April 26, 2003 The Department of Education moved the application process for school accreditation a step further this week when it hosted a visit by a review team from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
The three-member review team interviewed principals of the four public high schools, met briefly with Gov. Charles W. Turnbull and held meetings with Education officials, teachers and "various government agency heads," a release stated.
It was the first visit since members of Education's central office completed a self-study evaluation in January. According to Education spokeswoman Juel Anderson, interviewing the principals was part of that phase of the process.
The self-study reports are self-evaluation forms in which selected administrators, assistants and education officials analyze different aspects of the V.I. education system. The reports were submitted to Middle States for evaluation.
Following completion of the interviews, the Middle States team provided Education Commissioner Noreen Michael, the department Leadership Team and Accreditation Task Force members with a preliminary report of its findings, conclusions and recommendations. Michael said the contents were not being released to the public because "this is not the official and complete report." The release stated that the department expects to receive the final report "in the very near future."
Now that the interviews are complete, Anderson said, the review team can complete its report on the central office self-study, since the high school principals took part in that process.
All four high schools are involved in the process, although only three of them — Charlotte Amalie, Central and Ivanna Eudora Kean — lost accreditation in 2001. The fourth, Educational Complex, has never been accredited.
Self-study at each of the schools will soon get under way, Anderson said. After that, tentatively in May, she said, "the next step will be a site visit to explore each school's readiness to receive candidacy."
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