ISACS (Independent Schools Association of the Central States) is our accrediting body.
The seven-year accreditation cycle ensures we meet the standards of a high quality independent school while also offering an education that aligns with and affirms our unique philosophy and values as a Quaker, progressive school. The self-study is probably the most important step in the process, and involves broad participation in evaluating every aspect of our school’s operations.
Some 25 committees will be busy over the spring and into next fall, looking at:
- what we do well.
- what we want to do differently.
- what our plans and priorities are for the future.
Committee Report Chapters = The Self-Study Report
Each of these committees will write a report chapter. All of these chapters will be included in a larger document called a Self-Study Report.
The Steering Committee – a.k.a ISC
The ISC is the ISACS Steering Committee for Friends School of Minnesota. It is the committee charged with guiding all aspects of our accreditation process, including supporting the report chapter committees, editing the report chapters, and pulling the chapters together to make one cohesive report. Members of the ISC are: Eileen Galvin (clerk), Joe Mueller (head of school), Sara Wayne, Shane Zack, and a school committee member to be determined.
- October – ISACS survey going to all current families, staff, MS students, school committee and committee members, and alumni families and alumni students (see below for more information)
- November – Official kick-off with member of ISACS team
- February ’24 – June ’24 – 1st and 2nd draft of chapters will be turned into the ISC for editing
- September ’24 – October ’24 – Report chapters finalized
- November ’24 – Final self-study report complete
- February ’25 – We host a visiting team (see more information below)
On October 11th, we will be sending out a detailed survey from ISACS. They work with the Kensington group to collect and analyze the data. The survey data will be incredibly important when we begin to write our chapters.
The Visiting Team – A New Set of Eyes
Once we have the self-study complete, a group of people from different schools will visit our school. They will read the self-study report, observe in our classrooms, talk to teachers, students, admin., families, and alumni. They bring a fresh perspective. They will write their own report. We will use their report and our self-study to create future plans. The visiting team’s report will be submitted to ISACS and we will receive our accreditation for the next 7 years.
How You Can Help With This Process
We really need everyone to fill out the survey we are sending out in October. Please keep an eye out for the survey and make sure to complete it.
An Opportunity to Celebrate and Grow
This process is an opportunity. It is also extra work, but the best kind of extra work, the kind that requires us to reflect on who we are and what we do. That reflection will lead to celebration and a clear idea of next steps to grow even further into our mission and our future.
Thanks for being with us as we begin this work. We can’t wait to see where it takes us.