Western Association of Schools and Colleges commends SPHS at accreditation evaluation

Story by Haelee Kim
Associate Opinion Editor

Photo by Tiger Staff

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) toured the SPHS on Wednesday, Mar. 11, for its once every three year accreditation visit. 

WASC committee members Lisa Padilla and James Oberacker, teachers at Bloomington High School and Los Amigos High School respectively, visited classrooms and communicated with staff and students during the evaluation period.

The two committee members and administration convened at the end of the day with teachers and some students, voicing their observations and feedback.

“This visit was very welcoming and reaffirmed our beliefs that South Pasadena High School is on the right path to the right future,” Oberacker said. 

Oberacker recognized SPHS’ mental health and wellness support systems, mentioning positive responses from students about the school’s supportive environment. He also reinforced the idea of using programs and testing to provide instruction, advocating for the usage of tools such as i-Ready testing.

“We recommended [implementing i-Ready] three years ago and we know it’s going on, especially in English and math,” he said. “We hope that [the school] continues to pursue that in the other academic departments, in particular, languages, history, social science, and science and continue to use data to drive where [the school] is going.”

Padilla echoed Oberacker’s sentiment and praised the high-achieving and self-directed students of South Pasadena, commending them for their ability to exhibit independence and commitment to their studies. 

WASC has evaluated California schools since its founding in 1962, aiming to ensure quality education throughout western American schools. The organization visited SPHS in 2016 and checked in with administration on the progress of implementing WASC’s previous feedback.

“I thought that the WASC evaluation went extremely smoothly. We had great input from the students and the staff,” Assistant Principal Speck said. “[The committee members] saw some really great things going on with how the students and staff all worked together to form a great environment for student learning.”

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