Over the last few months, Pacifica faculty and staff have been working to gain accreditation from WASC, The Western Association of Schools and Colleges. This organization works to support high quality learning environments and continuous improvement in over 4,500 schools. All schools go through a “self-study process in order to renew our accreditation with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges,” producing a schoolwide action plan. Pacifica has already been approved by WASC, but we have had to renew our accreditation recently, since it has been six years. This week a team of representatives “held meetings with Pacifica’s administrators, teachers, support staff, students, parents, and Board members in order to get a “snap-shot” of Pacifica”.
They had the chance to tour Pacifica’s campus and met with the associated students and the prefect board. I have seen them pop in to my classes and talk to students about everything from athletics to the arts. At the end of their visit the team created an in-depth report on Pacifica’s strengths and weaknesses, which the panel presented in the chapel on Wednesday. Ms. Crawford stated that some of Pacifica Strengths mentioned were, “Our rigorous college preparatory liberal arts curriculum; our professional staff that are well-trained, have high curricular standards and engage their students using a variety of learning methodologies and assessments; our commitment to the vision and mission to be a school for all neighborhoods.”
This is a major step in Pacifica’s growth and improvement. Our principal described it as a “wonderful opportunity to celebrate Pacifica’s history of ‘teaching students to think and live well’”. The process helps our school become a better learning environment and reach all students. Accreditation from WASC will also make Pacifica more noteworthy and help validate our mission for prospective students and families. WASC also gave us some things to work on for the future, which the administration will focus on until the next visit.