VJHS receives stamp of approval from SACS

Published 12:43 am Tuesday, April 29, 2008

VIDALIA — After being evaluated by an outside team, Vidalia Junior High School administrators announced Monday they were granted continued academic accreditation.

School accreditation is essentially a process in which an outside agency comes in and reviews whether or not the school meets a certain standard set by that agency.

Vidalia Junior High received its continued accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement.

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Factors that help determine whether a school is granted accreditation include personnel information and teacher certifications, Vidalia Junior High Principal Whest Shirley said.

Though the accrediting committee factored in the school performance scores Vidalia Junior High earned in recent years, they also considered the fact that the school offers the drama, Key, Beta, 4-H and other clubs.

“The committee also looked at the student population and the different things we offer to students, the clubs, athletics and other extracurricular activities,” Shirley said.

All of the parish high schools and Ferriday Junior High School are accredited, School District Director of Academics Paul Nelson said.

If a student has to transfer to a new school, coming from an accredited institution helps.

“When you transfer records in and out from state to state, people will ask about accreditation,” Nelson said. “Students that come from a non-accredited school will have to take placement tests to justify their grade placement.”

It is more important to maintain accreditation for high schools than at other levels, Nelson said.

“When high schools send transcripts of to colleges, they tend to scrutinize those that don’t come from accredited schools,” he said.

Once SACS CASI accredits a school, it is accredited for five years. SACS CASI is a voluntary agency that accredits more than 13,000 schools in 11 states.