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School Recommended for Re-accreditation

From the 16th through 18th of March, 1999, Woodstock hosted six guests from all over the world, four of them working on the Indian subcontinent, one from America, and one from Kenya. These educators and administrators made up the Middle States Association (MSA) visiting team, headed by Dr Timothy Sierer of The Christian Academy in Brookhaven, Pennsylvania. The MSA is an organization which accredits American high schools'. This visit was the fourth for the school, the first having taken place in 1959. At that time, Woodstock was the first school in Asia to receive accreditation, and only the third outside of the US.

Woodstock has been preparing for this visit since the Staff Retreat of July 1997. According to Mr. Jack Hinz, the school has .gone through an elaborate self-study of all the departments." Using 'opinionaires,' Woodstock published a 177 page document, titled 1998 Self-Study and Plan for Improvement. Woodstock hopes to benefit through the self-study and the visit, This will be the first time accreditation is sought for the Primary School (prior to this year, accreditation began at the sixth grade). Areas for improvement include safety and building maintenance to budgeting to classrooms, resources, and technology.

The MSA team's final report, to be received in several months, will validate or make suggestions for the plans for improvement proposed by the school. The visit differed from the past, however, because the MSA was not as interested in numbers and credentials as before, instead looking at the specific student outcomes that the school has identified. While the MSA team was here, they attended meetings with different departments, including a meeting with students.

At the conclusion of the visit, Dr. Sierer, the team leader, gave a brief oral report stating that they are recommending the school for continued accreditation. The final report will likely come in three or four months, after it has gone through the approval process at MSA. Mr. Hinz, who has been instrumental in planning the team's visit, is "very optimistic because [he] believes Woodstock is a very good school." He explains that Woodstock hopes to benefit from the MSA`s advice. "We have an opportunity to make Woodstock a better place," says Mr. Hinz. "That's the approach we've had all along.'

Rachel Smith, 12th Grade
SAGE student


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