!) and who spoke so passionately in support of our school. 

A Warm Mahalo!  

 


March 2014


WMS To Welcome WASC Accreditation Visiting Committee 

March 30-April 2, 2014

 

Waimea Middle School, which was designated a “Candidate for Accreditation” about 18 months ago by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), will welcome WASCʻs five-member Visiting Committee to campus March 30-April 2, 2014 to determine if the 285-student 6th, 7th and 8th grade public school is ready to be Accredited. 

 

The WASC Accreditation process is designed to assist schools in engaging the energies of all members of the school-community in reviewing and clarifying the school’s purpose, analyzing the effectiveness of the current program for students, developing plans to strengthen the current program, and assessing the stability and operation of the school.

 

Members of the WASC Visiting Committee include Team Chair Steve Shiraki with the DOE Office of Curriculum Instruction and Student Support, Katina Soares, Vice Principal at Kualapuʻu Elementary Public Conversion Charter School on Molokaʻi, Puanani Wilhelm, Education Director at Kua O Ka La Public Charter School in Pahoa, Ryan Masa, Chief School Officer at Hawaiian Education Council, and Mollie Sperry, Head of School (retired) with Academy of the Pacific. 

 

Preparing for this Accreditation visit has been a two-year process involving every member of the WMS faculty and staff and also its Hoʻokakoʻo Local School Board, its Local Advisory Panel (LAP) and its families and students.  They have collaborated on an in-depth Self-Study that evaluates the effectiveness of the school’s programs and operations to support high achievement of all students.  


The WMS Accreditation Self-Study resulted in developing four schoolwide Action Plans that will serve as a guide for ongoing improvement.  WMS Action Plans address (1) Student Supports, (2) Curriculum Alignment, (3) Educational Technology and (4) Development and Resource Management. 

During the visit, Accreditation team members will observe all classrooms, meet with faculty and staff members of the Self-Studyʻs eight Focus Groups to discuss their research, findings and proposed Action Plans, and talk with students, families and community partners. 

 

All WMS families, community partners and friends are invited to meet with the Accreditation Visiting Committee during the monthly Local Advisory Panel (LAP) meeting from 4-6 p.m., Mon., March 31 in Classroom K-04.  The meeting, chaired by community volunteer Dr. Kamana Beamer, will begin with a presentation by WMS 8th grade East Coast Travelers who will have just returned from an American History educational trip to Washington, D.C, New York City and Philadelphia. 


Supporting WMS through the Accreditation process has been the Hawai’i Association of Independent Schools (HAIS) and Kamehameha Schools.  

* * * * *

Very Important WMS Local Advisory Panel (LAP) Meeting with Accreditation Visiting Committee  

Mon., March 31, 4-6 p.m.  Classroom K-04.  Please join us!  

                                                                                                        All families and community friends welcome as well as students and faculty-staff.   



    * * * * *

February 2014

Waimea Middle School is currently involved in a joint Accreditation process through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Hawai’i Association of Independent Schools (HAIS). 

From March 30-April 2, 2014, we will be involved in our formal visit with 5 members selected by HAIS.  During the visit, we will ask stakeholders from all members of the school-community to meet with the visiting team to share perceptions of the school.

The Accreditation process is designed to assist schools in engaging the energies of all members of the school-community in reviewing and clarifying the school’s purpose, analyzing the effectiveness of the current program for students, developing plans to strengthen the current program, and assessing the stability and operation of the school.

We began the Accreditation process in the 2011-’12 school year with an Initial Visit with two representatives selected by HAIS.   In school year 2012-13 we began year one of our Self-Study.  This school year (2013-14), we completed the Self-Study in November and submitted it to WASC and HAIS. 

It is our hope that we will earn a substantial term of Accreditation.  


Progress Recap:

December 2013

Our Self-Study and Action Plans have now been submitted to WASC and HAIS and our formal Accreditation Visit is scheduled for Sun., March 30-Wed., April 2, 2014.  Details to come.  Mahalo to all for the tremendous effort that went into getting us to this point and supporting continuous school improvement!  

To review our Self-Study and Action Plans, please scroll to the bottom of this page and download pdf file. 

Please note:  The entire WMS school-community especially families and community friends are invited to our WMS LAP meeting from 4-6 p.m., Mon., March 31, 2014 to meet with the Accreditation Visiting Committee.  It would ideal to have reviewed the school's Self-Study and Action Plans prior to this meeting.  Questions?  Please call Principal Matt Horne (887-6090 Ext. 225).  

* * * * *

October 2013

Accreditation Process Continues

                                                                                                Family Input Requested On DRAFT 'Action Plans' 

A letter has been sent home to WMS families in the Oct. 15 Tuesday Envelope asking for input on our Draft Action Plans.  These Draft Action Plans identify specific steps to be undertaken to achieve specific goals and also who is responsible for the actions and a timeline.  The purpose of Action Plans is to help move the school forward in supporting student achievement by addressing the top priorities identified in our in-depth Self Study.  

Here's the 2-page letter that was sent to families identifying the four Action Plans and asking for comments.  While the deadline was originally Oct. 21, we would still welcome input...please click to download, and then provide your thoughts (they can be hand-written and also may remain anonymous).  They have your student return it to his/her Advisory teacher or to the school office.  If it's easier to respond by email, please send comments to Mrs. Pat Rice (pricekanehoa@gmail.com). 

An update on Accreditation will be shared at our next Local Advisory Panel (LAP) Meeting - 4-6 p.m., Mon., Oct. 28 in Classroom K-04.  Everyone is welcome to all LAP meetings.  Please click here to see the complete LAP agenda.  Mahalo! 

