Bishop Grimes is accredited by the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS) using the Excellence by Design protocol. In order to be accredited, Bishop Grimes underwent a two year-long self-study process that involved surveying stakeholders, analyzing student data, creating student performance objectives based on the results of the analyzed data, and providing evidence and documentation that the school met the twelve standards of excellence that MSA-CESS has designated as necessary to be accredited. The twelve standards for accreditation are:
|Standards of Excellence||An Excellent Catholic School…|
|1. Philosophy / Mission||is guided and driven by a mission that embraces a Catholic identity rooted in Gospel values.|
|2. Governance and Leadership||has a governance model that exercises responsible, collaborative decision-making in support of mission, academic excellence, and operational vitality.|
|3. Planning for Growth and Improvement||develops and enacts a comprehensive plan for institutional advancement based on mission.|
|4. Finance||emphasizes faithful stewardship in a feasible financial plan.|
|5. Facilities||develops and maintains facilities to continuously support the implementation of the educational mission.|
|6. System Climate and Organization||is shaped by communion and community and sustained by Gospel witness.|
|7. Health and Safety||provides safe, orderly, and healthy environments for teaching and learning|
|8. Educational Program||is committed to faith formation, academic excellence, and service.|
|9. Evidence of School System Effectiveness||uses assessment methods to inform the continuous improvement of instructional practices and promote optimum student performance.|
|10. Student Services||
provides programs and services aligned with mission to enrich the academic program and to support student development.
|11. Student Life and Student Activities||provides opportunities outside the classroom for faith formation and action in service of social justice.|
|12. Information Resources and Technology||maintains a technology plan designed to support the educational mission.|
What is Middle States accreditation?
MSA-CESS accredits preK-12 public, private, parochial, charter, non-degree granting career and technical post-secondary institutions, special purpose schools, supplementary education centers, learning services providers, and distance education institutions.
- Adhering to the Middle States Standards for Accreditation;
- Using the school’s mission, beliefs, and goals as the basis for daily decision-making;
- Operating in the public interest and in accordance with ethical practice;
- Accepting responsibility for the level of performance of its students;
- Remaining committed to continuous improvement in student learning and to its capacity to produce the levels of learning desired and expected by its community;
- Operating in a collegial and collaborative way with all of its stakeholders;
- Sustaining its focus on implementing recommendations, addressing monitoring issues, and correcting stipulations that may be part of its notification of accreditation as well as fulfilling its maintenance requirements to the Commissions.
Check out the video from MSA-CESS that gives some perspectives on “Why accreditation?”
Why does accreditation matter?
Involvement in an ongoing accreditation protocol recognizes achievement while fostering and facilitating ongoing school improvement.
Accreditation provides a means for public accountability by:
Accreditation fosters stakeholder involvement and commitment by providing opportunities for greater involvement in charting the direction and future of the school. Accreditation offers a mechanism to involve constituent groups in creating a vision of the future, not just allowing it to happen.
Accreditation builds positive community and stakeholder relations by: