Oct. 17, 2004 Charlotte Amalie High School Principal Jeanette Smith said Friday the school is prepared for a visit by an accreditation team of the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools this week.
The team will visit the school Tuesday to assess whether CAHS is complying with requirements necessary for reaccreditation.
"We're going to be ready," Smith said. "We're making sure we do what was requested."
Smith said getting ready for the accreditation team required a lot of time and effort, but the school received large support from the government and members of the community.
"We're doing what we can to show the team that CAHS should have accredited status," Smith said. "It's an effort that every factor of our school community had a role to play in."
In November of 2001, Middle States announced it would pull the accreditation status of CAHS, Ivanna Eudora Kean High School and St. Croix's Central High School. The schools have been trying to regain their accredited status since, along with the St. Croix Educational Complex, which has never been accredited. (See "Appeal Fails; High Schools Unaccredited"). CAHS was first accredited in 1963.
CAHS was closed Wednesday for some final sprucing up and for a meeting of all the faculty and staff to give feedback on the progress of the various committees they were in.
Smith said they have done everything possible to bring the school into compliance with the issues raised by Middle States. One of the biggest issues raised was the poor attendance of both teachers and students. Smith said they have worked with teachers, parents and students and there has been progress in this regard.
Another issue that had been raised by Middle States was the need for more site-based management of funds allowing school principals the ability to pay substitute teachers and purchase books and equipment.
"We have a little more local control of some funds than we've had in the past," Smith said. "We've made some progress."
Smith said she was grateful for the support of the faculty, staff and members of the community in the preparation efforts.
"I wish we truly had the resources to compensate the people for the extra hours that they put in making this a reality," Smith said. "If this is what it takes to do a better job with our students, then it was worth it. The whole process has been meaningful."
Assistant Principal Carmen Howell said, "We've worked extremely hard preparing for this visit, and we're just hopeful that we will get the results we're looking for."
The accreditation team will visit Eudora Kean on Nov. 15, Sharon McCollum-Rogers, school principal, said.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.
Publisher's note : Like the St. Thomas Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice… click here.