BVH gets a protocol visit from WASC

A+BVH+administrator+walks+around+class+703+during+5th+period+while+on+a+video+call+with+a+WASC+administrator.+This+process+lasted+around+two+days+to+be+able+to+show+WASC+administrators+most+of+the+school+and+classes.+

Eiffel Sunga

A BVH administrator walks around class 703 during 5th period while on a video call with a WASC administrator. This process lasted around two days to be able to show WASC administrators most of the school and classes.

Melina Ramirez, News Editor

As of Feb. 11, Bonita Vista High (BVH) was granted the six-year accreditation status by the Accrediting Commission for Schools (ACS) Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This means that for the next six years, BVH diplomas are ‘valid’ and count the student who receives it as a high school graduate. WASC’s next expected large scale visit won’t be until the 2027-28 school year.

Despite the six-year accreditation status, a report will be made for committee members’ three year visit in the 2024-25 school year. An email sent to BVH principal Roman Del Rosario, Ed.D., confirmed BVH’s “satisfactory completion of the accreditation visit.” The visit refers to the large-scale virtual assessment WASC committee members organized in the second week of November of 2021.

The most enjoyable part is getting to learn about our campus and so many different things that we do on campus that I never would have known about before”

— IB English Literature teacher Kalie Espinoza

According to their website, WASC is one of six US accrediting agencies whose goal is the constant improvement of schools through “a rigorous and relevant self-evaluation.” Without being accredited by agencies like WASC, high school diplomas are equivalent to a blank piece of paper.

“Every so many years, depending on how accredited you are you get an evaluation year. That evaluation year includes a report written about the school and a visit from an accrediting committee,” IB English Literature, Accelerated English teacher and co-coordinator for the WASC visit, Kalie Espinoza. 

WASC follows a six year evaluation schedule with annual mandatory self-studies, visits and follow up cycles. The yearly check ups from WASC are usually based on the report written by administration, and large scale visits are saved for the six year assessment. The most recent visit from WASC lasted a week; two days of school appraising and approximately two to three days of report. 

In preparation for the WASC committee visit, Espinoza and co-coordinator Michele Godoy split BVH staff into groups to focus on different sections of the report WASC needed. The report ended up being 206 pages and included every member of the BVH community in order to be as transparent as possible with WASC. In addition to complete staff participation, students from various programs and clubs were invited to be part of a student panel that WASC committee members would talk with. In the report “significant changes” like the new COVID-19 protocol and budget/financial crisis were mentioned along with sections that were dedicated to different school areas. 

“We knew that WASC wants to see students from all over campus, they don’t want to just see our IB and AP students,” Espinoza said. “They want students who are part of every program that we offer.”

Students were pulled out of class a week earlier than their conference with WASC committee members to prepare them for the day of visitation. Despite a couple students opting out due to tests, in total there were approximately 50 students on the forum. 

“They asked us how we felt about our teachers and their receptiveness to our learning and our suggestions or complaints. I thought that was a really interesting question because everyone had all these different answers of ways that teachers could improve in terms of assigning less work and being more receptive to students and stuff like that,” President of the Drama Club and senior Kailee Wendeln-Lankard said. 

Students were taken out of class during the third period and didn’t return until lunch, so  they missed two class periods. During the panel, students were split into two rooms in accordance to the two separate break out rooms on the zoom call. Vague questions about school programs and resources prompted students to answer and promote said BVH programs and resources. 

“I talked about the community that we have here and how, particularly in Drama, everyone gets along very well,” Wendeln-Lankard said. “I think that also translates into Bonita’s community as well. Everyone’s always, for the most part, very kind and accepting. We have a really nice community”.

 

This article was updated on Feb. 15, 2022.