WASC Accreditation

WASC Visit Update

Thank you, St. Albans Family!

Yesterday, our entire staff had the privilege of listening to a glowing final report from our WASC visiting team members. They noted again and again how impressed they were with everyone that they met, from our students to our current and alumni parents, teaching staff, leadership, and executive and SAPA board members.

I would like to both commend and thank each of you. The education provided at St. Albans is only accomplished through partnership with you as a parent. Your dedication helps set our school apart in many ways. I’d like to send a special thank you to every parent who attended the WASC reception or a focus group this week; your honest and authentic responses spoke volumes to our visiting committee members.

Though we will not receive the official commendation until this summer, I wanted to share a little of what we heard from the surveyors yesterday.

Exit Report Highlights

WASC visiting chairperson, Greg Beale, started the report to our staff by sharing that the goal of WASC is to help us to improve. He noted, however, that the team had an extremely difficult time identifying any issues to improve upon. Specifically, he shared that in over 40 WASC visits, he has never seen a school with such high student achievement scores or at which they could find no “Critical Learner Needs.”

He characterized St. Albans teachers as “superstars” and said that the education that students receive here is unmatched by anything he has seen at any other private, charter or public school throughout the Sacramento region and broader California. The other WASC visiting committee members mirrored Greg’s sentiments in each of the areas they covered.

Preliminary Written Report Highlights

In their written report, the WASC team provided us with direct feedback in three key areas, which I have copied verbatim below.

Areas of Strength for Organization for Student Learning (if any) that need to be addressed to ensure quality education for all students:

  • Small class size with a 1:24 teacher to student ratio
  • Tradition and expectation of academic excellence (SAT 10 results, feedback from high school and alumni placements and anecdotal)
  • Strong governing body and procedures
  • Caring, well qualified staff who is well invested in student learning
  • Culture of collaboration across Governing Body, School Staff, and Parents
  • Professional development is encouraged and supported
  • Parents and alumni are invested in the financial well-being of the school and give a high degree of support

Areas of Strength for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (if any) that need to be addressed to ensure quality education for all students

  • Curriculum is clearly defined through curriculum guides
  • High level of collaboration and articulation from grade to grade on into high school to ensure smooth transitions as well as readiness
  • Staff regularly assesses the effectiveness of curriculum and materials used and is encouraged to look for more effective practices to achieve the best results in all areas of curriculum
  • The school uses data from assessment to drive instruction and curriculum decisions
  • The school uses a variety of teaching and assessment modalities to increase engagement and access all learners
  • Students and staff recognize that all learning is tied to the ESLRs: reflection worksheets are utilized to show links from certain assignments to the ESLRs
  • Teachers are available to help students in all areas before, during, and after school as needed
  • Technology is integrated across the curriculum in meaningful ways

Areas of Strength for Support for Student Personal and Academic Growth (if any) that need to be addressed to ensure quality education for all students:

  • There is no need to worry about the level of parent involvement at this school. Parents came to all events and focus groups that they could attend and had plenty to tell us about what they love about St. Albans. They volunteer for all sorts of jobs (ex. Hot Lunch server) and projects and actively participate through SAPA (which all parents are members of).
  • There are plenty of accessible communication channels between the school and families (such as email, the school website and Facebook page, and the weekly newsletters).
  • There are many events to bring families to the campus: Open House, Back to School Night, Award Ceremonies, Grandparents and Special Friends Day, and seasonal performances by students.
  • Staff members are in constant communication with one another about their students, teaching strategies being used, and latest research.
  • Referral services are available to be utilized by families, as are health screenings.
  • Many clubs and extracurricular activities including athletics are provided (such as basketball, tennis, track and field, Chess Club, coding, and French Club).
  • St. Albans has effectively incorporated a variety of technologies including iPads, Chromebooks, and Promethean Whiteboards (observed in the classroom and discussed with teachers), and a variety of software programs that are compatible. The school offers classes on learning to use these tools.
  • There are a large number of all-school events and activities done by students in multiple grades, such as the projects done under the “class buddy” system. Students seem comfortable working with students from all grades and have good relations with their peers. For example, the 7th graders plan the 8th grader brunch before Graduation.
  • Students have means of representation through being class representative or joining Student Council. They help design and implement class-wide events. Student Council also helps organize many charity events, such as the Kids Can food drive.
  • Parents (through SAPA) organize the school’s annual Pleasures of the Palate fundraising auction for the school, which gets a large turnout of both current parents and alumni. Items on the auction list include prizes such as a special parking space or name plate at the school, which encourages connection to the school.

We have always believed that St. Albans is a special place to learn and grow. We are very proud that the WASC visiting committee saw our school in this same light.

The WASC process of on-going school evaluation and improvement is key to helping us ensure that St. Albans continues to offer students an academic curriculum and enrichment opportunities in a nurturing environment.

Thank you again, for being such an important part of the St. Albans family. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call or email me.


Mrs. Laura Bernauer

Head of School