Published August 17, 2006
St. Peter Claver Regional School has been awarded dual accreditation by the Southern Association of Independent Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SAIS-SACS). Although St. Peter Claver has had SACS accreditation for a number of years, this is the first time the Decatur school has sought the dual accreditation offered by the SAIS-SACS partnership.
Schools with dual accreditation adhere to a rigorous set of standards that attest to the essence of an independent school education. To earn dual accreditation, candidate schools must meet quality standards, be evaluated by an outside group of peer professionals and implement a school plan focused on strategic improvement and student performance. SAIS-SACS dual accreditation provides schools access to an integrated network of services and technical assistance that supports every school’s ability to identify and meet its goals for improving student performance and the teaching and learning process.
Established in 1895, SACS is a non-governmental, voluntary organization that accredits more than 13,000 public and private institutions that offer education for students from early childhood through university. SAIS, which began in 1903, emphasizes accreditation through SACS for independent schools and professional development for administrators, trustees and teachers in those schools.
Peggy Warner, principal of Christ the King School, Atlanta, chaired the visiting team that evaluated St. Peter Claver. Other team members included Jeannine Purvis, instructional technology specialist, Rockdale County Schools; Mary Jean Griffin, assistant principal, St. John the Evangelist School, Hapeville; and Elizabeth Bland, adjunct professor, Spelman College, Atlanta.
The visiting committee interviewed groups of parents, teachers and students. They toured the classrooms and were especially impressed with the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students’ development of reading skills and the solid academic core of both programs.
After gathering the appropriate data and studying the report prepared by St. Peter Claver, the committee met in isolation to compile their findings and consider a recommendation.
The team gave St. Peter Claver commendations in a number of areas, including the thorough, well-organized report and associated documents and files, with definitive graphs and excellent photos. The documentation was judged to be thorough and authentic and the goals and plans achievable.
The committee commended the school for the number of surveys and wide range of participants that provided the basis for its decision-making. The assessment logs used to document what kind of evaluation is done and how it is done for each student were also found to be commendable.
The visiting team noted the visibility of the school’s mission statement and the fact that it is being lived out at St. Peter Claver. For example, articulate students encountered by team members indicated that they are a direct reflection of what and how the students are being taught and formed.
Other commendations concerned the classrooms. The committee found the classrooms and hallways to be academically pleasing and representative of the quality work being done by the students. The committee reported that on their visit, they observed organized classrooms with well-behaved students who were on task.
Some suggestions for the school to implement were made. Several were already in progress at the time of the visit; other recommendations are being implemented in plans for the coming year.
Adhering to the Catholic school curriculum of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, the school offers a rigorous academic program to students in pre-kindergarten through 8th grade classes. The 115 students come to St. Peter Claver from 12 parishes and eight counties around metropolitan Atlanta.
St. Peter Claver Regional School is located at 2560 Tilson Road, just off South Candler Road.
For further information, visit the St. Peter Claver School Web site at www.spc-school.org, or contact the school office at (404) 241-3063 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tours are scheduled on Thursday mornings at 9:30 a.m. or by appointment.