Sept. 17 2003 – The new principal at Ivanna Eudora Kean High School says she and her fellow administrators are getting ready to persuade the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools to give the school another chance at candidacy for accreditation.
"I have no doubt that at the end of the school year we will pass candidacy for accreditation," Principal Sharon Collum Rogers said at a news conference on Wednesday. "We are working feverishly in that direction. It is going to happen, and I am certain that if Middle States were to come here today, they would be pleased with what they would see."
Rogers and other school officials and advocates met with media representatives in the school library to spell out the goals of her administration. Priorities, she said, include making changes in the curriculum, improving morale among the staff and faculty, providing greater opportunity for professional development, and fostering good relations with the surrounding community.
Vice Principal Leroy Trotman said that getting back on track for reaccreditation is the most important goal. "There are a number of challenges that we do face from day to day," he said. "However, I think the challenge still remains that we focus on the No. 1 priority, which is to get our school candidacy."
The school's Accreditation Steering Committee has been meeting every two weeks, Rogers said, directing the activity of smaller committees that oversee various aspects of preparing for a candidacy visit. To keep education officials up to date on their progress, she said, reports and correspondence are being shared via the Internet.
In November 2001, Middle States withdrew accreditation from the territory's three public high schools then accredited — Central, Charlotte Amalie and Eudora Kean. The Education Department is seeking to regain accreditation for all three and to have Education Complex accredited for the first time. In June, following site visits in April, Middle States announced that it had granted candidacy to Central, CAHS and Complex, but not to Kean.
A team of Middle States evaluators is due back in the territory in December.
Since the April accreditation team visit, the Department of Education has made some changes at the top at Eudora Kean, the most prominent being the naming of Rogers, a former assistant principal at Joseph Gomez Elementary School, as principal. For more than a year and a half, since the retirement of Sinclair Wilkinson, the East End St. Thomas high school had been without a permanent principal.
Rogers says she and her team of newly appointed assistant principals have been working extra hours and meeting with members of the schools accreditation team. "It's going to take the whole community to raise this school," she said, but "at the end of this school year, we will have candidacy for accreditation."
As a sign of Eudora Kean's new direction Rogers pointed to the quiet and orderly school hallways and campus. Security and school discipline were two of the areas cited by evaluators in their decision not to grant the school candidacy. She and her assistant principal for the 9th grade credited hallway monitors and on-campus police for enforcing the rules against loitering.
"I firmly believe — and I keep repeating — that we cannot run a school in chaos," she said.
Rogers appealed to the parents of Kean students to respond when school officials contacted them to discuss discipline concerns. As a result, Assistant Principal T. Jubilani Rees said, disciplinary problems so far in the new school year are down.
School officials are imposing in-school suspensions to keep errant students on campus and engaged in supervised activity, instead of sending them home.
Rees said most security concerns now are focused on after-school hours. Administrators are looking into the installation of electronic surveillance cameras, reportedly with the support of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.
The Middle States evaluators also faulted the school on health and safety issues, chief among them the lack of a school nurse. Rogers said a registered nurse has now been hired and is to begin work by November.

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