February 18, 2016

Affirming What Friends’ Does Best

5th grade scientists 
Thank you to everyone in our Friends’ School community who participated in one way or another in our re-accreditation visit from the Association of Colorado Independent Schools.

The six team members from schools across the state spent four days at Friends’, exploring every aspect of our school.  They interviewed every teacher and staff member, several of our trustees and Board committee members, some of our students and alumni, and a number of parents.  They observed in classrooms and dove deep into our financial statements, policies, and practices.

According to Avi Halzel, who chaired the team, they came away extremely impressed with Friends’ School.  He and his assistant chair Andy Davies gave an overview to our staff at the end of the visit and thanked us for our gracious hosting.

We have yet to receive a copy of the visiting team report. While we need to wait until a vote from ACIS’ accreditation committee and Board of Trustees, all signs point to a highly successful visit and a strong recommendation for re-accreditation.

We do know that Friends’ received ACIS’ highest commendations in five principal areas:

 - the extremely high quality of our faculty and staff and the full engagement and joy evident in our students
 - the very strong sense of community at our school, along with outstanding mission congruence which supports program excellence

- our sound fiscal practice and conservative management of our finances

 - highly efficient use of our limited space

 - the planning, preparation and management of the new middle school which will open in August.

The full report will contain further commendations as well as recommendations and suggestions for how we can continue to improve as an educational institution and a community.

I am grateful to everyone who participated in the visit (and all parents who filled out the parent survey in November participated!)  It was not easy for our staff to fulfill their everyday obligations while hosting such a multi-day event.  In particular, I would like to extend my great appreciation to Dacia Horn and Jana Bledsoe for the amazing preparations and workload that went into making sure the week was a successful one. Thank you to all.

Ten years from now, in 2026, we’ll do it all over again!

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