AV Celebrates Another 6-year WASC Accreditation Achievement


Addy Mapes

Once again, Amador Valley High School achieved a six-year accreditation from the visiting WASC committee.

Milli Patel and Nidhi Patel, Staff Writers

Amador Valley High School received great news on Tuesday night when they were notified that the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)  awarded them a Six-Year Accreditation Status.

“This maximum six-year accreditation is a recognition of our entire school community, including students, staff, and parents/guardians, and the work they have all done to make Amador a truly outstanding educational institution.  We look forward to implementing the WASC visiting committee’s recommendations to ensure our schoolwide learner outcomes continue to lead to improved outcomes for all students,” said Nimarta Grewal, Interim Principal of Amador Valley High School.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is one of six regional accrediting associations in the United States that determines the accreditation term for schools. Public High Schools are all required to conduct a self-study in order to receive their accreditation. Schools receive a two-year, four-year, or six-year accreditation, depending on what the accreditation teams determine is necessary.

“The WASC process is not a quick process. We’ve been meeting and working on this for a couple of years and there was a lot of pressure since our last accreditation was for 6 years. Amanda and Mairi were strong leaders and our teachers and admin worked really hard, so it is really nice to see all that hard work pay off, ” said Wendy Connelly, AV Media Arts Teacher.

In February, the WASC team came to Amador to do their final evaluation of the school. This year, Amador earned a six-year accreditation process, which means they will not be back for accreditation until 2025.

Teachers and staff, led by WASC Teacher-leads Mairi Wohlgemuth and Amanda Sharp-Ortiz, worked for over 2 years to write a report that was over two-hundred pages longs, which was submitted before WASC came to visit. The report was an in-depth look at everything that is done on campus to help Amador students achieve success and prepare themselves for life after high school.

“It was a long process and I think that what we were able to do was celebrate what Amador is doing well,” said AV Spanish Teacher Amanda Sharp Ortiz.

“I’m really proud of our staff, students, and community for coming up with the six-year accreditation.  The best part about the process was that we were able to highlight what we needed to fix, in terms of school culture and what we could do better,” said Sharp-Ortiz.

In the letter sent to the school by the WASC committee, they did determine that Amador would be required to prepare a Mid-cycle Progress Report for the Mid-cycle Visit.

In the report, Amador will have to demonstrate 3 things:

  1. Amador must address the critical areas for follow-up through the schoolwide action plan;
  1. Amador must show that they have made appropriate progress on the implementation of the schoolwide action plan.
  2. Amador must demonstrate improved student achievement relative to the schoolwide learner outcomes and the academic standards.

“For our action plan, the most important things to address is the interconnectivity at Amador with academic pressure mounting and so many new teachers and so much turnover the school seems a little bit disjointed. I want it to be a more tight-knit community with teachers and students together. The committee also pointed out that we need to align courses better so that the experience of a student taking a course with one teacher is the same as the experience of another student taking the same course with a different teacher,” said Sharp-Ortiz.

Amador teachers, staff, students, and teachers will celebrate this achievement as they begin to work on the goals set in their school-wide action plan.