I had the opportunity to participate in the Christian Schools International (CSI) accreditation site visit of Monroe Christian School last week. In preparation for this visit, I learned about the CSI accreditation standards including the “essential standards” which all CSI schools must meet, and the “general standards” towards which CSI schools work. I felt that the standards were quite rigorous and definitely challenged a school to affirm its basis, purpose and work as a Christian institution of schooling. This experience provided me with very valuable insights into the organization, teaching and activities of the school.
Numerous documents and other artifacts of evidence were provided for us to review, and we were given the opportunity to interview teachers, staff and students with regards to the different standards. For each standard the team shared commendations and blessings, expressed necessary concerns, and provided recommendations to address as the school continues to work towards fulfilling its mission.
Until this visit, I was not aware how well developed and focused the school was as a community and institution dedicated to its mission. I discovered the commitment of the entire staff to the students, to teaching and to the greater mission of the school. I learned about the breadth of curriculum and services that the school offers. I gleaned new insights into the management of a private Christian school.
Talking with students and staff about learning, attending chapel, and sensing the positive energy in the building were meaningful side benefits of the visit for me. Celebrating the school-wide “Thanksgiving Feast” as part of their community was heart-felt.
Overall, I feel that the school performed very well for the visit. It revealed a focus and dedication to Christian schooling. The visit energized me to be of service to them as we continue to explore extending its mission to grades 9-12 as a Christian high school in Monroe.