Achieving ACCS Reaccreditation

by FRANKLIN NORTON

Director of Advancement

On December 31, 1995 our school became an official member of the Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS) at the start of the classical Christian education movement.

 Since then, it has been a longtime goal for the school to achieve full accreditation from the ACCS. When the Board of Directors published our five-year strategic plan in 2020, the first goal stated that we were to cultivate our distinct mission and vision as a classical Christian School, with the rationale being that Covenant School exists to promote a classical Christian education. As the only classical Christian school in the Tri-State area, we believe that this educational philosophy makes our school unique. We do not follow the prevailing modern philosophies of education, and so this ancient and Christian model of education requires intentional cultivation.

 A large part of achieving this goal was to finally earn accreditation from the ACCS.

 After a year of self studies and other preliminary work,  we became an official candidate for full ACCS accreditation in March of 2021. Exactly one year later, on March 2, 2022 Covenant School was recognized as the first and only school in West Virginia accredited by the ACCS.

 Because we were newly accredited, we were required to go through the process of re-accreditation after two years to ensure we still met the same standards. After another year’s worth of self studies and work, our visiting accreditation committee recommended we remain fully accredited, a status we will maintain for the next five years with the next re-accreditation self-study and visit being in 2029.

 The committee was made up of three experienced classical Christian school leaders from across the country who took the time to observe classes, meet with teachers, administrators, students, and our board, and get to know our school to offer their own commendations and recommendations for further improvement.

 They noted our exceptional faculty and leadership team as well as our engaged and thoughtful students as highlights of their review. One even said he would love to have our students at his own school. They said we are an exemplary classical Christian school.

The ACCS offers the only accreditation specifically designed for classical Christian schools. Accredited members meet the foundational standards for a classical Christian school. Through the process of the self-study on-site visits, the ACCS verifies the classical nature of our school’s teaching so that it meets a foundational set of requirements.

ACCS-accredited schools have successfully completed a thorough process involving both a self-study examination of all standards and requirements for ACCS accreditation followed by an on-site visit by a qualified and experienced accreditation committee. This committee examines the entire school organization from school board oversight to classroom pedagogy, including student participation, conduct, and development, staff training, parent-teacher relations, operational and financial policies, community support, and the overall spiritual demeanor in the school classrooms. All accredited schools undergo regular accreditation renewals typically at five-year intervals.

 Of the more than 400 member schools, less than 20 percent have achieved full-accreditation status.

 This accreditation only affirms the distinct quality of our school, our teachers and administrators, and our students and families as we continue to grow as a classical Christian school in a rapidly growing education movement.

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