MIA Reaccredited

Danyell Long, Staff Writer

Accreditation is a validation process in which schools and other institutions are evaluated by officials to make sure they are meeting their policies and standards, as well as acknowledging the achievements of people. For the students at Marco Island Academy, having their school become accredited is very important and essential to their future because it allows them to graduate and receive the credits that they have earned. Schools in Florida have to be reaccredited every five years in order to maintain its accreditation. Earlier this year, Marco Island Academy was at the end of its fifth year and was due for a renewal.

The process of accreditation can be very long. Prior to the visit, Principal Melissa Scott explained, “I had a pre-visit with the advanced team leader, I set up the schedule for the Eleots, and I worked with the student ambassadors. We had to set up the community member panels, board member panels, parent panels, set up the schedule for the advanced ed team and their meals, and do the overall agenda.” Once the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges visited the campus on February 5th and 6th, they began to observe the classrooms, teachers, and students.

During the visit, the association officials review everything from the leadership domains, curriculum, to faculties and staff. Scott said, “They not only look at how the school is performing academically, but they also look for standards.” Scott also stated, “After, they look to see if each of those is at the initiate, improve, or impact stage for each standard.”

Michael Butler, an English teacher at Marco Island Academy, explained that, “It was very simple. Our accreditation individual came in, sat in the back of the classroom, did not say a single word, wrote on her clipboard, and left within 20 minutes.” Just like Scott, Butler also had to prepare for the accreditation visit. Butler explained, “I had to make sure my students were active or doing something for the entire period.” The officals take notes on if the students engage in learning with their teachers or if everyone is treated fairly.”

From a student’s point of view, Yessenia Martinez explained that, “The officials came into my history class; we were working in groups that day. They went around to each group asking questions like, what we’re doing or what we are contributing to the group, things like that.” She also said, “I was worried when they came, but that’s just me being me. I know that the school is great and that we have the potential to pass like we did the last time.”

Based on the visit, the officials reviewed all their information and determined that the school should be an accredited institution.

The Southern Association of Schools And Colleges scored Marco Island Academy at a all time high, with score of 3.81 rather than the usual 3.14 in the learning engagement category as well as 3.23 compared to the average 2.86 in the equitable learning environment category. These outstanding scores allows Marco Island Academy to continue to strive and work hard to be a top flight school in Collier County.