Middle States Association’s Commission on Secondary Schools has announced that
Indiana Area Senior High School has been has been accredited for the period
ending November 1, 2013. The
decision to accredit the school was made following a three and one-half day
visit to the school in April 2006 by
a visiting team of educators from member schools of the Middle States
Association of Colleges and Schools appointed by the Commission on Secondary
During the visit, the Middle States team
met with and interviewed representatives of the school’s stakeholders,
including teachers, students, parents, and administrators, as well as
representatives of the Indiana Area Board of School Directors.
Team members also toured the school’s facilities, studied the
school’s strategic plan for school improvement and other documents related to
the school’s work, and observed teaching and learning in classrooms.
be accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools, a school must meet the
Middle States Association’s standards for each major area of a school’s work
and activity. These areas include the school’s
philosophy/mission/beliefs/objectives, governance and leadership, organizational
design and staff, educational programs, learning media services and technology,
student services, student life and activities, facilities, health and safety,
finances, assessment of student learning, and planning.
However, because Indiana Area Senior High
School elected to use the Accreditation
for Growth protocol for accreditation, the school was required to do more
than meet the Association’s standards to be accredited.
Accreditation for Growth (AFG)
is a unique accreditation process that uses strategic planning as a vehicle for
school improvement and growth in student performance.
In AFG, the primary
determinants of progress are not the resources a community provides for its
schools (the inputs) but, instead, the actual results of the school’s
work—the students’ performance. AFG requires the school to establish objectives for improving
student performance based on a vision of a preferred future for the school. The
student performance objectives identified by Indiana Area Senior High School
Objective One - By the year 2012, the students will increase academic achievement as measured by:
a cumulative increase in PSSA
scores based on performance levels.
b. a 15 point increase over a seven year period in the average SAT (critical reading and mathematics) while maintaining a comparative level of participation.
c. a 5% increase in the number of students entering post high school training/education.
a 3% increase in the number of
students enrolling in a fourth year math and/or science course.
Two - By the year 2012, students will demonstrate an increase in responsibility
as a contributing member within the school and global community as measured by:
a 5% increase in the
percentage of students involved in one or more school extracurricular activities
and/or community service as determined by an in-house teacher verified survey.
a 5% decrease in
percentage of students referred for disciplinary action (Levels II, III, IV) 1
or more times in the school year.
a 3% increase in
percentage of the attendance rate for all students.
maintaining or increasing
the percentage of students who graduate within 4 years of entering 9th
grade by continuing the mentoring program and the expanded PSSA remediation
By choosing AFG
as its accreditation protocol, Indiana Area Senior High School also made
several commitments. It committed to focusing its work on the end
results—improved student performance—as the primary priority for school
improvement efforts. It committed
to operating the school from a vision of where it wants and/or needs to go with
its mission and beliefs serving as a unifying force for change. It committed to
including a varied spectrum of stakeholders in the process of continually
defining a preferred vision, in developing the means to get closer to that
vision, and in implementing action plans developed by these stakeholders. It
committed to a process in which progress will be continuously reviewed. And, it
agreed to participate in a peer review and external validation process by
accepting outside visitors.
Ongoing review is the hallmark of the AFG protocol, and Indiana
Area Senior High School is required to conduct an annual review of the
plan and the school’s progress toward achieving its student performance
objectives and to communicate the results of its work to the school’s
community. At the end of the
accreditation period, a Validation Team will make an onsite visit to the school
to examine the results of these annual reviews, the school’s planning
processes, and the content of the strategic plan. At the midpoint juncture in the accreditation cycle, one
individual, appointed by the Middle States Association, will make a one-day
Area Senior High School is to be congratulated for having completed the
rigorous and demanding accreditation review process successfully,” said Dr.
Henry G. Cram, Executive Director of the Commission on Secondary Schools. “By
meeting the standards of the Association, and by having established a
comprehensive and challenging strategic plan to improve targeted areas of
student performance, Indiana Area Senior High School has joined a growing number
of schools in the Middle States region that are committed to public
accountability for their results. The Commission encourages the entire Indiana
Area Senior High School community to join together in supporting the school as
it seeks to achieve its objectives.”
For more information about the
accreditation of the Indiana Area Senior High School,
McElheny, Principal, at 724-463-8562.