HEBRON | Hebron schools will become the latest school system in Lake and Porter counties to become certified by the largest accreditation agency in the world, school officials said.
The Metropolitan School District of Boone Township joins the School Town of Munster, the School City of Hobart, the Duneland School Corp. and the Crown Point Community School Corp. to receive district-wide accreditation through AdvanceEd.
Other individual schools within Northwest Indiana also have been accredited, but only five school systems have received district-wide accreditation from the agency, formerly known as the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
George Letz, MSD of Boone Township Superintendent, called it a "big deal" for the district. The accreditation team recommended that the district be recommended for accreditation at the AdvancED Accreditation Commission in December, Letz said.
"This has been a two-year endeavor, which involved administrators, teachers, classified staff, parents, school board members and community patrons," Letz said. "The result of this project led to a new strategic plan for personnel to follow for the next three to five years."
Accreditation is a voluntary method of quality assurance developed more than 100 years ago by American universities and secondary schools and designed to distinguish schools adhering to a set of educational standards.
AdvanceEd was formed a few years ago when the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools joined. AdvanceEd operates in 35 states and 64 countries and is the largest accreditation agency in the world.
John Sedey, a contractor for the Georgia-based agency, visited Hebron schools, saying they looked at curriculum, school board minutes, 30 to 40 classrooms, financial reports and talked to students, parents and community members.
Maureen Stafford, director of instructional programs and assessment for the School Town of Munster, sits on the Indiana State Council for AdvanceEd and is chair of the Commission for AdvanceEd in Indiana. Stafford also was a member of a committee of AdvanceEd representatives visiting Hebron schools.
"Hebron has many wonderful initiatives going that are really student focused," she said. "It's a district where the community is proud of its schools, and the schools work very hard to provide quality learning experiences for their children."