The past 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th of April, the visiting team for the accreditation of Shoreless Lake School from Middle State Association was among us.
Taking some words from Dr. Angela Rufo (chairperson of the visiting team): "Thank you again for a wonderful school visit and visit to Spain! You and your team were so well prepared for the visit that you really did make our job easy and at the same time difficult ."
We came as your “critical friends.” What I mean by this is that we came to look and listen with discerning eyes and ears as professional friends and colleagues. What we have to say to you is offered in the spirit of our desire to leave you in a better position to achieve your goals than before we arrived.
We asked nearly all of the groups with whom we met to identify what they see as the primary strengths of your school. The responses can be summarized by the words “family”, “community” and the educational opportunity granted to students who might not be able to afford an excellent education. Many schools talk about being a community of learners, but Shoreless Lake School is a model of such a community.
From the moment we entered the school, we saw and heard that this is a special place. It is a small school, but it is one that is vibrant with activity. We are in awe of the level of student, staff, and community participation in the life of this school. We are impressed by the degree to which your students involve themselves in the total life of the school. What life skills your students are learning as they live together in the residence! We applaud you for the degree of cooperation among the whole staff – teachers, administrators, and volunteers.
We are also impressed by the uniformity with which the parents and community members with whom we spoke support the work of Shoreless Lake School. The community supports this school and will provide whatever is necessary to make sure the children have what they need.
It can be seen in the spirituality of everyone who is part of this school. We could tell immediately that everyone models your Mission and Philosophy. Your Mission Statement and Beliefs are on your website but should be displayed prominently throughout the school. It can be seen in the fact that you offer 8 Advanced Placement courses, possibly soon to be 9. It can be seen in your providing the opportunity to learn English, Spanish, French and Latin.
Shoreless Lake School provides an incredibly warm and cooperative living and learning environment for all of its students. They are well cared for. The Visiting Team applauds the school for exceeding the MSA Indicators of Quality whereby the school offers continuous and responsible supervision by qualified adults provided during all times including evenings, weekends, and periods when classes are not in session.
Now, let me move to the accreditation decision we will make to the Middle States Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools.
As I stated earlier, part of the decision regarding whether to recommend re-accreditation of Shoreless Lake School is based on whether you meet the 12 standards for accreditation. These standards address every aspect of the programs, services, and resources you provide for your student. They also address the school’s capacity to provide an appropriate education based on the standards and expectations of your community.
We concluded that Shoreless Lake School meets all 12 of the standards for accreditation.
This Validation Team will recommend to the Middle States Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools that Shoreless Lake School be re-accredited for seven years.
As we take our leave, the members of the Validation Team wish to thank all of you for opening your school to us, for sharing with us your hopes and your dreams, and for your wonderful hospitality. Our experience here has been a rich and rewarding one.
Many thanks especially go to Father Octavio and Diana, your Internal Coordinators, for their hard work in preparing your school for our visit, for organizing our visit, and for being so accommodating and responsive to our requests and needs. Thank you to all of you for making our job here so much easier.
We leave you with this thought. We are convinced that the good people of your school and school community care deeply about and seek the best for your children. We are also convinced that, when men and women of good will come together for the sake of their children, mountains can be crossed, rivers can be bridged, differences can be healed, and obstacles can be overcome. The people that constitute Shoreless Lake School have confirmed this belief for us. You have a special and unique school. Our challenge to you now is to make it even better.
We wish you the success in all your endeavors and God bless.
Thank you and goodbye.
(Note: click HERE TO SEE PICTURES OF THE ACCREDITATION PROCESS)