On the last week of February, AdvancEd, an organization that conducts on-site reviews and accredits educational institutions, visited our school.
Our school is one of the 70,000 educational institutions that are part of AdvancEd. Every 5 years this non-profit and non-partisan organization visits our school. On Sunday morning February 24, the AdvancED group had a welcoming to the school and got a tour around school given by some NHS seniors. During their visit, AdvancEd leaders entered into ongoing classes, analyzed student commitment and the ways teachers taught.
“I felt very proud being able to welcome and give the tour to the AdvancEd visit. Throughout the tour, multiple comments were made on how pretty the campus was,” Eliana Lopez, senior, said.
Aside from being impressed by the school campus, AdvancEd kept getting amazed by our school. Scott Garon, AdvancEd High School Principal at Lincoln School Costa Rica highlighted the pride and trust he saw among Columbus School students, only by the way hallways looked like.
“I’m impressed by all the lockers that are wide open and with stuff hanging out, and yet nobody is afraid that anything is gonna go missing…I’ve worked in about 70 different schools and I’ve never seen kind of community among high school students in sense of trust, ” Garon said.
Even though the school might seem amazing at first sight, AdvancEd was actually here to help the school even in the smallest areas for improvement. The organization has a continuous improvement system that helps institutions on their improvement journey.
According to AdvancEd Organization, “Using the AdvancED Continuous Improvement System, members are empowered to: the Evaluate learning environments by focusing on students, Reveal strengths and weaknesses using measurable data, Identify trends by comparing classroom observations across subjects, grade levels and other filters using our education technology, Implement powerful tools for professional development, peer learning, and ongoing improvement. Ensure the quality of education remains at the forefront through a variety of diagnostic and improvement tools.”
A bit of expert advice can never be bad. As an AdvancEd member, Garner invites and encourages all High School Students is to value the process, the relationships, and skills that you are building here and try not to only focus on what is your GPA.
“I believe sometimes students get caught up on ‘What’s my score’, and this should change. Your GPA does not define you as a student, but your interpersonal skills, the ability to find common connections, communicate clearly and effectively, to think critically and question the why does,” Garner, said.
After being to the countless number of schools, Garner concluded that what makes The Columbus School stand out from other schools is, “The Columbus Way”
“What differentiates you from other schools is you. It is, It’s you, it’s the people, it’s the students, it’s your teachers, it’s your administrators, It’s the communication I saw taking place in the classrooms, the signs everywhere about the importance of caring and social responsibility. You are the differentiation,” Garner said.