Calvary Day School is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS-AdvancED). Accreditation by SACS-AdvancED is like the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” for educational institutions, and it is the highest level of accreditation offered in the Southeastern United States. Likewise, Calvary Day School has received the highest level of accreditation, Accredited with Quality, by the Georgia Accrediting Commission (GAC) for grade levels K through 12. Calvary Day School is also a member of the Georgia High School Association (GHSA).
What is Accreditation?
(an excerpt from the AdvancED website)
The accreditation offered by AdvancED through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is a voluntary method of quality assurance developed more than 100 years ago by American universities and secondary schools, and designed primarily to distinguish schools adhering to a set of educational standards. The accreditation process is also known in terms of its ability to effectively drive student performance and continuous improvement in education. Such definitions, though accurate, are incomplete.
While accreditation is a set of rigorous protocols and research-based processes for evaluating an institution’s organizational effectiveness, it is far more than that. Today accreditation examines the whole institution—the programs, the cultural context, the community of stakeholders—to determine how well the parts work together to meet the needs of students.
It is the process of accreditation that yields the greatest continuing return for institutions. When approached properly, the internal self-assessment an institution conducts against a set of research-based quality standards can produce a wealth of galvanizing insights. Honest self-evaluation is unparalleled in its ability to uncover and bring into sharp focus special challenges for an institution that may not have been fully understood. The external review is the hallmark of the accreditation process, and like the internal self-assessment, it energizes and equips the leadership and stakeholders of an institution or school system to tackle those areas that may be thwarting desired performance levels.
Accreditation is inextricably linked to institution and educational system improvement. The accreditation process asks institutions and systems to critically evaluate their vision, strategies, priorities, leadership, and programs and resources. The process of earning and maintaining accreditation provides institutions and educational systems with clear and compelling direction for implementing changes to move toward excellence.
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is one of six regional accrediting associations in the United States. SACS is the accrediting body for 11 Southern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) and Latin America. In 1895, SACS was founded for the purpose of evaluating school quality. It is a division of the AdvancED group, which is dedicated to advancing excellence in education worldwide.
AdvancED is the world’s largest education community, serving in more than 27,000 public and private schools and districts across the United States and in 69 countries that educate over 15 million students. The organization believes that students must be prepared to succeed in a constantly evolving and diverse world and that educational institutions have a deep responsibility to deliver quality education to students from all walks of life.
Georgia Accrediting Commission (GAC)
The purpose of the Georgia Accrediting Commission is to provide better education for the youth of Georgia by stimulating schools to achieve and maintain a high level of professional integrity and competence. GAC is a nonprofit organization and was founded in 1904 by Dr. Joseph S. Stewart, Professor of Secondary Education at the University of Georgia, who was tasked with bringing about better relationships between high schools and the University of Georgia. Dr. Stewart published the first GAC manual for high schools during the 1903-1904 school year and began accepting applications from high schools across the state during that year. The first list of accredited schools was published in 1904.
The following is a mission statement published on the GAC website (www.coe.uga.edu):
The mission of the Georgia Accrediting Commission is twofold: (l) to establish standards promoting instruction of high quality for children in Georgia and (2) to encourage schools to meet the established standards. GAC provides an accreditation process designed to establish and uphold standards, to strengthen the quality of education in each school, and to assure its membership and the general public that the established standards are related to the best educational practices.
The GAC Executive Director issues certificates for those schools and agencies Provisionally Accredited, Accredited Annually, Accredited, Accredited Fully and Accredited with Quality.
Georgia High School Association (GHSA)
The objective of the GHSA organization is the promotion of education in Georgia from a mental, physical, and moral viewpoint, to standardize and encourage participation in athletics, and to promote sportsmanship and an appreciation for and study of music, speech, and other fine arts through Region and State competitions.