WASC Words International

Winter 2022

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In this Issue

  • Updated Streamlined IB/WASC Synchronized Visits
  • Our International Online Presence is Growing
  • WASC Celebrates 60 Years
  • Want your School Featured in our 60th Campaign?
  • Spring International Training Schedule
  • Recap: ACS WASC 2022 Winter Commission Meeting
  • Welcome New ACS WASC Commissioner: Monique McWayne
  • Join the WASC Book Club
  • WASC's Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Updated Streamlined IB/WASC Synchronized 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. IB holds itself to these same important tenets. Therefore, from initial conversations in 2003, we have worked closely with IB on integrating the processes. Since 2007-2008 more and more schools have seen the benefits and participated in an IB/WASC synchronized visit. This led to IB and WASC signing a worldwide MOU to cooperate on these synchronized accreditation and evaluation visits in 2014-2015.

Our International Online Presence is Growing


We are pleased to announce the successful launch of Basecamp, which is now available to WASC’s entire international member school community. This tool provides an added benefit to our international member institutions with resources that will allow them to network, collaborate and share best practices with colleagues and like-minded professionals in the virtual space, and in ways that lead to organizational improvement.

Some of the features of Basecamp include:

  • Real-time collaboration with colleagues on issues that impact international education leaders
  • The ability to be grouped into teams that provide opportunities to directly connect with those who are at the same place in the WASC process (applicant schools, schools in self-study, and preparing for mid-cycle)
  • Access to practical resources that guide members throughout the process
  • An Events page that allows members to see trainings and other WASC related events.

ACS WASC International Webpage

As part of our focus on international outreach, we have developed a WASC International online presence. The international webpage can be accessed at this url or from the WASC website: www.acswasc.org/wasc-international. This page provides information and resources specific to the international school community.

Questions? Please contact WASC Communications Specialist, Meaghan Armstrong, marmstrong@acswasc.org.

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 WASC has accomplished over the last 60 years. This campaign is a great opportunity to showcase the wonderful work done at the WASC organization and the people and schools over the years who helped make it a success.






Want your School Featured in our 60th Campaign?

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.

Spring International Training Schedule

To see a full list of our training sessions, visit our website at https://www.acswasc.org/events/month

Times are listed in Pacific Standard Time.

These trainings are important and can be accessed by logging into your portal on AIMS:


Recap: ACS WASC 2022 Winter Commission Meeting

WASC Commission members met in person or virtually for our annual Winter Meeting; this is held every three years in one of the states we serve, Hawaii. As part of this meeting, the Commission members gained insight on public and private educational initiatives and challenges as Phil Bossert, Executive Director of the Hawaiian Association of Independent School (HAIS), and Keith Hayashi, interim Hawaii State Superintendent of Schools, spoke to them. In addition, they took action on the accreditation status of schools after careful review of visiting committee reports and recommendations that occurred after self-studies and other types of visits such as substantive changes and progress reports.

For the past two years an integral part of every Commission meeting has been dedicated time for discussion and dialogue about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) issues and challenges; a Commission subcommittee whose membership is Michael Alvarez, Odie Douglas, David Gaudi and Diana Walsh-Reus have planned and facilitated the dialogue, readings and activities. At this meeting in Hawaii, a group of students, staff members, involved Hawaii state senators and a retired superintendent and former commissioner, Ann Mahi, shared an ongoing project that promotes success for at-promise Hawaiian students.

Finally, as part of this meeting, the Kamehameha Schools hosted a delicious Hawaiian dinner and students performed amazing authentic Hawaiian Dances thanks to Jack Wong, one of our Hawaiian Commissioners.

