Mt. Vernon Register-News

March 19, 2013

Olson speaks about recent accreditation visit

By RICK HAYES
rick.hayes@register-news.com

MT. VERNON — — Principal Wes Olson made a Power Point presentation during the Mt. Vernon Township High School Board of Education meeting Monday, explaining the recent accreditation visit by the North Central Association.

MVTHS has been accredited since 1909, and the charter expired in 2010, although school officials were allowed an extension. The external review process consists of six members who come to the campus for a two-day visit.

Olson reported the process before the visit is quite comprehensive, and he offered kudos to Vice Principal Julie Littlefair for doing most of the groundwork.

Olson said that even though the final numbers were lower than what officials expected, the school did receive high marks from parents and staff. Recommendations from the team included the district reviewing its mission statement with stakeholder participation; increase stakeholder involvement in the decision making process; improve communications with stakeholders, and connecting organizational goals.

Strengths of the district noted by the team included a committed staff, the CTE program, the freshman academy, the career academy as a model for the high school, and the support of the MVTHS Foundation.

Olson said the required actions of the committee include: Articulate a common framework from which all curriula can develop toward the school's stated purpose statement; and develop a collaborative process among teachers and administrators to review all data guiding decisions so that a common understanding of the same needs may surface and be articulated.

Olson said the accreditation process is far and above what is mandated, although he said it's "good to have an extra lens" to examine the school's functions.

"We will continue to focus and use what we have to be more time effective," Superintendent Mike Smith added during his report.

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