Every eight years, member schools of the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS) go through the process of re-accreditation. It's an opportunity for a school to assess how it is fulfilling its mission and the process combines self-reflection with a valuable outside perspective. We are always excited to present the work we are doing at Lakeside to our colleagues in education!
The first step in the re-accreditation process is putting together a self-study, which is a self-examination of strengths, weaknesses, priorities, and plans. More than 50 Lakeside faculty, staff, and trustees collaborated on our self-study during the 2017-2018 school year. Last month, we submitted more than 150 pages that show how Lakeside is meeting NWAIS standards. We also pulled together a wide range of supporting documents, including department reviews, safety procedures, board minutes, and the 2016 AIM survey, which led to our major new initiative, Our Work Together: Inclusion, Multiculturalism, Respect.
The next step is a visit from the NWAIS team. On Oct. 14-17 we will host a visiting team of NWAIS educators, who will provide their perspective on how we are doing. The team is composed of administrators from other NWAIS-accredited institutions in Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, plus one out-of-network team member from Hawaii. Using our self-study as its starting point, the visiting team will assess whether Lakeside is achieving NWAIS standards.
The team arrives on campus Sunday, Oct. 14 and for two days will drop in on classes, meet individually with faculty and staff, and visit with groups of board members, administrators, faculty, staff, parents/guardians, and students. Their focus will be on school sustainability and whether Lakeside's operations, programs, policies, and procedures are mission aligned and sustainable. The visiting team will offer Lakeside an initial assessment on Oct. 17 that will include preliminary commendations and recommendations. Then they'll pull together a fuller report this spring for Lakeside administration and NWAIS leadership.
Re-accreditation is an important process for all NWAIS schools because it allows for self-reflection, improvement, and, in some cases, school transformation. Because Lakeside is a school that is constantly thinking about educational excellence and how we can improve, we're welcoming the opportunity to receive feedback and learn from our colleagues!
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the re-accreditation process.
Booth Kyle is Lakeside's associate head of school/director of admissions and financial aid. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and 206-440-2710.