ACCREDITATIONS & DISTINCTIONS
BLUE RIBBON SCHOOL OF EXCELLENCE
WALDRON MERCY ACADEMY IS A TWICE RECOGNIZED BLUE RIBBON SCHOOL OF EXCELLENCE
The U.S. Department of Education twice designated Waldron Mercy Academy as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, the most prestigious education award in the country, for its excellence in leadership, teaching, curriculum, student achievement, parent involvement, and community support. The program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools that have placed in the top 10 percent on state or national assessments, among other criteria. WMA received the honor in 2001 and again in 2009.
“Blue Ribbon Schools are models of improved student achievement from which others can take inspiration,” Arne Duncan, then U.S. Secretary of Education, said at the Blue Ribbon Schools announcement in the fall of 2009.
Schools selected for recognition prepared an extensive written nomination package representing a thorough self-evaluation. The process involved assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the school and developing plans to improve for the future.
Waldron Mercy Academy is accredited by the Middle States Association with the Service Learning Program of Distinction. Of the 2700 schools within the MSA, Waldron Mercy is the first and only school to be honored with a Program of Distinction for service.
Accreditation begins as a self-evaluation process that schools voluntarily undergo to demonstrate they are meeting a defined set of performance standards. The accreditation process helps schools – and ultimately students – to continuously grow and improve.
Following the self-study, a team of volunteer educators from Association member schools conducts an on-site peer review visit to observe school operations and interview various stakeholders. The visiting team makes its recommendation to the Middle States Association Commissions, which votes on the accreditation.
“The accreditation process examines schools in a holistic way, supplementing student testing data and providing a more complete measure of a school’s performance,” said Henry G. Cram, Ed.D., president of the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools. “School leaders, teachers and parents are to be commended for working together to create a concrete plan focused on providing high quality education for all students.”
ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT
Part of the Middle States Accreditation process requires the creation of an Action Research Plan that will sustain excellence in the school. After careful research, our faculty and staff chose to focus on a plan to benefit the mental health of our students: building grit and resilience. Faculty members will use Dr.Kenneth Ginsburg’s 7Cs Model of Resilience (Competence, Confidence, Connection, Character, Contribution, Coping, and Control) as a framework to create changes in educational strategies. The curriculum changes began in the fall of 2019.