WASC Words California

Spring 2022

Chairperson's Update

R. David Gaudi Jr., Ed.D. | Chairperson, Accrediting Commission for Schools, WASC

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It is certainly safe to say that COVID effectuated an eventful first half of the 2021-22 school year. After opening our schools last summer in the midst of the raging Delta variant, we thankfully enjoyed a relatively peaceful fall as the case counts steadily subsided. Then, just as we began to let our guard down heading into the holidays, Omicron hit our shores and quickly pervaded our communities leading to a January like no other.

The good news is that our schools resiliently withstood this latest surge and in doing so have moved one step closer to a thriving post-pandemic existence. I applaud our educators for their tireless work in the midst of these difficult times and look forward with renewed excitement as restrictions are eased and we learn to live with COVID endemically. As we proceed through 2022, please rest assured that ACS WASC is committed to fully supporting its member schools and is determined to transition out of this pandemic as thoughtfully as they transitioned into it.

On behalf of the entire ACS WASC Commission, I thank all of our visiting committee members who have graciously volunteered their time and expertise in the midst of persistent challenges. If not for their fearless dedication to the accreditation process, WASC’s work would have been severely hampered.

And finally I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to all of our schools, as well as the entire WASC staff, for their flexibility and patience as we have worked collaboratively to continue the school improvement process while recognizing and appreciating the myriad hurdles we have all faced during the past two years. Thank you — blue skies are ahead!

Aloha and Mahalo,
R. David Gaudi Jr.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As a worldwide accrediting agency, WASC is committed to equity, inclusion, and access to high-level, rigorous learning opportunities for all students. Equally important is that all children and adults be treated fairly and with respect for their humanity.” These are the first two lines from our equity statement (https://www.acswasc.org/wasc-equity-statement/). WASC has taken a proactive stance in dealing with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Our commission has embarked on a book discussion of “Why are All the Black Kids Sitting together in the Cafeteria,” by Beverly Daniel Tatum.

Action steps that we have taken include adopting an equity statement, diversifying our WASC Commission, instituting hiring practices that promote a diverse workforce, and ensuring that our visiting committee templates and protocols support DEI.

WASC Celebrates 60 Years

On January 24, 2022, WASC officially turned 60 years old! We launched our 'WASC 60 Years' campaign in January with the slogan “Honoring the Past — Embracing the Future.”

Throughout the year, WASC will highlight the last 60 years with social media posts (#WASC60); a webpage that highlights current and past employees, commissioners, and committee members; original member school stories; and a timeline of the milestones accomplished by WASC over the last 60 years. This is a great opportunity to showcase the wonderful work done at WASC and the people and schools over the years who helped make it a success.

If you would like your school to be featured during our 60 year campaign, please send a brief story about WASC's impact on your school community to WASC Communications Specialist, Meaghan Armstrong at marmstrong@acswasc.org. Photos to go along with stories are strongly encouraged.

ACS WASC 2022 Winter Commission Meeting Recap

The ACS WASC Winter Commission meeting was held in Hawaii at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, Honolulu, Hawaii from January 31-February 1. The Commission took action on approximately 450 accreditation visits during the two-day meeting. The Commission meets three times a year. Thirty-four commission members met either in person or virtually during the Commission Meeting. The commissioners reviewed reports for self-studies, substantive changes, appeals, and postponements and determined the accreditation status granted.

The Commission continues to discuss and bring forward information about our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiative. We heard from staff, students, state senators, and consultants (former commissioner Ann Mahi) on a project that promotes success for at-promise Hawaiian students. Phil Bossert, Executive Director of the Hawaiian Association of Independent School (HAIS), and Keith Hayashi, the interim Hawaii State Superintendent of Schools gave a talk about education in Hawaii during the COVID pandemic. We would like to thank the DEI committee of Commissioners Odie Douglas, Dianna Walsh-Reuss, David Gaudi, and Mike Alvarez for their continuing leadership.

The Kamehameha School provided a wonderful tasty Hawaiian dinner and an amazing high school authentic Hawaiian dance performance. Many thanks to Commissioner Jack Wong at Kamehameha schools for arranging the evening's activities.

Professional Development Units for Visiting Committee Training/ Participation

ACS WASC is offering two professional development units for a course that prepares educators to serve as WASC accreditation visiting committee members to facilitate continuous school improvement. The credits are offered through the Teachers College of San Joaquin (TCSJ), which is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Click here for additional information.

IB/WASC Synchronized Streamlined Visits

IB/WASC synchronized visits have the express goal to ensure a school’s consistent focus on student learning through a continuous improvement process. The WASC Guiding Principles commit schools to using collaborative approaches within school improvement systems and IB holds itself to these same important tenets. Since the 2007-08 school year schools have seen the benefits of and participated in IB/WASC synchronized visits. As of 2015, IB and WASC have a worldwide MOU in place to cooperate on synchronized visits. Contact Dr. Marilyn George with any questions at mgeorge@acswasc.org

WASC Accreditation Visit Update

WASC has adapted accreditation visits during the pandemic. Here is where we currently stand for the visits that take place this spring:

  • Self-study visits are being conducted either in-person, virtually, or a hybrid mix of in-person and virtually on a case-by-case basis
  • Mid-cycle visits are being conducted virtually
  • All other visit types are being conducted on a case-by-case basis.

ACS WASC Authorized Merchandise

Authorized ”accredited” merchandise is available through WASC. Flags, banners, stamps, and embossers are available for purchase. You can find more information as well as the order form in the Communication Toolkit located on the Home page of the School Portal.

WASC is Hiring!

WASC has a opening for a Northern California Accreditation Director commencing July 1, 2022. This 215 day per year position will work remotely at home with some travel in northern California. The compensation for this position is $120,000, $14,400 401(k), and up to a $16,000 benefit package. Please click on the link for a full job description, Director/No. California_Job Description. For more information on this opening, please call Nancy Brownell at (916) 769-7417.

Meet our 2021-2022 WASC Commissioners

Get to know our Commissioners here:


The Commission is comprised of up to thirty-five persons, representing various constituencies of WASC, selected by the Commission’s Nomination Review Committee from candidates nominated by member organizations or the Commission.

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Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges