At the beginning of the 2001-2002 school year, the Sunnyside Unified School District's Governing Board voted to proceed with districtwide accreditation through the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement for all schools. All high schools that participate in Arizona Athletic Interscholastic Association programs must hold NCA accreditation; however, schools k-8 have no such requirement, and few districts in the state hold such as distinction. The SUSD Governing Board, with Dr. Bejarano's leadership, determined that K-12 districtwide accreditation process would be the path toward school improvement.
The accreditation process is a five-year cycle. During the 2001-2002 year, school staff reviewed school mission statements, belief statements, determined various strengths and weaknesses within their schools. During the 2002-2003 school year, comprehensive school improvement plans were developed, and each school hosted a visit from an external team, each team chaired by a seasoned educator from another school district. During the 2003-2004 year, school sites are working toward ensuring that all staff are working in their areas of certification, and that any deficits in certification are being addressed. Also in this third year of the cycle, the central administration will host a visit by an external team to coordinate districtwide mission, vision, goals, etc. with the individual schools. School plans will be revised after receiving data from SAT9 and AIMS assessments. This will continue again during the 2004-2005 school year. During the 2005-2006 school year, the district and the schools will all host visiting external teams to review the five-year cycle, and (hopefully) receive full NCA K-12 districtwide accreditation.
To learn more about the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement, visit www.ncacasi.org