Visiting team of four accreditors gives commendations and offers recommendations

Posted: Sunday, December 02, 2001

The four educators evaluating Juneau-Douglas High School as part of its accreditation process concluded their three-day visit Friday, leaving commendations, suggestions for improvement and a recommendation that the school receive its accreditation.

The team included Vivian Dailey, principal of North Pole High School; Rich Carlson, superintendent of Klawock City Schools; Dan Langbauer, a teacher at Sitka High School; and Chris Jensen, formerly of Juneau and now an associate professor at Seattle University.

They spent Wednesday, Thursday and Friday looking in on JDHS classrooms and programs, walking the hallways and visiting with students, parents, teachers and administrators.

"I think that the high school ... and the community of Juneau has a lot to be proud of," Carlson said Friday. "This is a good school, with outstanding students, that is moving in the right direction."

In a summary report presented to JDHS staff, the team offered seven recommendations for improvement to be added to a list of 15 - called a school improvement plan - that the school had created as part of the accreditation process.

The new recommendations included:

• Establishing more cohesive short-term and long-term staff development programs.

• Developing greater curriculum connections between elementary, middle and high schools.

• Reviewing elective course offerings.

The team also suggested creating specific measurements for outcomes from the original 15 elements of the school improvement plan.

The team also offered a number of compliments for certain areas of the school. Jensen said she sensed a caring atmosphere "permeating" the building.

"Coming here and seeing the programs you offer ... that make students feel like this is the right place for them - your school is doing a wonderful job," she said.

Langbauer noted the candor with which the school addressed areas in need of improvement, including minority student success. He also commended the wide range of activities available to students.

"I would be shocked to hear a student say, 'There's just nothing for me to do around here,' " he said.

Dailey said the team was satisfied the school had met the accreditation standards of the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, the accrediting agency. The team will recommend approval of JDHS' accreditation, she said.

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