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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, March 23, 2023
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Coral School Gets Credentials, Eyes Expansion

May 22, 2004 – A small, private school on St. John recently won accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. An administrator at the Coral Bay School, established in 2000, says the coveted credential comes as the school prepares to graduate its first group of 12th graders.
According to Scott Crawford, assistant headmaster, the process that led to the school receiving accreditation this month began before the school enrolled its first group of seventh, eighth and ninth graders.
"The time frame they set up for us was pretty much exactly the time frame we followed," he said Friday. A school has to be in existence for two years before it can be considered for accreditation. Crawford continued, "At the start of our third year the Middle States team came and reviewed the school to see if we were ready to start the process. They determined that we were and accepted us as candidates for accreditation." Since then the school added a tenth, eleventh and twelfth grade, providing instruction for their first class of ninth graders as they progressed upward.
As the students engaged in their studies, Coral Bay School administrators began a self-study process that's part of the accreditation process. "We produced a document assessing various parts of the school, everything from its governance to its curriculum to its facilities and services for students and that was submitted for review by Middle States this year, this fall a team came for a full and final review," Crawford said.
The process concluded a few weeks ago when the school was notified of the successful completion of the accreditation process.
Now that it has crossed one hurdle, Crawford said there are new challenges ahead. With a current enrollment of 90 students, the school has outgrown the classroom complex in Cruz Bay. Crawford says the current plan is to move the school to Pine Peace where it will merge with the Pine Peace School, which provides classroom instruction for grades kindergarten through six.
But even with these changes in mind, the assistant headmaster said Coral Bay School will hold on to its educational philosophy and its approach to learning for junior high and high school students. "We were accredited because they like what we were doing in the first place, so we want to keep doing what we were doing already," he said.
For more on school accreditation in the Virgin Islands see Good Hope

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