What the WASC?!

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What is WASC?

WASC is the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.  They are an outside body that visits schools to make sure that schools are doing what they should.  Accreditation means that the diplomas awarded by a school have meaning.

 

How can students support the WASC visit?

Be kind. Be generous. Be truthful.

Participate in class, know where to find the Student Learning Outcomes in your classroom, and learn what they are. 

Image provided by Ms. Murphy

Be able to answer questions about the agenda and essential questions posted in your classroom.

There will be WASC team members on campus all day February 25th, 26th, and 27th. They will be visiting every classroom and will be looking for students to share their experiences on campus when asked. All teachers are requesting of you is that you are your bright and shiny selves.  Do not be afraid if one of the visiting team members asks you about your classes, or even invites you to a WASC lunch meeting! The members will be meeting with students during 4th period in large groups to interview you about your experiences at Taft.

Are we at risk of losing our accreditation?

Technically, this is the group that determines whether or not we are accredited. However, no, we are not. This is a self-evaluative and self-study process, and the teachers and faculty have been working hard to ensure that our school is putting its best foot forward. By taking the time to look at our school, our teaching methods, and our facilities, and make sure that we have been growing and developing to meet students needs, we are ensuring that students are receiving a quality education that we can be proud of. This self-study process is also the time when we look to the future and our goals for the coming years, and determine what changes we need to make, and how we can best make progress to the goals we identify.

 

How does WASC affect this school?

Accreditation is important for the school because it gives meaning to the diplomas.  However, it also requires that schools use a reflective process as they create policies and make decisions on campus. What this means is the school has a report from the last full visit six years ago.  The report took in the information from the previous visit, looked at the data that was current when the report was written and made a plan for the six years leading to today. The current WASC document takes into consideration the recommendations made by the WASC visiting committee six years ago, the current data, and our goals moving forward.  

 

This is important because the WASC documents inform how many of the decisions on campus are made.  For example, a goal from the last WASC visit was to increase the technology on campus and its use in all classrooms.  Most students will have noticed that this goal has resulted in more access to technology in the classroom, more technology tools, more assignments that are informed through and by technology use and also that teacher use and understanding of technology has increased.  There are certainly other goals, but this reflective process has allowed us as a campus to work on improving things that are important to students, teachers, administrators, and parents.

This has been a long and arduous process for teachers and faculty, but it will all be worth it when we can show WASC the amazing things that are happening on our campus! Thank you all so much for doing your part in making a strong impression on our visiting team. Go, Toreadors!!