The Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges recently granted accreditation to San Marcos, Dos Pueblos, and Santa Barbara high schools.
To earn accreditation, the school’s staff provided a report and hosted a visit from WASC.
The process requires a year-long “focus on learning” where subcommittees of staff, students, and family members concentrate on leadership, curriculum, instruction, assessment and culture. Each subcommittee reviews data and seeks input from various stakeholders.
In addition, a WASC committee reviews the report and spends three days on each campus, meeting with staff, district officials, parents and students.
“The accreditation decision validates that San Marcos and SB Unified’s other comprehensive high schools are doing a good job of preparing students for a successful future,” Dare Holdren, the San Marcos High School principal, said in a news release. “The committee report also serves as a valuable tool to help identify areas of improvement as we continue the work of making San Marcos into the best high school it can be.”
Staff members at all three schools celebrated the accreditation with cake Tuesday. “Learning we received our six-year accreditation is a testament to the collective efforts of our entire Dos Pueblos staff and families and is evidence of our commitment to providing the highest quality education to our students,” said Bill Woodard, Dos Pueblos High School principal. “I am extremely proud of the hard work that went into our successful accreditation process, which I know will make our school even stronger in the coming years.”
The accreditation was also celebrated at Tuesday’s Santa Barbara Unified School District board meeting.
“I have always appreciated the rigorous and intense WASC accreditation process,” said Elise Simmons, principal of Santa Barbara High School. “It requires us to bring all our stakeholders together in a focused and collaborative manner to describe, evaluate and celebrate the amazing programs, staff, and actions we take to ensure that all students are supported, cared for, and thriving. Receiving accreditation shows our community that Santa Barbara High School is providing a quality education and experience.”
As part of the accreditation process, the schools must do a progress report to confirm continued progress and positive academic outcomes. The accreditation for all three schools will last through June 30, 2029.
La Cuesta Continuation High School was granted six years of accreditation in March 2020, with a mid-cycle progress report due June 1. Alta Vista Alternative High School had a mid-cycle report last year where accreditation was reaffirmed. Its next visit will happen during the 2024-2025 school year.