WASC to review MHS for mid-cycle accreditation

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges, or WASC, will be coming to MHS for a mid-cycle review from April 30 to May 1, according to Assistant Principal Skyler Draeger.  WASC is an organization that accredits and assures the quality of schools and colleges for the western region of the United States.

The WASC team comes every six years, and leaves recommendations for the school on areas that the school can improve on, according to Assistant Principal Skyler Draeger. Then, after three years, they come for a mid cycle review to check up on the school’s progress, which is what is taking place this school year, Draeger continued.

The WASC team wants to make sure that schools are safe, and that they are providing an equitable, standardized education to their students, Principal Francis Rojas said. They also make sure that the school is functioning on a growth and improvement mode, he continued.

“We make sure that the school is not just doing things because we feel a certain way,” Rojas said. “Rather, we actually look at what the needs are, and make sure that all the staff members, students, and community members are actually involved in the decision making, and there is this ongoing process of improvement.”

The school also gives WASC a list of things that they were working on at the time of the 6 year check-up, and so WASC also looks to see if the school has improved by their own measures as well as WASC’s, Draeger said. MHS would also need to show some kind of proof of the school’s work on the recommendations, Draeger continued.

“One of the areas [the school needed to improve in] was community outreach, which is looking at fostering better communication between Milpitas High School and he community of Milpitas, or the parents of the students at MHS,” Draeger said.

MHS must prove this effort to the accreditation team, Draeger said. For example the school would show power points from parent nights, or having proof of flyers or emails sent out by the school to the students and/or parents, Draeger continued.

Social Sciences Teacher Paul Cao believes that there has been an improvement in the school since the last WASC observation in 2015. However, he can mostly only speak to the improvements needed in the social sciences department, Cao said.

“As far as the social sciences department, there needed to be more continuity between curriculum teachers were using in their classrooms, of the same subject but different teacher,” Cao said. “Also, there needed to be a continuity in academic language that teachers were using, so that students could go from one class to the next, and be used to the terms being used by another teacher,” Cao added.

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