Accreditation fosters excellence and encourages school improvement through a process of continual evaluation and recognizes that schools must meet an acceptable level of quality.
A coordinated accreditation system is integral to the school improvement process for all DOE K-12 public schools. By partnering with the non-profit Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), a world-renowned accrediting association, the DOE aims for its remaining 159 elementary schools to be fully accredited by school year 2018-19. The current 96 accredited schools include all public high schools, middle schools, K-12 schools, some elementary schools, and two adult community schools.
"We thank the Board for approving the Department's five-year accreditation project plan," said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. "Accreditation supports professional development, builds effective educators, and, more importantly, is a great self-study process for all schools and complexes."
"The Board appreciates the professionalism of our educators and their commitment to student achievement," said BOE Chairperson Don Horner. "Widely regarded as the gold standard for accreditation, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges will now accredit all public schools in Hawaii." Hawaii private schools are also accredited by WASC. The same criteria will be used for both.
This December, the Department and WASC will launch the project statewide with an initial orientation for all elementary school principals within the 15 complex areas.
School accreditation is a key component of the BOE/DOE 2011-18 Strategic Plan and Hawaii's proposed Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Plan to transform its public schools.