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When Advent started back from the holidays, there were several parent meetings at the school. We discussed school improvement efforts since the last accreditation cycle and what our goals will be as we progress through this next one. If you missed these meetings, we will be holding one more meeting (TBD because of the winter weather). The purpose of these meetings is to share with parents how Advent leverages our accreditation process to meet standards of good practice which makes our school stronger. Schools have a choice of which accreditation model to adopt and Advent is certain that throughout its history it has chosen the best model to help us achieve our mission.

Advent was the first independent school in the state to achieve SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) accreditation. Through the years, Advent has successfully advanced through re-accreditation cycles. In 2002, Advent decided to adopt the SAIS (Southern Association of Independent Schools) model. SAIS partnered with SACS to provide a model that went beyond historical expectations and added a component of self-improvement. We are now dual accredited with SAIS/SACS.

What is SAIS accreditation?

Accreditation is a voluntary process of self-evaluation and continuous improvement that reflects compliance with required standards/indicators; involves a self-study; and includes a peer review by educators from outside of your school. Independent schools that seek accreditation through SAIS understand that our process is designed specifically with you in mind. SAIS accreditation allows you to tell your story, to set your goals, and to be independent, while still fulfilling the stringent and focused compliance requirements of our process. SAIS accreditation focuses on your school and your efforts to fulfill the school’s mission.

As the single largest independent school accrediting organization in North America, SAIS is not only the leader in accrediting for the future, but also dedicated to helping schools fulfill their missions. The SAIS model of accreditation partners with the school as they grow.

– Excerpt taken from the SAIS website.

This current cycle began shortly after the last one concluded in 2012. We have worked diligently to improve our areas of need while balancing the commitment never to change key elements important to the heart of our school. In August 2017, Advent was approved for our upcoming accreditation review team visit. We submitted responses to standards and indicators affirming compliance in every standard. We had a visit from our accreditation team chair who reviewed our standards, met with various faculty and other constituents, and attended a Board meeting. She recommended without reservation that we advance to this next visitation stage.

During the upcoming visit, an even deeper evaluation of our standards will take place, a determination if we are adhering to our mission will be made, and an assessment of our self-study and school improvement plan will provide invaluable feedback for implementation going forward. Improvement goals were based upon significant self-evaluation including creation of a strategic plan, studies involving our value narrative parent survey, and faculty and staff accreditation committee work.

We are thankful for this process and we look forward to our upcoming visitors. Our visiting team comes from Tennessee, Oklahoma, Florida, and Alabama. They will be on campus January 21-23. Please give them a warm Advent welcome!

Palmer Kennedy

*To learn more about Advent Episcopal School, please visit our website: http://www.adventepiscopalschool.org