St. Thomas More School completed The Sustaining Excellence Protocol of the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools recently and has been recommended for re-accreditation.
The school was first accredited in April 1987, re-accredited in April 1997 and re-accredited once again in May 2008.
The Sustaining Excellence Protocol provides an accreditation protocol option for schools that can demonstrate their efficacy, over time, in producing levels of student performance that are desired and expected by their community of stakeholders and are recognized as “leading schools.”
Leading schools such as St. Thomas More are identified by MSA-CESS as “achieving high levels of student performance, have an excellent understanding of the necessary antecedents for those results and are likely to continue achieving those high results over time.”
Led by Dr. George Anderson, director of curriculum and instruction, and Tracy Sell, director of educational technology, a colloquium was attended by executives from the Diocese of Allentown Office of Education, principals from various diocesan schools, St. Thomas More school board members and other related professionals.
The two-day schedule of events began with a presentation about the history and ongoing development of St. Thomas More School’s 1:1 iPad initiative. A panel of students in third through eighth grades shared their experiences of how iPads and a variety of educational apps help them to learn, be more organized, work on school projects more independently and collaboratively and communicate with teachers.
A panel of parents and another of teachers echoed the successes of student engagement and academic achievement the 1:1 iPad program cultivates. Parents, pleased with the enrichment the school’s iPad program offers, encouraged school administrators to continue implementation of innovative curriculum initiatives to further advance the school’s commitment to foster self-directed, life-long learners.
Summarizing their visit in a report to the faculty, the visiting Middle States team congratulated the school community for exceeding their expectations of vision, leadership, ongoing professional development, the school’s partnership with parents and for the achievement of being named an Apple Distinguished School. Suggestions for continued excellence included the recommendation to sustain the following initiatives already in place:
•Monitor IOWAs for specific areas of need
•Meet individual student needs
•Survey teachers, parents and students to monitor school progress
•Technology integration across the curriculum
•Exploration of the potential benefits of the alumni association
To learn more about St. Thomas More School’s curriculum and the 1:1 iPad program, visit www.stmschoolpa.com.
For information about the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools and the accreditation process visit www.msa-cess.org.