Sage Receives High Marks From WASC

Beau Prince

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Senior Beau Prince recaps the recent WASC evaluation and results.

After nearly two months of waiting, the administration and staff at Sage Creek can rest easy that they’re doing a good job.

This past Tuesday, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) gave Sage Creek a six-year evaluation, the highest mark a school can receive from the accrediting body. Back in March, Sage Creek played host to a committee of teachers and administrators from schools all over the West Coast. The committee was tasked with observing all aspects of the school and comparing their findings to a written report that the school presented to the committee.

The main objective of the WASC evaluation was to confirm that the report from the school was accurate. With the six year evaluation from the WASC board of directors, the school will not be reevaluated for another six years, signaling that Sage Creek is among WASC’s least concerns.

As a teacher and administrator for the last 16 years, this is not the first WASC evaluation that Assistant Principal Jesse Schuveiller has worked through. In his first WASC evaluation at Sage Creek, Schuveiller had high praise for the effort put in by the Sage Creek staff.

“I have seen WASC visits that [have had] not nearly the amount of effort, or care, or attention; and this one was planned, it was executed, and it was coordinated very, very well,” Schuveiller said.

While some schools look at these WASC visits as mandatory examinations, Schuveiller mentioned, that was not the case for Sage Creek. Schuveiller stressed that the school was very transparent in compiling their report, and that the staff was “cautiously optimistic” about how the committee would evaluate the school.

“We’re confident in what we are doing here, and we are hopeful that others can recognize and validate that process,” Schuveiller said.

Mr. Schuveiller was not alone in his optimism while waiting for the results for the WASC evaluation. Math teacher Domenic Manente is the school’s WASC self study coordinator. As coordinator, he was primarily responsible for writing the school’s WASC report.

“It’s very validating. It means that they agreed with what we wrote in our report–that they saw the same things that we saw in terms of what we’re doing well and what areas we need to improve. It also means that they have quite a bit of trust in us as an institution,” Manente said.

While receiving the highest accolades possible from WASC is undoubtedly an achievement for the staff and students at Sage Creek, it is made especially significant due to the young nature of the school. As Manente points out, a six-year evaluation may be more difficult to attain in a new school.

“Sometimes new schools don’t have everything in place that they want to have in place,” Manente said. “So WASC decides [they] need to come out next year and make sure that [the school] is still making progress.”

Like Schuveiller, Manente felt as though the visit and report by WASC serves as good validation for the way Sage Creek operates on a daily basis.

“For a lot of schools, you just do it that year because WASC is coming; you do a lot of things maybe special or out of the ordinary to show off. Here, we’re doing those things on a daily basis,” Manente said.