Update on WASC accreditation

Leigh High School is to keep a probationary accreditation for this school year, and will be visited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) on March 27 and 28.

“They’ll be observing how we do things at Leigh and making sure that the progress we’ve described in our report has had a positive effect on the school,” said Meredith Moseley, WASC coordinator at Leigh.

Ever since WASC’s visit to Leigh High School, the Leigh community has been working hard to make the necessary changes and improvements to the school. There is a page on the Leigh High School website about WASC and accreditation.

“We are still accredited… At no time did we ever lose our accreditation. Leigh has been put on a probationary status, that’s to give us time to fix whatever it is we needed to fix,” said Robert Warren, assistant principal.

“Leigh is always working on self-improvement; WASC is simply the organization that provides the structure, timeline and accountability for improvement,” said Moseley.

Currently, Leigh is working on integrating the Schoolwide Learning Objectives (SLOs) to make sure that struggling students are getting the support they need to succeed and to improve communication in general, especially when it comes to information about post-high school plans. Teachers and administration are working hard to make the necessary changes to gain their accredited status back. They regularly meet to figure out where they needed to focus their work on.

“We had them (staff) share back with us the areas of our goals and our tasks that, one they felt we already accomplished, and why,” said Kara Butler, principal.

The committee decided to gather the seven goals and about 74 tasks – including the ones they felt were valid, while excluding ones that made no sense – to create three larger goals that encompassed most of what they felt was necessary to accomplish and helped them identify the work that they were going to be doing.

“We are trying to do to improve how students feel about being at Leigh and helping students feel connected to what’s happening, so we’ve also surveyed the students to see what’s missing,” said Butler.

She went on to speak about what specifically the school has been working on. Some new elective programs, a new guidance program, a career fair, a college fair along with a shadow day and an open house for incoming ninth graders are just a handful of the things that have been worked on since the beginning of this school year.