Since the first week of school, students at Davis High have been told that they need to prepare for accreditation. Faculty members have posted signs around the school advertising the DRSL’s or the Desired Results of Student Learning, which are: Communication, Critical Thinking, and Character. However, most students don’t really understand what accreditation is.
Every six years, the Northwest Accreditation Commission sends a group of educators not only to Davis High, but to schools around the country to see if they are up to the national standards of education.
“[Accreditation is] saying if you’re qualified to teach what you teach…They look at all the programs we teach, the classes, at the teacher’s certifications, they look at everything we do and they say ‘Are they doing what they’re supposed to be doing to be a school?’ It’s kind of like a test to see if we pass the test,” said Assistant Principal Richard Firmage.
“In order for a school to be accredited, which means in order for it to be open for business, they have to meet certain criteria. If they don’t meet that criteria, they don’t shut it down immediately, but they give it three years to bring it up,” said Evans.
There is a definite reason for Davis High students to aim for a figurative ‘A+’ when it comes to Accreditation.
“Every six years you have to be accredited. You can get different grades, but they’re not really ‘ABC grades’, they’re if you don’t pass it then you get a one year review and they give you a whole bunch of recommendations… and they’ll come back in a year and see how we’re doing, or they’ll come back in three years, or they’ll come back in six years with a three year review. Which is what’s usually happening now, is they’ll say ‘We’ll come back in six years but we’ll also come back in three years just to see how you’re doing’ It won’t be a big thing, it will be a little thing, and we’ll just come and check things out.’ Or you can get a six year free and clear. That’s obviously what we’re shooting for,” said Firmage.
“[If Davis High didn’t pass] they would show us the areas that they think we need improvement on and then they would say we’ll be back in a year and a half and then they would come back and check on how we’re doing,” said Evans, who is working with the accreditation team.
The last time Davis High was accredited, they were given a three year review.
“We have such high A.P. scores and C.E. classes, which are the college bound classes, that they wanted us to show the steps that we were taking for struggling students. We just had to show what we were doing to help kids across the board,” said Evans.
Davis High did very well on the review and now Northwest Accreditation is returning with the hopes of doing even better.