Ohio Catholic Schools Accrediting Association
- St. Vincent-St. Mary High School has been a member of OCSAA since 1994 when the organization was formed by the dioceses in Ohio.
North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement
- St. Vincent-St. Mary High School has been a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1951.
*St. Vincent-St. Mary requires background checks for all teaching and nonteaching employees and volunteers who have direct student contact based on the requirements of the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Catholic Schools Accrediting Association, and the Diocese of Cleveland Virtus program guidelines.
What does OCSAA and NCA/CASI Accreditation mean for STVM students, parents, and community?
- Gospel values permeate the curriculum, student activities and school environment
- Students are taught by qualified teachers
- Classes are of reasonable size and are appropriately staffed
- The curriculum is sound, diverse, and rigorous
- Student activity programs are plentiful
- Students have access to a wide range of support services
- The school environment is safe
Accreditation means that students are taught by faculty who are dedicated to raising student performance and achievement and to fulfilling the STVM Mission Statement, “enlightening the mind, developing the body, touching the heart, and inspiring the soul.”
It means that students earn credit that is recognized by schools, colleges and universities around the world.
It means that students have access to specific sports programs, certain federal loans, various scholarships, and admission to colleges, technical schools, or military programs that require students to come from regionally accredited schools.
It means that St. Vincent-St. Mary High School goes beyond state requirements, opens its doors to review and validation, and holds itself accountable for meeting locally, nationally, and internationally recognized standards of excellence and committing to the formulation and implementation of an ongoing School Improvement Plan.
Continuous Improvement: Progress Update on Accreditation Review and School Improvement Plan
Both organizations require that we be engaged in continuous improvement of student performance. A new accreditation cycle began in the fall of 2009. After a review of the Mission and Beliefs Statements, the faculty achieved consensus that there would be no changes to the Mission Statement and only minor changes to the Statement of Beliefs.
As part of the process, a School Profile was prepared. The steering chairs compiled data from the teacher, senior parent, students and alumni surveys that had been conducted the previous school year. Student performance data from a number of standardized assessments as well as demographic data on our student population was also compiled and analyzed by the faculty at a number of in-services. In addition, short surveys administered to students in English classes and study halls also revealed students’ concerns about respectful behavior and bullying as well as their need for help in the area of study skills. After much analysis and study, the faculty adopted the following two target goals for the 2011-2015 accreditation cycle:
- Catholic Identity Goal:Students will demonstrate their understanding of Catholic morals and values in building a faith community of respect for themselves, others, and the campus environment.
- Student Performance Goal: Students will learn and apply study skill techniques across the curriculum to improve academic performance.
Target Area Goal Committees
Each Target Goal Committee met many times to work on the development of the Preliminary School Improvement Plan, sharing their researched Best Practices, devising strategies, determining assessments, identifying persons responsible, calendaring a timeline, and locating and listing possible resources. In October, 2010 the Steering Co-chairs presented the final draft of the preliminary School Improvement Plan at the monthly faculty meeting. The faculty gave a final endorsement of the Plan.
In February 2011 an external team of educators visited STVM to review both our compliance with OCSAA and NCA standards, as well as our Preliminary School Improvement Plan and provide us feedback. The team examined all of our self-study work and talked to administrators, teachers, staff, students, and a focus group of parents. The team was chaired by Mr. Albert Early, from Purcell Marian High School in Cincinnati. Additional members included: Mr. Joseph Waler, Principal of Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin High School; Mr. Robert Hardesty, Principal of Immaculate Heart of Mary School; Dr. Rebecca McElfresh, College of Education, University of Akron; Lynne Guillot Miller, Phd., College of Education, Kent State University.
The External Review Team validated that STVM is in compliance with all OCSAA and NCA standards. In their report they stated, “The degree to which we saw commitment to both the process and the Plan it yielded by the entire school is to be commended.” The Team provided a few recommendations for enhancing the School Improvement Plan, many of which were adopted as the faculty drafted a Final School Improvement Plan.
In May 2011, OCSAA and NCA both reviewed all of the process work as well as the Final School improvement Plan and renewed our accreditation in both organizations. Implementation of the new School Improvement Plan will begin in the fall of 2011 with a number of professional development activities for teachers in the target goal areas.