Welcome Letter

Dear Colleagues,

For those of you that have just started a new academic year, we hope that all has gone as smoothly as possible in these challenging times. For our colleagues that are finishing up an academic year we wish you well for a successful conclusion to the year.

I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce myself and to share some of the developments we have lined up for you this year.

Firstly, I am delighted to be at the helm of the WASC’s international arm. I joined WASC after being most recently in international school leadership as head of an international school in Singapore. During this time I served on several boards including the former IB Regional Council and the EARCOS Board. Accreditation has been for many years my professional passion. I have served as a committee member for various accrediting organizations and had the privilege of working in accreditation for nine years. During this time I worked with national ministries of education, developed training materials, contributed to the development of the accreditation process and protocols and visited numerous schools around the world.

As a worldwide organization, our school base has expanded significantly. This year our team of consultants now includes two new colleagues, Dawn Rock and Natalie Abad Merritt. Both Dawn and Natalie are experienced international school practitioners and leaders.

Over the last few weeks our team has been looking at ways to strengthen communication and sharing practice amongst our growing community. We have significantly expanded our social media reach (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter). Please ‘like’ share our posts and if you are posting information about school improvement processes or accreditation please remember to use the hashtags #WASCinternational, #school planning, #schooldevelopment, #studentlearning, or #continuous improvement. In addition to this work, we are creating a shared virtual space for WASC members where resources, best practice, articles and other information about school improvement can be shared. More information will be available about this in the next few weeks.

This outreach aims to complement one of the key elements of the WASC accreditation journey- the coaching and training provided to schools as an integral part of our service. This support service is included in our fees and our consultants tailor our training /coaching to your school’s needs.

Over the summer months WASC staff members have been busy reviewing and renewing processes and materials to ensure that our accreditation criteria and our presentation materials remain current and supportive of your work; especially in these challenging times. As a learning organization we welcome your feedback to ensure that our service meets your requirements. To this end I would like to connect with school leaders online to listen to your thoughts about our service. If you are able to spare me about 15 minutes of your time, please contact me at malvarez@acswasc.org and we can set up a time to talk.

Once again thank you for your support and best wishes from my base in Singapore.

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Margaret Alvarez, Ed.D.

Director of International Accreditation