Welcome New ACS WASC Commissioner: Monique McWayne

Monique McWayne represents the California Department of Education (CDE) on the ACS WASC Commission. She currently serves as the Interim Director of the Educator Excellence and Equity Division at the CDE, which is responsible for supporting policy, program development, and disbursement of statewide funding to support the professional learning of teachers, principals, and other school leaders. During her 10-years with the CDE, Monique has led professional learning initiatives to support content standards implementation and state and federal grant initiatives to support student academic achievement and educational innovation. Monique also serves as the California state educational agency director of the federally-funded Title II, Part A program. Prior to joining the CDE, Monique served 10 years as an educator in California local educational agencies.

Get to know all our 35 Commissioners here:


Join the WASC Book Club

You're invited to join the Book Club led by Dr. Margaret Alvarez and Barbara Parker! If you are interested in joining, please contact Barbara Parker (bparker@acswasc.org). We will then send you some guiding questions that we will use during our time together as well as a link to the session. Next session dates TBD.

WASC's Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

“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.

WASC has taken a proactive stance in dealing with diversity, equity, an 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
  • Ensuring that our self-study and visiting committee protocols, materials and training support DEI

Dr. Margaret Alvarez, Director of International Accreditation Services

Dr. Alvarez is currently based in Singapore. Prior to joining WASC, she served as the Head of School of ISS International School, Singapore. Dr. Alvarez has extensive experience in accreditation, having worked in the field for nine years. During this time she engaged in research in school improvement processes, worked with government agencies, contributed to the development of accreditation protocols, trained educators and administrators in successful accreditation practices, managed processes, and supported numerous schools around the world.

Natalie Abad Merritt, International Consultant

Natalie Abad Merritt began her teaching career as a Primary School teacher working in South Wales, U.K. She then spent 16 years working for the largest K-12 international school in Singapore, gaining experience as head of department, a member of leadership, and living within the residential community. In 2018, she relocated with her family and served as a learning coach. In March 2020, she joined the newly formed crisis management team supporting the strategic developments of operations and practices in response to COVID-19, and a country at war. For a number of years, Mrs. Abad Merritt has volunteered her time to support accreditation organizations in the evaluation of international schools, sharing her expertise in matters relating to safeguarding and child protection, and residential services.

Dawn Rock, International Consultant

Dawn Rock joined WASC after 23 years in international education as an elementary teacher, a middle and high school math teacher, and, mostly recently, as a high school principal for twelve years. She has extensive experience as a team member and as chair for school visits, testament to her commitment to the development and growth of all schools. In addition, she served as WASC school site coordinator, leading her most recent school through ongoing improvement and the accreditation cycle for the past 13 years. Ms. Rock has a BA in Literature from the University of California, San Diego, and an MA in Educational Administration from Michigan State University.

Stephen Massiah, International Consultant

Stephen Massiah works with schools throughout Asia. He is based out of Bangkok, Thailand. Steve comes to WASC after successful positions in international schools in Doha, Qatar; Seoul, South Korea; Bangkok, Thailand; and Hong Kong. Prior to this he was a principal in Toronto, Canada; an adjunct instructor at the Faculty of Education, University of Toronto; and an interim position (secondment) with the Ontario College of Teachers.

Barbara Parker, International Consultant

Barbara Parker has worked in international schools in Southeast Asia, Pakistan, Africa, and the Mediterranean for almost 30 years. She was formerly the director of the International School of Beihai. She recently designed and developed curriculum for several new international schools in China and the Asia-Pacific region, some of which were designed particularly for English language learners.

Alana Steward, International Consultant

Alana Steward has served WASC for several years as an international consultant.After beginning her teaching career in her native Canada, Alana has been teaching and leading in schools in various countries for the past 19 years. She has traveled extensively with her family and has worked in countries including Macau, Kyrgyzstan, Singapore, Austria, and Japan.

Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Dr. Marilyn S. George, Executive Vice President
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Our Mission

ACS WASC advances and validates quality ongoing school improvement by supporting its private and public elementary, secondary, and postsecondary member institutions to engage in a rigorous and relevant self-evaluation and peer review process that focuses on student learning.