Home News Local news CAHS Clears Final Reaccreditation Hurdle

CAHS Clears Final Reaccreditation Hurdle


Oct. 25, 2004 — Students of the Charlotte Amalie High School may soon receive the benefits of attending an accredited school – including easier admission to universities and better access to scholarships.
An accreditation team of the Middle States Association Commission on Secondary Schools visited CAHS last week and gave the school a favorable report.
"We had an excellent visit, an excellent report, and we're ecstatic about the impression of the visiting team on our school," Jeanette Smith, CAHS principal, said Monday.
"The school has done an outstanding job of preparing for this evaluation visit and building the bridge to the future that will result in improved education programs and opportunities for the children attending this school," Claire Brown, chair of the Middle States Association Visiting Team, said.
"The next step includes a careful analysis at the regional and association level that we hope will result in the accreditation of the school. We are very optimistic about the outcome of the recent visit and congratulate the school administration, staff, students and the accreditation team on their efforts to this point," Education Commissioner Noreen Michael said.
Smith, her staff, students and members of the community had worked hard to prepare the school for the team's visit. (See "CAHS Administration Ready for Reaccreditation Visit").
The visit was the final step in the reaccreditation process for the school, which had lost its accredited status in 2001, along with the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School and St. Croix's Central High School (the St. Croix Educational Complex has never been accredited).
The team inspected the school's facilities, sat in on classes, evaluated programs and spoke with administrators and students to determine CAHS's eligibility to regain accreditation.
The Visiting Team in their review found the following:
-CAHS meets the 12 Middle States national standards, which included all aspects of its instructional programs and school operations.
-CAHS met the curricular and instructional standards required by MSA.
-CAHS met the strategic planning requirements of MSA.
"The next step is to forward our report to the Caribbean Advisory Council with our favorable findings," Brown said. "This council will carefully review our report and make a recommendation to MSA for action on accreditation."
The visiting team did find a number of areas that CAHS administration should consider correcting or revising, including improving school facility and grounds safety; ensuring that money collected from fund-raising efforts is spent for the slated educational purpose; and developing procurement procedures that result in the timely receipt of materials and supplies. The group also discussed the importance of continuing to actualize the concept of site-based management – a concept that focuses resources and the ability to manage change at the school level, Michael said.
CAHS has worked for two years to bring the school in compliance with the areas Middle States found problematic at the time: poor student and teacher attendance, an inadequate substitute teacher pool and lack of site-based management of the school's budget.
"We did it," Smith said, joyously, adding they had done everything possible to bring the school in compliance. "We are very happy and pleased."
For the school's 1,600 students, regaining the accredited status is vital to their admission to colleges and universities and their eligibility to obtain certain scholarships.
Many colleges on their application ask students whether their high schools were accredited, and students coming from unaccredited could receive more scrutiny.
Kean High will receive its visit from the accrediting team from Nov. 15-18.

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