Valley Christian School (VCS) has been a pillar in the Auburn community for over 42 years. Four of those years have been spent going through accreditation with the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and AdvancED for the school’s kindergarten through 8th-grade program. The school has been thoroughly examined on eight standards and 90 indicators within those standards, and a 60-page school report with hundreds of documents has been submitted.
According to ACSI, school accreditation is designed around the principle that excellence grows where a commitment is made towards systematic school improvement. For Christian schools in the business of shaping hearts and minds for eternity, excellence is imperative.
Of the 24,000 Christian schools worldwide that are members of ACSI, only one thousand are accredited. The mission of ACSI is to strengthen Christian schools and equip Christian educators worldwide to prepare students academically and inspire them to become devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
“It has been tremendous work for our school staff, but worth every moment. The accreditation process has propelled us to be a school of continuous improvement. Earning ACSI/AdvancEd accreditation will also allow VCS to be recognized as a trustworthy and reliable educational institution, especially to prospective families,” says VCS principal, Joshua Snyder.
Kevin Newbry, Superintendent of Lighthouse Christian School in Twin Falls, Idaho headed a visiting team of five principals and superintendents from Washington and Idaho for the accreditation review. The team reviewed the documents provided by the school and held interviews with staff, school board members, parents, teachers, and students, to evaluate the school’s level of compliance with quality accreditation standards.
The ACSI visiting team presented Valley Christian School with four major commendations:
- The leadership team, faculty and staff commitment to advancing the mission and vision is strong and vibrant.
- All kindergarten- 8th grade teachers hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree. Almost 70% hold a Master’s degree.
- Valley Christian School has developed an exemplary lunch program that provides highly nutritional meals served by qualified personnel who diligently and faithfully abide by food service standards.
- The Administration of Valley Christian School successfully involved all stakeholder groups in the collaborative planning process of the Continuous School Improvement Plan.
VCS also received recommendations, which the school has already been working on, such as adapting procedures for implementing security and crisis management plans. Under the school’s Keeping Campus Safe Initiative, the school has recently purchased a travel AED that will be available for athletic teams and school field trips. The school is also installing an electronic/video door entry system to control any visitors on campus.
The visiting team will submit the final report to the ACSI Commission on Accreditation, and the accreditation will be final in May. While some schools receive one, two, or three years before another on-site visit, because of Valley Christian School’s thoroughness and compliance with standards, the accreditation team has given the school five years before renewal–the most that a school can achieve.
This is the second accreditation in which Valley Christian School is recognized. The Early Education Center is accredited by the Washington State Dept. of Early Learning’s Early Achievers program. The school also meets and exceeds the standards set by the State Board of Education, and is a Washington State approved private school.
above is a press release provided by Valley Christian School. The Auburn Examiner has verified much of this release.