April 23, 2021
SCISA Montessori Accreditation
Montessori School of Anderson joined the South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA) in 2008 after we started our high school program back in 2007. During my first term as Administrator, we achieved initial accreditation through SCISA for K5-12th grade in January of 2011 before our first seniors graduated in May of that same year.
Since then, MSA has held AdvancED accreditation which promotes internationally recognized standards in quality education. Recently, AdvancED merged with Cognia, a non-profit non-governmental organization that accredits primary and secondary schools throughout the United States and internationally. As we wait for guidance from Cognia on their accreditation process, we have been working toward a Montessori accreditation that is now offered through SCISA. Several years ago, I spearheaded the campaign for the development of this accreditation on behalf of the many independent Montessori schools in SC. Those early efforts ultimately led to the current SCISA Montessori Accreditation.
SCISA Montessori Accreditation requires the same assurances and standards of a general accreditation, but with the addition of Montessori-specific criteria regarding teacher training and approaches, philosophy and school culture, learning environments, etc. This accreditation will give MSA the distinction of being validated as an authentic Montessori school, different from the traditional independent school model. It will better reflect who we are at our core.
The SCISA external review team for this accreditation will be visiting our school on Thursday, April 29. Dr. Victoria Oglan, Clinical Associate Professor in the College of Education at the University of South Carolina (USC), will be the lead evaluator. She will be joined by her colleague Dr. Janie Goodman, a Clinical Assistant Professor in the College of Education at USC. The other team member is an administrator from a SCISA Montessori school in the Charleston, SC area.
During their visit, the team members will be observing every K5-12 classroom and teacher (Primary - High School), conducting interviews, inspecting our facilities, and reviewing evidence that our faculty and staff have gathered in support of our self-study and internal review. It will be a full day spent getting to know our school and our community. At the end of the day, if the team recommends MSA for SCISA Montessori Accreditation, it would go before the SCISA Board in May for approval and become official on July 1 for a three-year term.
We look forward to sharing the outcome of this visit with you all next Friday. It has been a long process and we are excited to finally welcome this team to our campus!
Dr. Dana Hill
Dates to Remember
April 23 - Summer camp forms due
April 24 - National Prescription Drug Take Back Day and Shred Day
May 15 - FAST application deadline
May 27 - Last day of school - 11:30 dismissal for all programs, extended care available
May 28 - Promotion day for all levels (details to come), extended care available