Juvenile Court and Community Schools (JCCS) leaders are
looking at the culture, vision and goals of the schools as part of a rigorous
Every six years, the San Diego County Office of Education’s JCCS
program must go through the process to maintain its accreditation with the
Western Association of Schools and Colleges, better known as WASC. The
association, a private nonprofit group, helps assure quality and improvement at
schools throughout California and Hawaii with a process focused on school
improvement and staff development.
JCCS personnel started preparing for the accreditation
process last fall. Focus
groups made up of parents, students, teachers, administrators, and support staff will share information with
JCCS leaders over the next couple of months to help set priorities and guide
The work will culminate with a self-study that will outline
the program's current state as well as goals for student learning, culture, vision and purpose. It will serve as a
guiding document for professional learning, academic programs, and student
“It should really explain where the schools are and what the
goals are,” said Wendell Callahan, who’s leading the effort for JCCS.
That document is due to WASC in December. In April, a team
from the association will visit JCCS sites over three days to talk to teachers, administrators, parents, and student and to look for proof of
what was written about in the submitted document.
In the past the Juvenile Court and Community Schools
received accreditation as one program. This will be the first time the
accreditation is split into four separate schools: Monarch School, San Pasqual
Academy, Court Schools, and Community Schools.
“We’re no longer a program; we’re a portfolio of schools,”
Callahan said. “It’s a more authentic process this way.”
Through its accreditation process, the association
recognizes more than 4,500 public schools that meet an acceptable level of
quality, in accordance with established, research-based criteria.
By summer, JCCS should have a formal report about the visits
and the status of the accreditation.