Schools of Excellence
God calls us to bear His name in our communities in such a way that others will be drawn to Him. The League is committed to Excellence in Education and the ultimate glory of God in all that we say and do. League of Christian Schools accountability through accreditation and certification is one way in which Christian schools can validate their quality programs.
Accreditation is a must for any private institution that wishes to remain competitive and maintain a legitimate reputation. Today’s parents are asking more questions about accreditation than ever before. We have witness that many colleges and universities no longer accept students with diplomas or credits from non-accredited schools. Additionally, several funding programs and student organizations are only available through the rigorous accreditation process. Therefore, selecting a school or preschool with recognized accreditation is becoming paramount to ensure a child’s future success.
Benefits of Accreditation
The benefits of accreditation are innumerable and vary from state to state. One of the most significant benefits for parents that are concerned is the validation that the school or center provides appropriate curriculum and sequence of course offerings for the benefit of its students.
Additionally, accreditation requires that a preschool or school focus on continual improvement of programs, services, and teacher quality through regular evaluation, data analysis, professional development, and long-range strategic planning, as well as the discontinuance of outdated and ineffective learning strategies.
Students who exit accredited schools and centers that are recognized by our affiliates will have transcripts or coursework that is transferable to other educational institutions and will be recognized by area colleges and universities during the application process.
Step 1 – Become a Member
Accreditation is open to members of the League of Christian Schools (International League and Florida League).
- Step 2 – Complete an Application
Members can complete the application online, or download it from the member portal.
Once the application is received you will be contacted by a representative that will assess the readiness of the school. Once the preliminary review is completed, the school will receive a letter of candidacy, signalling that the self-evaluation process may be started.
Step 3 – Complete the Self-Study
The Accreditation Chair will help you begin the self-study, a thorough self-evaluation of your school based upon the standards of accreditation. The self-evaluation is completed using a special template located in the member portal. All accreditation documents and resources are available to schools that apply for accreditation. The self-study template should be downloaded and each standard addressed in terms of “how” the school meets the standard. The goal is to not simply indicate that the school complies, but to describe how and to what extend the school complies with each standard.
A school will have four (4) years to complete the self-study once my application is accepted.
Step 4 – Conduct Surveys
An important part of the self-evaluation is to collect valuable feedback about your purpose and impact from stakeholders. Surveys are administered to parents, leadership, and staff. The data is analyzed by the school to interpret the impact the school is making in each standard.
Surveys can be completed by paper, or online. All surveys and the Survey Administration Guide are available in the member portal.
Step 5 – Collect Supporting Documents
A school should be able to demonstrate how they meet each standard by supplying supporting documentation like governing board minutes, policy and procedure manuals, handbooks, minutes from staff meetings, etc…. All supporting documentation should be collected and presented along with the self-study.
Step 6 – Create a School Improvement Plan
Now that you have assessed the programs, policies and impact the school is making in the community, create a School Improvement Plan. The plan should demonstrate a realistic and honest assessment of the schools findings, develop a sense of community among all stakeholders, focus on the school’s mission and purpose, and creates a road map for continual school improvement.
Step 7 – Host the Site Team
A trained evaluator will lead a team to visit the school to conduct an on-site evaluation. The team will focus on:
- Determining to what extent the school complies with and meets the ILCS/FLOCS standards
- Interviewing student, parent, staff, and leadership stakeholders
- Conducting classroom observations
- Examine artifacts and evidence as presented in the supporting documentation
The team will document a thorough report of their findings which will identify commendations that the team identified where the school exceeds average performance, and recommendations that the team identified as areas of improvement.
Step 8 – Exit Review
At the end of the Visiting Team review, the team will present their findings for school leadership. This presentation will provide an overview of the report, and notable areas of accomplishments as well as deficiency. The findings are considered preliminary. The report will not be finalized until approved by the Accreditation Commission.
Step 9 – Accreditation Commission Review and Approval
Upon receiving the Visiting Team Report, the Accreditation Commission reviews the report for clarification and overall compliance with standards. The Commission will make the final determination whether the school will be approved for full, provisional, probational, or no accreditation. The final determination will be communicated to the school in writing.
Step 10 – Continuous Improvement & Annual Reporting
Upon final improvement, the school will receive a full copy of the team findings in the member portal. The report should serve as a guide to long-term and ongoing school improvement. The school should consider the findings and begin immediately toward implementing changes to meet the deficiencies found by the Visiting Team. The school will submit an annual report called the Annual Accreditation Survey and Progress Report (ASPR) in which they will document changes and actions taken to meet the teams recommendations.
The League of Christian Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools have long partnered to provide co-accreditation for our schools. We are very pleased to provide AdvancED, NCA, NWAC, and SACS accreditation for all LCS schools in a seamless, integrated and aligned process that is designed to minimize duplication and reduce costs. AdvancED is the world’s largest education community, serving more than 30,000 public and private schools and districts across the United States and in more than 70 countries that educate over 16 million students. This partnership allows us to reach across the globe, bringing significant value to missionary-established and indigenous schools in foreign countries.