St. Mary’s Springs Academy is proud to announce that we have earned accreditation by Cognia™, a nonprofit organization that provides quality assurance for schools, school districts, and education service providers. This would not have been possible without all of your hard work and effort in gathering evidence and participating in interviews with the review team.
Earning accreditation from the Cognia Global Accreditation Commission means that our school system is recognized across the nation as a system that meets Cognia Standards of Quality, and maintains a commitment to continuous improvement. It demonstrates to our community our commitment to excellence, our openness to external review and feedback, and our desire to be the best we can be on behalf of the students we serve.
An important piece of the Cognia accreditation process is the feedback we receive that guides our continuous improvement planning. Cognia provides schools with an Index of Quality Education (IEQ) rating on a scale of 100 to 400 to provide information about how the institution is performing compared to expected criteria. St. Mary’s Springs Academy institutionally scored an IEQ of 294.50. An IEQ of 275 or above indicates that we are beginning to reach the impact level in practices that are sustained and engrained in our culture throughout the system while still having some standards within the ‘improve level’ that should be used to inform continuous improvement and movement towards sustainability.
The Cognia review team highlighted the following as strengths of our system:
- The system’s commitment to the “Ledger Way” and its purpose and mission statement are shared and exemplified by multiple stakeholders: The mission and purpose of the school are clearly and enthusiastically practiced throughout the school community.
- The system’s focus on community and family unifies all stakeholders in support of the mission and purpose: Continued emphasis on community and family will foster positive relationships among all stakeholders and generate a commitment to the school.
- The system’s strategic plan and continuous improvement process include goals consistent with its mission, purpose and needs: The commitment to long-range planning will provide direction for the institution as it meets its challenges and continues the positive educational experiences of students, as noted by parents and other stakeholders.
- The system student services support programs assist in meeting the specialized needs of learners: The continued focus on meeting specified student needs will help the institution meet the needs of all students and support enrollment projections.
- The system’s strong shared leadership results in strong collaboration among and between staff: Continued shared decision-making practices will enhance the school’s leadership development efforts and contribute to employee retention.
The Cognia review team also provided the following insights and suggestions for our continuous improvement efforts:
- The system should work towards the consistent use of data to inform decision-making and assess program effectiveness: The team encouraged the school’s leadership team to work with teachers to formalize the collection and use of data to enhance instructional practice and curriculum development decisions.
- The system should work towards centralizing the oversight of curriculum and instruction: The team encouraged the school to adopt a focused approach to curriculum and instruction, ensuring that creativity and innovation are practiced in the classroom.
- The system should work towards developing administrator and non-instructional staff evaluation programs: The team encouraged the system to develop and document formal supervision and evaluation processes for all staff members. This will provide consistency in providing continuous performance improvement.
- The system should work towards building continuity of leadership: The team encouraged the system to include leadership success planning within the school’s continuous improvement plan. This includes documenting practices and procedures that will ensure that those will continue in the event of a change in leadership.
St. Mary’s Springs Academy is truly blessed to continue our long tradition of providing an exemplary Catholic education and we look forward to our continuous improvement journey that is ingrained in our mission of preparing our students to meet global challenges and become leaders for tomorrow.