Image provided by WASC.
“Washington High School embraces a philosophy of lifelong learning where students develop academic proficiency, emotional intelligence, and 21st century skills through participation in relevant learning experiences that lead to post-secondary success.” That is the goal that students and staff here at Washington High have chosen and set for themselves. And now, after a multi-day review and scrutinization by WASC, the goal that we have hopefully achieved.
To students, the crux of the matter is that unless WASC considers us a school worthy of their accreditation, there is no hope of a college acceptance. Without accreditation, seniors can’t get their high school diplomas, and a dangerous precedent would be set for the school if we cannot prove the school’s competence. WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) is a review board for schools and educational institutions across the whole of California. They send people to conduct reviews of schools and colleges, then disclose those results to school staff and board. Staff at said school are then supposed to take those reviews and conduct a process of self evaluation, wherein problem areas are addressed and a peer-review system is established.
Without accreditation, seniors can’t get their high school diplomas, and a dangerous precedent would be set for the school if we cannot prove the school’s competence.
For WASC, areas of interest include graduation rates, college and career readiness, and AP courses. The Emotional Intelligence curriculum, and overall student experience are also important to how a school is graded. As long as the school shows adequate preparedness in regard to these sectors, accreditation is near guaranteed. According to Ms. Ottoboni, who is coordinating the WASC visit for our school, the area in which Washington scored the highest was with our Emotional Intelligence criteria. The emotional intelligence shown by Washington students was enough to justify being singled out for praise amongst others. Overall student experience and the campus experience were also worthy of note.
After this grading was done, the final score of Washington is expected to be given within the next 6 weeks or so. At that point, staff will finally be able to rest easy with the knowledge that Washington has received its accreditation for the next 2 to 6 years. At no point in the recent past has Washington ever failed to reach accreditation; with any luck, this year will be no different.