External Review Team Commends Horizon Christian School
March 22, 2016 - An external team from AdvancEd, concluded an onsite review of Horizon Christian School’s educational program and declared it “very, very good!”
The school is accredited by AdvancEd, the world’s largest educational community, accrediting 32,000 public and private schools throughout the world, including those in the Washington and Oregon. An onsite visit every five years is part of the ongoing process. School staff, including administrators, teachers, parents, and students rated the program on the basis of 33 indicators and staff presented evidence to validate the rankings. During the onsite visit, the accreditation team reviewed the evidence, conducted interviews, observed classes and rated the school on the same indicators. The team was led by DiAnne Fentress, retired Special Education Director at Portland State University Adjunct Supervisor and Special Education Consultant to School Districts and former ODE Supported Education Specialist.
Staff was commended for an active and well-managed learning environment. Overall, the school ranked at 325 on a scale up to 400. “That is in the upper 25% of all schools and well above the 50% norm,” noted Fentress.
An analysis and evaluation of three main areas including impact of teaching and learning, leadership capacity, and resource utilization resulted in eight “Powerful Practices”.
“Most schools commonly have three ‘Powerful Practices,’” noted Fentress. “Horizon Christian School scores seven ‘Powerful Practices’ and you should be very proud of that.”
The Powerful Practices included:
1. The leadership and staff at Horizon Christian School have a clear commitment to shared values and beliefs about teaching and learning.
2. Formal and informal observations, including peer observations, guide and support the improvement of instructional practices.
3. The school structure promotes an inclusive environment involving parents in multiple ways.
4. The school prioritizes students having positive relationships with adults as one way students learn and grow during their academic and experiential time at Horizon Christian School.
5. The facilities at Horizon Christian School are well-maintained and inviting, helping create a positive school environment for learning.
6. Administration and staff use diagnostics to develop individual plans for student success.
7. Faculty uses many different forms of communication to inform stakeholders of the academic strengths as well as needs of the students.
“We had to dig deep to find an “Improvement Priority,” added Fentress who indicated that a well-developed technology and media plan, which will poise students to become even more successful life-long learners, should be further developed and implemented.
“We know we have a great program,” commented Superintendent Ken Block, “but it’s great to have it acknowledged by an external, review team of professionals. They particularly commended those areas that are very important to us – a passionate commitment to our mission and caring, personal relationships that result in working with each student’s unique strengths, challenges, and interests to give them a foundation for their future.”
The team will recommend continuing accreditation to the AdvancEd Accreditation Commission, who will review the report and grant accreditation.
Horizon Christian School is an inter-denominational school educating more than 200 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Horizon Christian is committed to providing a “Second to None” education taught from a biblical world view.