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Apple Earns Accreditation by Middle States Association for Commitment to Excellence

May 01, 2018

Dear parents,

We’re so proud to announce that Apple Montessori Schools has earned accreditation, the gold standard for measuring and advancing school improvement, from The Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS).

As Henry G. Cram, Ed.D., president of MSA-CESS explains, “Middle States accreditation impels school leaders to look beyond test scores and other data to make meaningful and sustainable improvement in student achievement. Accredited schools demonstrate a commitment to achieving excellence and to cultivating an environment for continued growth that involves the entire school community.”

MSA-CESS accredits preK-12 public, private, parochial, charter schools and other educational institutions.  Accreditation is a multifaceted evaluation process that schools and school systems voluntarily use to demonstrate they are meeting a defined set of research-based performance standards. The 12 Middle States Standards for Accreditation are: mission; governance and leadership; school improvement planning; finances; facilities; school organization and staff; health and safety; educational program; assessment and evidence of student learning; student services; student life and activities, and information resources.

“We are truly honored to be recognized by Middle States, a prestigious and well-respected organization committed to excellence in education. We are proud to have met or exceeded standards in delivering an exceptional education, while taking steps to continuously improve and reach new heights,” said Joanne Mooney, President of Apple Montessori. “These standards are not easy to meet, but we believe they are well worth the effort – it’s what every student and family deserves.”

The accreditation process begins with a self-study that is conducted by the school system and requires input from school leaders, teachers, parents and students. Following the self-study, a team of volunteer educators from Middle States member schools conducts an on-site peer review visit to observe school operations and interview various stakeholders. The visiting team made its recommendation to the Middle States Association Commissions, which voted in favor of Apple receiving accreditation at its biannual meeting in Philadelphia this month.

“Achieving Middle States accreditation is a major milestone in Apple’s 45 year history,” said Julie Rome, Curriculum Coordinator and Internal Coordinator for the Middle State’s process. “It took more than just our efforts to meet these exacting standards. We couldn’t have done it without the invaluable dedication and support of our Apple team and families, our partners in our mission to educate, enrich and inspire children to reach their fullest potential as kind, independent, curious and happy individuals.”   

It’s important to note that accreditation is not permanent as Apple will need to meet 3 yr. requirements and renewal in 7 years. Our goals for maintaining high standards in perpetuity include:

Science Education: All students in grades K-6 and all staff members will demonstrate a 5% annual improvement by 2024 in their understanding and knowledge of scientific concepts and applications.

Assessment Tools: By 2024, Apple Montessori will review and improve our usage of existing assessment tools to guide instruction and to find teaching material that better address areas of weakness in a child’s progress.

Mentoring: By 2024, Apple Montessori will improve team satisfaction with and effectiveness of our existing mentoring program for new hires and persons in new positions which in turn, will enhance student learning. We anticipate that the results will show that Regional Directors, Directors, Assistant Directors, and Teachers are ranked as Highly Qualified.

The Assessment and Mentoring committees are testing online programs such as DERS which is designed to analyze and score how efficient the Montessori environment is in supporting and maximizing student growth and development.

The Science committee has been researching Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), writing new, comprehensive curriculum that incorporates Montessori. Additionally, plans are in development to add outdoor classrooms at each school and team members and team members will attend a professional development workshop on outdoor education.

To learn more about the 12 Middle States Standards for Accreditation, visit:

https://www.applemontessorischools.com/middle-states-commission-higher-education-recommendation/

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