Wednesday, May 21, 2014

#BVPHighSchool & Accreditation

Over the past year our High School Designer, Jonathan Santos Silva, has led a team to design a world-class high school for our scholars.  His design work was born out of an incredible advisory committee that met in the spring of 2013.

When Jonathan joined BVP in the summer, he worked under the direct supervision of Dr. Lori McEwen, BVP’s Director of Academics and soon to be the Chief of Instruction, Learning, and Equity at Providence Public Schools.  Supporting Jonathan on a near full-time basis was Lina Musayev, a Broad Resident with expertise in policy and project management and Sinnjinn Bucknell, a Brown Urban Education Policy graduate student.  In addition, the BVP high school (like all of our schools) has been and will remain a key priority for the entire BVP leadership team.  Indeed, the BVP High School is an A-Team!

Jonathan’s preparation to launch the high school ranged from meeting with current scholars and families to participating in trainings and convenings across the country.  He and members of his team have observed and interviewed Rhode Island principals, nationally renowned schools, and many hidden gems around the country that are doing incredible work but have yet to earn the reputation that they may deserve.  With strategic and financial support from Charter School Growth Fund, Next Generation Learning Challenges, the Rhode Island Foundation and the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, the BVP High School is sure to be phenomenal.

A recent Valley Breeze article noted that the BVP High School “will not be immediately accredited.” [emphasis added] It is imperative to underscore two things about this:
  1. Jonathan correctly noted that BVP High School will offer everything that an accredited school offers, and
  2. It is actually impossible for BVP High School to be accredited at this point in time.  To be sure, a school must be in operation for at least a year in order to apply to be a Candidate for Accreditation.  Then, the school must spend at least 18 months as a Candidate in order to be considered for accreditation.  Moreover, schools that are growing one grade per year, like BVP High School, are often encouraged to wait to apply to be a Candidate for Accreditation until they have a graduating class.  That said, we are building BVP High School with NEASC accreditation in mind.

To all the families of our nearly 1,200 scholars next year, I continue to be humbled by your trust and look forward to the exciting work that's ahead.

As always, feel free to reach out to me or Jonathan with any questions you may have.

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