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Thu, Jan. 21

Grand Canyon Unified School District accredited for seven years

Grand Canyon Unified School District

Grand Canyon Unified School District

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — Grand Canyon School has passed its reaccreditation review with flying colors, said Principal Tom Rowland.

AdvancED, a non-profit organization that conducts on-site reviews of k-12 school districts, pored over hundreds of documents and performed a site visit April 24 before granting Grand Canyon School full accreditation.

Two years ago, however, the story was different. Lacking a complete curriculum and suffering from educator turnover, Grand Canyon didn’t pass the organization’s accreditation standards. Rowland said AdvancED found seven issues that needed to be rectified before the school would be considered fully accredited. The school was given two years to address the issues brought up in the evaluation.

Of those seven issues, four were fixed in the first year, including implementing a solid curriculum, Beyond Textbooks.

The school addressed the three remaining issues this year — collaboration time for every teacher, a professional Learning Communities education philosophy and a mission statement that more closely reflected the views of faculty and staff.

Rowland said all three issues had been successfully addressed.

“They (the AdvancED team) told us that they’re never seen the kind of progress we’ve made in two years,” he said.

Because Grand Canyon passed the seven-point evaluation with no outstanding issues, the next AdvancED accreditation review will be in seven years.

“The bottom line is parents want a safe learning environment for their children,” Rowland said. “I’m comfortable with the way we’re providing that to them.”

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