Network status check

Schools’ adherence to Goals and Criteria undergo review for accreditation of four schools.

Asha Khanna, Copy Editor

The four schools are in the process of an internal review with the Sacred Heart Commission on Goals to continue membership in the Network of Sacred Heart schools in addition to conducting self-studies for three other academic accreditation agencies.

“The California Association of Independent Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and Western Catholic Educational Association accreditations are much more technical, making sure the school is doing its best work as an environment of learning,” theology teacher Paul Pryor Lorentz, who is heading a self-study committee for the SHCOG accreditation, said.

The SHCOG self-study committee reflects and analyzes the ways the school aligns itself with the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart schools, according to Pryor Lorentz.

“We’re not just trying to prove something,” Pryor Lorentz said. “The Network really wants us to take on leadership of this process and use it as an opportunity for growth in our community, so we can come out of the process better and more advanced.”

As part of the process, students will give insight regarding ways the Goals and Criteria are expressed in school, as the official committee is made up of faculty and staff.

At the end of the one-year reflection process, the committee submits a written document to the Network, who sends a visiting committee made up of other Network educators and administrators.

“Upon visiting us, they’ll create an action plan, a list of accommodations and recommendations,” Pryor Lorentz said. “With that list, we form an action plan committee and we try to figure out ways to roll out that action plan over the next few years.”

The action plan divides the list of strengths and improvements by goal.

“In terms of education, the International Baccalaureate Programme for the high schools and new coed offerings were integrated from the last plan,” Pryor Lorentz said.

Library Department Chair Amanda Walker is heading the committees for the CAIS, WASC and WCEA accreditations.

These accreditations are an important method of “peer review,” according to school counselor Annie Egan, who is a member of the self-study committee for the WASC accreditation.

“We’re pretty self-governing as schools,” Egan said. “It sometimes gets really easy to just get complacent. It is reliant on the schools to be able to make sure that we are doing the best work we can do in order to serve our families.”

Students may be interviewed by faculty members and external interviewers from the agencies, according to Pryor Lorentz.

The four-school, four-agency accreditation process typically repeats every five years, according to Pryor Lorentz.

“It’s our opportunity to see where we have been in these past five years,” Pryor Lorentz said. “But the most important question is ‘Where can we go?’ It’s really about where we’re headed.”