I am currently writing this from Tallahassee. Since Sunday, I have been a part of an accreditation peer review team that is observing an area school here. It is a valuable process to go through as you can gain new ideas and practices in seeing what other schools' processes and procedures are. Accreditation is a self study process that schools go through to validate that their practices and results are done correctly and that they are turning out a good product. It is an outside organization (or two in this case) putting their stamp of approval on your school. Because we are currently accredited through the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and Advanced Ed (formerly known as SACS), we are able to supply team members to serve in the process. Just recently, Dee Bates and Tim Rhine also served on a team in this capacity. Next year Indian Rocks Christian School will be going through this process as we re-accredit. So you can see how it is a very helpful thing for us to serve on teams and gain a better understanding of the process we will be going through next year.
Another great benefit from being here is that I am reminded and appreciate what we have as a school. Here are a few areas for which I am thankful.
Our facility - sometimes when you go to work at the same place every day, you take for granted what an incredible facility we have. Our classrooms are big. Our hallways are wide. We have 55 acres to spread out on. We have a big parking area. Our science labs are newly renovated and very user friendly. We have two well outfitted libraries that are constantly in use. Our gym, weight room, and athletic complex are similar to that of a medium size college. All of these areas are incredibly well maintained by our facilities department. These are just a few of the areas that quickly come to mind.
Our staff - God has blessed our school with a unique blend of personalities that help make us who we are. The staff is the "living curriculum" of any school. They all strongly believe in what they are doing and the mission of the school. Over a third of them have Master's degrees. Two are within sight of their Doctorates. They care about each and every student that is in their class as well as each other. We have very little staff turnover which provides a high level of stability for our school. You may not always like them, but you have to love them. I cannot think of a better group people with whom to serve.
Our families - we are continually blessed by the students and parents that are a part of our school. We have students that are not only intelligent, but highly talented. We have begun the "signing parade" of students that are signing scholarship offers from colleges. We are also extremely grateful for a group of supportive parents that partner with us in the education process. I'm grateful to consider many of you as not just parents but also as friends.
So Indian Rocks family, take a moment to appreciate what we have as a school. I have only touched on a few of the areas but we are extremely blessed in many areas.