Thursday, October 29, 2015

Accreditation Team Visits MHS

What an incredible two days! The SAIS/AdvancEd and MAIS accreditation peer review team has been on our campus for the past two days as part of our re-accreditation process. The visiting team was led by Allen Broyles of the Howard School in Atlanta. The other committee members were Amy Moody of St. Agnes/St. Dominic in Memphis, Betty Fagan of Woodward Academy also in Atlanta, Ross Hailey of Madison-Ridgeland Academy in Madison, and Allen Smithers of Presbyterian Christian School in Hattiesburg, MS. What a great team!

They were charged to look at our adherence to standards, the school improvement plan developed by the school, to offer commendations and recommendations, and most importantly a re-accreditation affirmation, as we go forward in the next five years.

Our school improvement plan centers around three goals: curriculum, technology, and a character education program we are calling "Heart of Character." Each of these areas were looked at and discussed with stakeholders of the school.

The visiting team was so impressed with our faculty, parents, and administration, but even more so with our students. They said over and over how "blown away" they were by their honesty, insight, and their hearts. It is not often that you hear from students, "how privileged they are to go to a school like MHS and how thankful they are that their parents sacrifice to send them to MHS." They commented over and over the sense of "family" and how many times the word was used. What a testament to our school and our people (parents, students, faculty, staff, and administration). Of course, we already knew this, but it is so gratifying to hear it validated by others.

I want to thank the accreditation team, the leadership team, the faculty and staff, parents and students. Allison Burris did a phenomenal job leading the accreditation team, and her effort and quality of work was commended many times throughout the visit. The hospitality efforts were lead by Sharon Hudson and others. Without exception, the committee commented on the preparation and planning by the school and left with a true sense of the exceptional education at Magnolia Heights School. We have already had one team member ask if she could send faculty members from her school to visit with our teachers. What a testament to the quality of our faculty and staff!

The team left with an affirmative recommendation for re-accreditation for another five years. They also left us recommendations in each of our goal areas that will truly enhance our journey over the next five years. I am confident that MHS is better for undergoing the process, as well as the assurance that we are indeed doing what we say - Educating tomorrow's leaders through educational excellence today."