Accreditation with CSI offers so much more than simply a stamp of approval from an accrediting body. By partnering with Christian Schools International, your school receives encouragement from an organization that has been working to support and inspire Christian schools for more than 100 years. You also gain a relationship with a family of schools striving to continuously advance the mission of reaching and teaching the next generation for Christ. In this article, individuals from two CSI accredited schools share some reasons that they value their accreditation with CSI and how the process has supported their continued commitment to school improvement.
Accreditation with CSI guides, encourages, and provides accountability for your school community and its stakeholders as you strive to advance your school’s mission through continued strategic improvement. Through the use of CSI’s Measuring the Mission 2019 accreditation protocol, the CSI Accreditation Team will help your school community establish a customized roadmap to guide you through your school improvement process.
Two CSI accredited schools outlined what sets CSI Accreditation apart from other accrediting organizations. School Improvement Team Chair Debra Shope at Philadelphia-Montgomery Christian Academy in Erdenheim, PA shares her perspective:
Rigor and Incorporation of a Christian Worldview
Debra appreciates the rigor of CSI’s accreditation process and values the importance of incorporating a Christian worldview throughout the entire process.
“Our head of academy and I watched a webinar by Marzano Research on what they call High Reliability Schools. They had indicators for five different levels, and I was amazed at how similar they are to the indicators that CSI uses for their self-study!” Debra said. “We felt like we had already done the first part of the Marzano program by completing the self-study through CSI. Most importantly, we even got a Christian perspective on everything. It was just another affirmation of the quality of the accreditation process that CSI has created.”
CSI Accreditation has also had an impact on Rock Solid Christian Academy, a University-Model® school located in Denver, CO. Assistant Principal Cecilia Gibbs provides these thoughts:
Verification of our School’s Adherence to Its Mission and Vision
CSI Accreditation provided Rock Solid Christian Academy with tools to measure how well we are meeting our school’s mission and vision. We evaluated how we are staying true to our spiritual goals for Rock Solid and how well we are serving our families.
High Value Given to School Improvement
Rock Solid’s pursuit of CSI Accreditation can be equated to that of a person pursuing a master’s degree. We might ask why a teacher is pursuing a master’s degree if she has received a college diploma, has knowledge of the material being taught, and is confident in her teaching ability. By pursuing a master’s degree, that teacher is demonstrating the high value she places on self-improvement. She could continue to learn on her own by exploring ways to become a better teacher and not bother with the work and cost required to earn an advanced degree; however, it is the degree that provides proof that the work she has accomplished has credibility and is backed up by the academic institution.
Encourages Continuous School Improvement
It is human nature to become complacent and comfortable over time. By holding ourselves to the high standards of accreditation, Rock Solid Christian Academy is validating the quality product we offer. Accreditation is a tool that forces Rock Solid and its future leaders to always look for ways to improve. CSI accreditation is a part of Rock Solid’s heritage: it is a gift to future families who come through Rock Solid. Is it a lot of work? Absolutely yes, but in the long run we wholeheartedly believe the journey is worth it!
Self-evaluation of our Board, Staff, and Administrator
CSI Accreditation encouraged our board, staff, and administrators to self-evaluate. By assessing ourselves, we help to determine if Rock Solid is providing the best possible education for our students and we also explore ways in which we can improve.
Accountability and Support
We are confident in what Rock Solid has to offer and in the great job we are doing, but CSI Accreditation provides us with accountability and encourages us to continually explore ways to improve ourselves as we serve God and our community.
Promotion of Parental Involvement
The CSI Accreditation process encouraged Rock Solid to continually inform and involve our parents in communication and evaluation. It also gives parents the assurance that we are taking extra steps to provide their children with a quality education and are being held accountable through the CSI accreditation process.
Grants and Financial Gift Opportunities
CSI Accreditation opened more possibilities for grant money and financial gifts by assuring other individuals, companies, businesses, foundations, etc., that we are a high-quality organization. Many organizations seek outside verification of a school’s quality and compliancy.
Access to Scholarship Funds
CSI Accreditation gives our students better access to scholarship funds from colleges and universities that require candidates to be graduates from an accredited high school.
CSI Accreditation offers continued support and accountability to schools. Our Measuring the Mission 2019 accreditation protocol allows your school to determine long-term improvement goals and supports the process of your strategic planning but the support doesn’t end there. Our team monitors your progress annually and encourages continued growth and improvement, all deeply grounded in a reformed educational worldview.
If you are interested in hearing more about CSI accreditation from schools like Rock Solid Christian Academy and Philadelphia-Montgomery Christian Academy, reach out to other CSI accredited schools who would be happy to share their experiences with the school improvement process. And for any questions or to learn more about what CSI Accreditation has to offer your school, please reach out to CSI’s Director of School Improvement, Sheryl Jo, at gro.enilnoisc@ojs or 800-635-8288 x106.
Students at Rock Solid Christian Academy learn American Sign Language.
Third grade math is always better with friends!
Rock Solid Christian Academy continually explores ways to improve learning for their students.
Philadelphia-Montgomery Christian Academy students enjoy a candid moment during a field trip.