The Sage School is currently working through the accreditation process with the Northwest Association of Independent Schools (NWAIS). We value the process that we are engaging in, and see the benefits to it that NWAIS lists:

  • Provides school leadership with an independent, non-governmental validation that the school they oversee is effectively delivering a quality educational experience to its students
  • Strengthens and sustains schools, making schools worthy of public confidence while minimizing the scope of external control
  • Assesses whether or not schools have adequate resources, staffing, leadership, and structures in place to allow for continual improvement
  • Validates and improves schools through connection with colleagues, and through the peer review process
  • Encourages collegiality and dialogue that allows schools to learn from each other’s expertise and to share best practices
  • Promotes rigor and forethought to assist each school in clarifying its own vision, mission, and values
  • Eases the transition for students moving from one accredited school to another.

Schools typically go through the following 4 stages of accreditation: Founder School, Subscriber School, Candidate Member, and fully accredited Member School. When The Sage School applied for candidacy in 2010, we were granted Subscriber School status on our first application, and thus advanced past the Founder School status. In 2013, we were accepted as a Candidate Member, and are now working towards full accreditation.

We are spending the 2015-16 school year doing our ‘self-study’, which is a 200 page (or so) document that reviews all aspects of our school and is designed to get all constituencies involved. We are planning on hosting a visiting team during the 2016-17 school year, in the hopes of being fully accredited by the end of that school year.

In the meantime, it is important to realize that our school is working with colleges and other schools to help them understand where we are in the process and that, while we are working on accreditation, the curriculum we are engaging students with is still relevant and meaningful. Our graduates are being accepted to a wide variety of colleges already, and they are not finding our school’s lack of accreditation to be a roadblock in their own courses of study.