Weekly Letter (Apr 13, 2015)

Dear Parents and Students,

 Happy Easter! I hope you had a relaxing vacation and were able to take the time to consider the joy in being loved by God. Thank you for your prayers, good wishes and gifts for my first grandchild.  Emmett, his Mom, and Dad are doing very well. I was able to get back to work last Friday and caught up on lots of paperwork.

 Way back in the 1970s, Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of San Francisco were not routinely accredited. They had been prior to that, but the practice faded away sometime in the 1960s. I was at Saint Philip School when the Archdiocese reinstated accrediting in 1979. At that time Catholic schools were accredited through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, also known as WASC.

 So much has changed in education over the last forty years! The math curriculum in particular has been made much more challenging. Eighth grade math now covers many concepts that were junior year curriculum in the 70s. Technology in those days was knowing how to use an overhead projector without getting multi-colored ink all over your arm. Other subjects have also become more strenuous over the years. Looking at the records, it is clear that Star of the Sea School has a history of academic excellence. In the years since “WASCing” returned to the Archdiocese, Star has always earned a full Six Year Accreditation term!

 Another change is that as Catholic schools got more involved in the accreditation process, we formed our own accrediting body. The West Catholic Educational Association became a minor partner with WASC about twenty years ago. This year the WCEA is no longer the minor accrediting body; it is the more prestigious of the two and covers Catholic schools in most western states.

 Starting in August we at Star will begin to prepare for our WCEA / WASC accreditation. We will be getting organized, attending professional development seminars, and sending home a few surveys for you to fill out for the accrediting team to review in the spring of 2017. That seems far off right now but those of you who were here for the 2011 accreditation know that we must conduct a thorough self-study, document it for the visiting team, and prepare to show off our school as a shining Star.

 Over the next year I plan to have a short section of this weekly letter dedicated to the WCEA process. The first note is below.



Terrence Hanley


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