Watkinsville, Georgia – January 23, 2010 – Westminster Christian Academy is now an accredited member of the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The SAIS-SACS accreditation is recognized throughout the world as a symbol of quality in education for students and teachers. Earning the SAIS-SACS accreditation elevates Westminster into an international network of other accredited schools that have demonstrated success in education.
In order to earn accreditation, Westminster had to meet quality standards and undergo an evaluation by an outside group of peer professionals. By achieving SAIS-SACS accreditation, Westminster has demonstrated its commitment to a process that requires the school to meet a set of rigorous, research-based standards; to engage in a program of continuous school improvement; and to demonstrate quality assurance to its stakeholders through self-evaluation and peer review. “The faculty and staff have all worked very hard to achieve this coveted accreditation,” states Headmaster Dana James. “We strive to be a school of excellence in all that we do, and while we, as an administration, know that we offer our students an excellent educational experience, it is very gratifying to have this nationally acclaimed and highly respected organization recognize us as such.”
Process of accreditation The accreditation process was an intensive two-year process for Westminster’s teachers and staff. The application for accreditation is based on the self-study report method. The self-study resulted in a 40-page report document that reviews every aspect of the school’s structure, including student achievement, faculty development, advancement, and school governance. “The sheer volume of paperwork alone can be daunting,” sites Judy Childs, Assistant Principal and Dean of Women. “We have to demonstrate competence of 7 overarching standards and 68 specific indicators, all of which we met with complete thoroughness and proficiency. I am so pleased and proud of our teachers, staff, board of directors, and families who worked tirelessly toward this end! We have such an amazing and dedicated group of school stakeholders who are committed to Westminster and its vision of providing a rigorous, well-balanced, exceptional educational experience for our students. Our Parents in Partnership parent organization did a fantastic job of helping to provide a warm and welcoming setting for our accreditation team.”
Following the application process, schools undergo a site visit from an outside group of peers. “When you are setting yourself up for review as a SAIS-SACS accredited school, there is even more pressure to ensure that you dot every “i” and cross every “t”, states Mrs. Childs. “To put it in layman terms, it’s like a friendly visit from an auditor of the IRS,” she chuckles.
Making the grade Considering SAT scores alone, Westminster students perform considerably higher than state and national averages. The SAT composite score for the 2009 graduating class was 1744, totaling 233 points higher than the United States average and 378 points higher than the state of Georgia average. “If you can compare our SAT scores to those of any local private school, even those with a considerably larger student body and higher tuition expenses, you will find that Westminster meets or exceeds their scores as well. Being accredited through this dual-accreditation process ensures that our school is recognized for its outstanding programs and educational offerings,” James notes.
ABOUT WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN ACADEMY Founded in 1989, Westminster Christian Academy is an independent, college-preparatory school that covenants with Christian parents, and is committed to the academic training of students in the larger context of a distinctly biblical worldview. With an enrollment of approximately 300 students in preschool through twelfth grade, the school is located on a 30-acre wooded site in Watkinsville, Georgia. For more information on pursuing an education at Westminster Christian Academy, please visit the website wcalions.org.