 
* * * * *

Finalized Vision, Mission, Beliefs & Schoolwide Learning Results (October 2013)
(This document reflects schoolwide input including faculty, staff, students, families, community members and our Local Advisory Panel.) 


November 2012

Accredition Self-Study Continues

Family Input Requested On DRAFT ‘Vision, Beliefs, School Wide Learning Results’

A letter was sent home to WMS Families in the November 13, 2012 Tuesday Envelope, asking them to please review the Draft “Vision, Beliefs & School Wide Learning Results” Statement.  This is part of our on-going Accreditation Self-Study. 

 

DRAFT - DRAFT - DRAFT  (To print and review, double click on this document or scroll to the bottom of the page)



August 2012

WMS Accreditation Leadership:

Matt Horne, Nau'i Murphy, Pat Rice & Mary Martinson 


Formation of School-Community Accreditation Focus Groups:

1) The School’s Philosophy/Purpose (Articulation WG) – led by Tisha Gusman & Catherine Shafer

2) The Governing Body (Governance WG) – led by Erica Owens

3) Finances/Development/Fundraising – led by Cherise Mundon

4) Administration/Faculty & Staff (ELT WG) – led by Jade Bowman and Mary Martinson.

5) Students – led by Shelby Loo.

6) The Community of the School – led by Patti Cook.

7) The Program (STEM WG) – led by Eunice "Laz" Lazarus & Spencer Williams

8) The School Plant/Health & Safety – led by Sherri Takamoto. 

 

To read more about the "assignment" each of these groups are working on, scroll to the bottom and download the Self Study K-12 Secondary Template provided by the Hawai'i Association of Independent Schools (HAIS). 


May 2012

Congratulations To All -- This Is A Major Step Forward!

Waimea Middle School Becomes

‘A Candidate For Accreditation’!

In what represents a major step forward and recognizes schoolwide academic  progress, Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School has become a “Candidate for Accreditation.”  This was approved by the Schools Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and comes after an Initial Accreditation Visit on April 13, 2012, covering the school’s entire 6th, 7th and 8th grade academic programs.  WASC Accreditation of a school is considered the “Good Housekeeping Seal” of approval in the education world.

WMS’ Initial Accreditation Visit Report prepared by the visiting team cites the following Schoolwide Areas of Strength:

  • The entire school staff for remaining on a steady course of action keeping students focused on their work, unified in purpose consistent with their mission and vision.
  • A dedicated staff that put kids first, creating the best experiences possible for them.
  • The entire school staff for remaining on a steady course of action keeping students focused on their work, unified in purpose consistent with their mission and vision.
  • A dedicated staff that put kids first, creating the best experiences possible for them.
  • Data-driven instruction and decision-making in collaboration with various stakeholder groups.                                 
  • Well run facilities, adequate instructional space and significant room for expansion.
  • School leadership and staff for providing a variety of learning experiences that support the needs of middle school learners.
  • School leadership, staff, parents and students for consistent academic growth over time and exceeding benchmarks for average daily attendance.
  • Administration, teachers and staff for providing a safe, secure learning environment with disciplinary referrals below statewide middle school averages.
  • School leadership for strong, coordinated community involvement in planning the future of WMS.
  • A Local School Board – Ho’okako’o Corp. – for establishing a consistent, systematic improvement path for its charter schools tied to specific multi-year Indicators of Success dashboards.

For WMS, “Candidacy for Accreditation” means the school has agreed to collaborate on preparing a written report to the WASC Commission to address progress that is being made in meeting the recommendations of the Initial Visiting Committee.  This report will be due no later than June 1, 2013. 

Also, prior to the end of the term of candidacy, the school must complete a self-study that evaluates the effectiveness of the school’s programs and operations to support high achievement of all students. 

What does “Candidacy For Accreditation” mean to students, families and our community? 

WMS will need to form Focus Groups and will be inviting students, family members and community members to participate as the school embarks on a comprehensive self-study.  The self-study will include a schoolwide action plan that will serve as a guide for ongoing improvement.

We will have more about this to share with the start of the next school year - stay tuned!  

Supporting WMS through the accreditation process are Kamehameha Schools, Ho’okako’o Corp., and the Hawai’i Association of Independent Schools (HAIS).

Waimea Middle School's Accreditation Team is led by Pat Rice, Mary Martinson and Nau'i Murphy. 

 

For more information about WASC's Accreditation process:

Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Accrediting Commission for Schools
533 Airport Blvd., Suite 200
Burlingame, CA 94010
Website: www.acswasc.org


To read WMS' Initial Accreditation Report, scroll to the bottom of this page and download the attachment. 

* * * * * 


Accreditation Begins!  Initial Team Visit April 13, 2012

Accreditation is considered the “Good Housekeeping Seal” of school excellence. 

With the support of and serious preparation by our faculty and staff, and also with the support of Kamehameha Schools,

Ho’okako’o Corp. and the Hawai’i Association of Independent Schools (HAIS),

WMS formally began the school Accreditation process by welcoming

an Initial WASC visiting team to campus April 13. 

This represents a huge step forward for the school and reflects our ongoing commitment

to constant improvement with student learning and high expectations for all.

Accreditation guests visited classes, talked with students, faculty, staff and family members

as well as Ho'okako'o Board members and staff. 

The purpose of the visit is to become a “candidate” for Accreditation,

which requires a commitment to a deep three-year self-study of this school-community’s vision, goals and dreams. 

We thank our teacher and staff as well as Kamehameha Schools, HC, HAIS and WASC

for helping to keep us moving forward!

 

 D