School accreditation is a peer-review process that fosters excellence in education and encourages school improvement through discovery, dialogue, compliance, and commitment. Accreditation enables a member school to develop clearly defined goals and objectives based on its mission and philosophy.
The accreditation process is designed to assist a school in engaging the energies of all community members in reviewing and clarifying the school's purpose and goals for students, and in developing plans to accomplish these goals. The school also develops measurements that show the degree to which its goals for students are achieved. Because each school community is unique, the accreditation process permits the school to use considerable flexibility in its approach to the self-study yet still be linked to sound components of a quality self-assessment.
Through the completion of the accreditation process the schools will have:
- involved the school community in a collaborative way;
- clarified the school's purpose and its goals for its students--and the programs, people, and facilities that support them;
- assessed all aspects of the school's operations, the student program and its impact on student personal and academic growth with respect to the criteria and standards;
- developed an Action Plan, as well as an accountability system for monitoring the plan's implementation.
To become a full member of CAIS, schools must have received accreditation by the Association. The accreditation process includes a written self-study based on 109 standards with responses to questions about every aspect of the school. This report is followed by an on-site visit by a team of educators who look into every aspect of the school's programs and operations to assess its effectiveness in fulfilling the school's stated purposes.
Although schools are accredited for a maximum period of six years, they must complete an interim review midway between accreditation visits. The interim report addresses the school's progress in responding to the major recommendations of the visiting committee and the advancement made on its Action Plan.
The CAIS accreditation process has been approved by the National Association of Independent Schools.
CAIS offers joint accreditation with the following accrediting bodies:
Western Association of Schools and Colleges
The Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Los Angeles
Western Catholic Education Association
Council of International Schools
For more information, contact the CAIS office at firstname.lastname@example.org.