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Cyberchat with the Superintendent

By Joan M. Forney, Interim Superintendent
September 10, 2012

CEASD Accreditation – What It Means for ISD

During this school year, the Illinois School for the Deaf (ISD) will be undertaking a self-study as part of the process of becoming re-accredited by the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD). We will spend the entire school year analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of our programs and developing departmental goals as part of the strategic planning process of CEASD accreditation. In late spring of this school year (April 14-17, 2013) a team comprised of administrators from CEASD member schools will visit ISD and review our self-study. At the conclusion of that visit, the CEASD Site Visiting Team will make a recommendation to the CEASD Board regarding ISD's accreditation status.

The first step in our process will be for ISD to establish a steering committee that will over-see the entire CEASD accreditation process. The nucleus of the steering committee is ISD's School Improvement Committee that works annually on the AdvancED accreditation process managing our three student achievement goals in reading, mathematics and writing. In addition to the nucleus group consisting of Angela Kuhn, Aimee Veith, Allison Guidish, Allison Fraas, Renee Jumper and Colleen Belcher, the steering committee will include departmental supervisors, parents and community members.
In the early stages of the process, we will complete surveys where the entire staff will review the indicators for the twelve CEASD

Standards. The twelve standards are:

Standard 1: Philosophy/Mission

Standard 2: Governance and Leadership

Standard 3: School Improvement Planning and Viability

Standard 4: Finances

Standard 5: Facilities

Standard 6: School Climate and Organization

Standard 7: Health and Safety

Standard 8: Educational Program

Standard 9: Assessment and Evidence of Student Learning

Standard 10: Student Services

Standard 11: Student Life, Student Activities, and Residential Living

Standard 12: Learning Resources and Information Technology

Our IT department is now developing a Monkey survey that includes all of the indicators. As a staff member, you will be asked to rate each of the indicators. These surveys will be compiled and will then be used to determine our strengths and weaknesses in each department. Parents will be sent a survey where they too will review selected indicators. All of this process is called a self-study. It is our opportunity to review our school and make decisions about future planning. When the CEASD team visits, there goal will be to review the self-study and verify that the information in the self-study is accurate.

After all of the surveys are completed, members of the steering committee will write a narrative for each standard and include the strengths and weaknesses pointed out by the survey as part of the self-study process. On completion of the narratives, the steering committee with input from the staff and our stakeholders, will determine one or two organizational goals that we will adopt for the next five years. These goals will be added to our three student achievement goals in reading, mathematics and writing and become our new School Improvement Plan.

It is extremely important that all of our staff, a number of our parents, and a representative sample of our other stakeholders participate in the CEASD accreditation process. Your first opportunity to participate will come when you are sent the link to the CEASD Indicator Survey. We have set a goal of 100% staff participation in the accreditation process beginning with the survey that you will receive prior to Homecoming Weekend. I am confident our staff will provide us with excellent input for the CEASD self-study. This is our opportunity to document our accomplishments and set in place plans for the future.