State Committee Seeks to Accredit Cam High

ACS WASC logo.
Credit: Official WASC website.

ACS WASC logo. Credit: Official WASC website.

Six years have passed, and Cam High is required to be reevaluated from the visiting committee of Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACS WASC) to assess school standards as well as renew the school’s accreditation.

ACS WASC is an organization that accredits schools from elementary to adult school systems, including high schools. All schools require evaluation in order to validate graduates’ diplomas. Cam High must conduct self-assessments between the years of WASC’s reevaluations to keep their accreditation.

“[The accreditation] makes sure that we are actually adhering to our vision and our mission, and our purpose for student learning here, it assures that all of our teachers are highly qualified, it assures that we are disseminating common core standards, and that we are being guided by California state standards,” said ASB director Ms. Lori Pristera.

The official reevaluation is conducted by staff members from different schools around the country. When they arrive at Cam High, the representatives look at five categories: organization, curriculum, instruction, assessment, and accountability. WASC also considers school culture and the support system in place for student’s academic and personal growth.

To prepare for the evaluation, teachers hosted meetings to discuss data collected throughout the years since the previous WASC evaluation. “We met in focus groups, and we looked over school data. Sometimes, we compared our school’s data with other schools and looked at how our students are achieving. We also looked at what we’re already doing to help our students achieve, and what ways we can improve,” said Ms. Kathy Glasmeier, English teacher.

Glasmeier is confident that the school will pass its reevaluation and get the six-year exemption. Glasmeier said, “I think myself, and a lot of other English teachers meet our students’ needs. We [the English department] also discussed how we can improve upon the needs we’re already meeting.”

Cam High’s staff members will continue to prepare for ACS WASC’s pre-visit, conducted on Nov. 28 of this year and the official visit on April 28 until May 1, 2019.

“When we leave, we leave with a list of three recommendations, all are to help improve the school. It’s not an ‘I gotcha,’ but it’s to find out all the great things and how to improve on those things,” said WASC representative Jackie Morrow, “So far the school has been very welcoming, the students especially, and I haven’t seen a lot of students walking around the halls during class, and in classes the students are very open.”

“WASC is really more about the school’s self-improvement process, and the school’s ability to self-identify its own issues plus the things that they want to do better on. We found that [Cam High’s] staff really care about [students], and [the school] has a lot of hardworking, dedicated staff members that are really interested in [the students],” said WASC representative Kevin Voeller.