Accreditation is a comprehensive year-long process that members of New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) undergo every ten years. A narrative self-study report examines every aspect of the school including governance, administration, the community, and academic programs. For MCS it includes the school and the Farm. We also submit reports that provide them with quantities of data. Then NYSAIS schedules a team of educators to visit the school and assess the alignment between its mission and program, and its progress toward strategic goals. Our 2018 visiting committee just left after four days. Their report will be submitted to NYSAIS and we will hear their assessment and recommendations later in the year.
The educators who made up the 2018 visiting committee were from some of the leading progressive schools in New York City. None of them served on the visiting committee that conducted our NYSAIS accreditation ten years ago in 2008. Yet it was clear to all of them that we’re part way into a big undertaking, and they encouraged us to keep going. Emily Jones, the director of the Putney School, was the chair NYSAIS Committee. Representing the whole team, Emily shared a few highlights before they left. The welcome reception on Sunday evening set a tone that they realized was completely consistent with our mission, and a distinctive definition of “community” at MCS. The meetings with Student Council, Parent Council, and virtually every member of the faculty and staff revealed uncharacteristic agreement on why MCS is important and what the purpose of education should be. The differences of opinion, reflective of our purposeful diversity, are mostly about how.
Thank you for sharing with NYSAIS and helping MCS’ accreditation process by completing the family survey last spring, as well as for attending the reception and meetings this week.