Complex recommended for re-accreditation


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ST. CROIX - The Educational Complex family was rejoicing Friday after news arrived that the school has been recommended for full re-accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Educational spokeswoman Ananta Pancham said that Complex had been visited this past week by a five member validation team from Middle States, which presented an oral report of their findings. She said the team has recommended re-accreditation for a term of seven years, which would see the school accredited in to 2021.

St. Croix Superintendent Gary Molloy said the spirit and determination of the staff paid off.

"I had a range of emotions as the visiting team chair read the oral report," he said. "I went from nervous to relieved, happy and excited because this process toward re-accreditation has been anything but regular for Complex."

He said having the visiting team here helped them see the true essence of the students and the caliber of education offered.

"The spirit, determination and caring atmosphere is due to the administration and faculty going the extra mile to ensure that everyone gets the best education possible," he said. "This process did wonders for the Complex family, and gave everyone a chance to really take a good look at themselves and beginning planning for the future."

School Principal Willard John said he was proud and that the entire school body has worked hard and reaped the benefits.

The work was not easy and it is clear to everyone that the work does not end here, John said.

"It was a long arduous task, but we all got together and pulled it together," he said.

He said getting ready for the team visit was not just about writing documents, but about taking a careful look at what they do as a school, paying closer attention to places that need improvements.

He said now that the team has visited, they will report to the commission and a decision would be known after the commission meets this fall.

Pancham said in preparation for this week's site visit, Complex has spent more than a year in self-study, which includes conducting an internal review of all policies, procedures, facilities, student needs and academic content.

During the review process, Middle States looks at how each school meets its 12 "standards of quality" and the self-study is conducted to highlight both the school's strengths as well as areas in need of improvement. An action plan, which lays out new goals and objectives, is then generated and presented to the Association's representatives for review.

The subsequent site visit from Middle States is meant to "validate" what each school puts in its self-study and in order to do so, visiting team members interview and observe students, staff, parents and even community members involved in activities on the school's campus, Pancham said.

The team's positive recommendation will now be forward to the Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools.

"We anticipate continued good news as this recommendation is forwarded on for final action," Education Commissioner Donna Frett-Gregory said Friday. "It is also exciting for me to offer my congratulations to the administration, staff and students at the Educational Complex. Going through the accreditation process is never easy and this time around, the school's faculty and staff also had to work around the ongoing double session - it is truly commendable what they have been able to accomplish during this time. It is evident that the Complex community not only rose to the occasion but also demonstrated to Middle States their continued commitment to excellence and we are extremely proud," she said.

Currently all of the territory's public high schools are accredited and are working to maintain their status which is a factor for students seeking acceptance at institutions of higher learning.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email fstokes@dailynews.vi.

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